Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Penalty Points Work

On December 10th 2009 I wrote about getting my first penalty points, they were for speeding in my car at 68 kph in a 50 kph zone outside St James' Gate brewery in Dublin.

I feel like a saint!.
Image source: www.saint.org

Well - now that three years have passed, these penalty points have now expired - yippee! I now have no penalty points for the first time in three years and no longer have to declare this on insurance forms. I can also drive/ride without the stigma of having points, and also not have to worry too much about adding to this total. 

Since December 10th 2009 I feel as though I have been an absolute saint on the road. I did not want to risk getting any more points, so I have been paying total attention to things like speed limits and how fast I am going much more than I ever did before. I'm guessing that I have looked at my speedometer more times in the last three years that I did in the previous 30 years. For the past three years I have been holding up traffic behind me and looking at other people driving like lunatics with the (pompous) thought in my mind "If you had penalty points you would not drive like that". Having penalty points definitely slowed me down and made me pay more attention. I even ride at under 30 kph in Dublin City centre (no one else seems to do this)!

Maybe this is why they work? Everybody takes chances on the road. You get to see this a lot from a motorbike as I always get to the top at the traffic lights. If penalty points make the recipients (like me) behave even a little bit better and obey the rules of the road, then the roads will be that little bit safer for us all.

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