No one likes getting a fine – least of all me – but I've just been slapped with a £65 ticket and, for once, I'm inclined to agree it was actually a good thing.
In my 15 years of driving I've been unfortunate enough to pick up a fair few fines.
Some have come at the hands of sneaky speed cameras, some from angry coppers on motorcycles pointing hairdryers at me, and some from wallet-sucking parking attendants who couldn't forgive a two minute over-stay. But that's another story...
This month's misdemeanour was slightly different. This time I was completely at fault – and this time I'm actually glad the authorities gave me a ticket.
Let me explain. Autoblog news editor Batch and I were heading into London for an awards do. Following the sat nav on our long term Mitsubishi Outlander (link to report) we ended up in the wrong junction on the New Kings Road, in Fulham.
We needed to be in the right hand lane, which, not unusually for London, was chocker. Spotting a gap behind the cars just on the other side of the green lights I sneaked in behind them, sitting momentarily in a yellow box junction.
I popped my hand up to apologise to the car behind – we all get in the wrong lane every now and again, after all – and we waited for the traffic to move on. We were sat there for all of a few seconds.
Problem was, those few seconds in the box junction were enough to get me a ticket from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and my bank account relieved of £65.
Furious at first I randomly uttered four letter words. But then I calmed down slightly and thought about it. The fact of the matter was – just like when you stray over the speed limit and get caught by a camera – I was in the wrong.
I thought back to my time when I had the misfortune of commuting in and out of London every day in a car and the anger I felt for other road users who gridlocked junctions by entering traffic light junctions when their exit wasn't clear. I hated those inconsiderate drivers with a passion.
I'm glad – even though it was done (almost) completely innocently – that I got slapped with that fine, because for every person that does it by mistake there'll be five more drivers who have done it on purpose. And it's those very few that deserve a £65 slap on the wrist.
So let's just say I'll take this one for the team. Until the next time...
Agree of disagree? Have you ever picked up a ticket for something you felt was actually well deserved? Or should all motoring fines be banned? Let us know by posting your comments below.