click here for Part One)


(Originally posted to Fukuzawa and Friends Wed, Dec 20, 1995, modified August 28, 2002)


I've gotten quite a few flames for linking high Japanese auto death rates with bad Japanese driving. Why is it a DFS topic at all? some say. What separates it from the "Gee Whiz!" category that other postings, say, the one on high-pitched women's language, would fall?

This post is organized thus:






Driving matters. Urban city-dwellers notwithstanding, roads are how lots and lots of people get around, and cars have transformed cultures and shifted economic balances. Moreover, roads and their rules for conduct matter. This is not just some cultural fluff to be treated with the value-neutrality of an anthropologist--tens of thousands of people are maimed and killed on the road every year; in fact, according to the WHO in 1996, four percent of all deaths in the West were due to traffic accidents, robbing society of potential contributors and increasing social misery. Sorry for the schmaltz, but let's not ignore an important topic--whether or not Japanese should buy American rice is one thing, since people will not starve either way, but if there's something amiss with how and where people drive, people die. The social costs are palpable and irrevocable. Time to find cause and effect.


Of course, we could choose to compare Japan positively with Egypt, India, or Brazil, but let's talk OECD here. The ability for a rich, developed society to secure (and enforce) safety for its citizens is another social indicator. I choose Nichibei because I have stats on them. Points:

a) There are more fatalities per driven distance in Japan than America. Ed Lincoln already provided some stats to say that per distance driven, the US has 1.8 deaths per 100 million vehicle-miles vs 2.7 deaths per the same in Japan. This is an extra person dead in Japan for the same distance traversed. Moreover, since as Kaz noted, Japan only counts the death as a traffic fatality if it is within one or two days of the accident (vs within 30 days in the US). The Japanese numbers may in fact be significantly depressed.

b) But not all accidents result in death. Let's look at some stats I dug up for fender benders and the like:

"All motor vehicle accidents" US: 19,500,000 in 1991

"douro koutsuu jikou suu" Japan: 643,097 in 1992, and rising

I have plenty more stats, but to keep this post reading smoothly I'll PS them at the very bottom.

Now allowing for the same ratios that Ed used in his calculations for fatalities, the average American drives around 2.4 times farther than the average Japanese. However, even then, the adjusted number of fender-benders for Japan (around 1,537,333) looks to be about one-tenth of America's. Even discounting the number of fake whiplashes counted as accidents in America, this evidence doesn't support my case that Japan has worse drivers.

But let's look at it this way: more Americans have accidents yet more Japanese die from theirs. The point is that if a Japanese has a road accident, statistically he's less likely to walk away from it. Given that Japanese generally drive far slower than Americans (higher urban concentration and congestion, lower speed limits, etc.), this suggests something is systematically wrong--that something is, if I may be flippant, killing the Japanese motorist far more effectively than the hyped guns and the drunk drivers on American roads.


It could be neither. What about the cars themselves (weaker bodies in Japanese cars, fewer safety features such as air bags)? But that's somebody else's turf to comment upon. Let's look at the evidence that the roads are to blame:


a) Ed noted the stupid road designs: misleading road signs, odd intersections, no sidewalks in places. Alas, some might say, in Tokyo that is deliberate--specifically designed by the Tokugawa bakufu to delay any insurrections taking over Edo. Fine. But I live in Hokkaido, settled and designed in most places long after Tokugawa, so what the excuse there?

There is none. Hokkaido roads still follow designs that make roads dangerous down south: Concrete telephone poles (with ironic fluorescent stripes) line most roads right at the curb, along with yawning uncovered ditches. Manhole covers are scattered all over the road with no rhyme or reason (one road I often travel has, count 'em, sixteen within a hundred feet--not even in rows); and this matters because these become huge tyre-swallowing pitfalls in winter (since the snow melts only over them). Loosely-enforced eminent domain statutes keep roads narrow (and take years, house by house, to resolve). And any attempts to remedy the situation get mired in corruption--bridges take years and years to complete, roads are paved and repaved (the road heating system near our house has been replaced about six times over the past 3 years and still doesn't work). And it's still a losing battle--overloaded trucks flatten out sitzmarks in the roads, which become slick when it rains or snows.

b) Ineffective maintenance of these roads. People up here guffaw when they see Tokyo paralyzed because of a centimeter or three of snowfall. Come up here and drive, I say. Snowfall accumulates here and is not plowed away. Result: 1) huge drifts of over two meters frame the roads (when you merge from behind a snowbank, you have to stick your nose into traffic), and make two lanes into one, and 2) the snow is crushed and sublimated into black ice. This stays for a full three months, polished by spinning "studless" tyres (safer spiked tyres are against the law now) into ice rinks, which imperil pedestrian and driver alike. In March, as the snowfall trails off and the ice wears away, these become dangerous ruts...oh, you get the idea. Where I come from (Upstate New York, the same latitude as Sapporo), the roads get salted and plowed, and people do not shovel their walks into the street. There's a collective action problem here, but basically the government is not taking sufficient measures to make roads safer.

This has given Hokkaido the dubious distinction of having the most traffic fatalities. Yet Hokkaido's death rates (10.35 per hundred thou population in 92) are only about the midpoint of the rest of the country. That can hardly be attributed solely to the weather--even the more tropical places (Saga-ken at 11.01, Yamaguchi at 13.26) are higher. So that points towards drivers as the cause. Let's move on to that.


(Since I originally stuck my neck out and declared the drivers guilty, I'm going to build as strong a case as possible even if it's based on non-statistical evidence. Fire away.)


Over the past week, Sapporo got its largest snowfall in about 50 years--there's about one to two meters everywhere. I know--I was out in it yesterday and a 45-minute trip took 3 hours! Granted, it takes time for the DPW to get all the snow removed, but there's a lot to be said for people slowing traffic down by not minding basic rules of the road.


Only on expressways do people seem to understand that slow-moving vehicles should get into the left lane and let faster cars pass. If you flash or honk at them, they step on the brakes indignantly. If it's a truck, you risk a confrontation that is right out of Spielberg's movie DUEL (one driver even got out and started kicking my car repeatedly, until I made motions to run him over). And if it's snowing, people just don't seem to understand that there are still two lanes possible. This makes for incredible traffic jams.


Double parking by flashing Yamato Kuroneko Takkyuubin or Akabou Trucks anywhere, curb parking by 7-Eleven vans (even when the parking lot out front is empty), businessmen in phone booths blocking a lane instead of climbing up on the curb, social visits with cars left out front for hours. Parallel parking isn't even part of the driving test here, which means that even in established parking spaces, car noses and tails are hazardous. It's enough of a problem that it's become a prefectural policy drive ("meiwaku chuusha o yamemashou", like the "gomi poi dame" slogan to prevent roadside dumping), since the police hardly enforce the law sufficiently (they announce politely that people should move their cars as they drive past and mainly do nothing).


It's icy or wet, so slow down. This road curves, so don't mess around. Common sense. Do people listen? No. The largest traffic accident in Japan's history took place a few years ago on the expressway between Chitose and Sapporo, where an estimated 140 vehicles, going too fast on black ice, all collided on one day. There's a stretch of road near Kitami which claims about a dozen lives every year without fail, despite warning signs. Mountain roads are playgrounds for bikers in full-color leather who want to do dirt-biking on asphalt, and Born-to-Run Springsteen types screech around to impress their dates. Hyperbole? Japan Almanac 1993 notes the largest number of driver/passenger fatalities is in the 16-24 age group. Plenty of innocent people get hit by these idiots (I have had several near-misses myself). Yet will they salt or patrol the roads better? No.

Okay, that's only Hokkaido, I hear you say. Now, let's extrapolate, and talk about traffic laws, which apply everywhere in Japan.



A law's usefulness comes into question if nobody obeys it. The speed limits (30 KPH, not mph, in residential areas, 40 to 60 in other areas. 80 tops on the expressways.) are not obeyed by many except the toro toro ojisan and the learner drivers. Following the flow (not just in Hokkaido--I've driven in Touhoku too) generally gives speeds of at least 20 kph over the limit. And once you get used to breaking the law a little, it's only a matter of degree before you start unconsciously breaking the law a lot. Other minor infractions include extra lights on fenders (which seem to be on "brights" at all times, leaving you with dazzled imprints for several dangerous minutes), and the lack of red markings on projectiles off the back of trucks (shish-kebab, anybody?).


Traffic police try to find blame on both sides in any accident, and assign insurance company liabilities so that both have to pay. That is a well-established expectation.

Evidence: so far, I have had two accidents, one serious (a guy ran a red light and clipped the back of my Civic--sending me spinning into traffic), one not (a storm drain popped up and jammed itself into my suspension). In both cases, the cops tried to assign blame to me--in a 20-80 sort of way (since it was obviously his fault) 1) because I should have looked both ways before entering an intersection tho I had a green light, and 2) I should have anticipated that storm drain (anzen fukakunin, he said). I was lucky--I got zero liability both times because in 1) the driver took pity on me (dazed and confused after hitting my head on the window) and capitulated, and 2) I argued with the cop. But nobody has ever heard of this happening before.

So what's the point? In the US, there are automatic punishments; a rear-ending, say, is the responsibility of the person in back. Always. In New York State, anyway. In Japan, a driver doesn't have to be quite so careful because he'll never have to pay for all of it. Moreover, if he argues well, he might even get 50-50! (happened to a fellow teacher rear-ended by some young punks, and to the former Sapporo Consul when some twerp U-turned in front of him on black ice). If every accident becomes open to negotiation as to who's to blame, the yakuza-types are gonna get a lot more carefree.


Anyone who gets a licence has to go through a driving school. Those schools are supposed to be following nationally-mandated rules, but all I can see is them churning out drivers who learn to ignore those rules. If Hokkaido is this bad and other places are worse, what I'm witnessing might only be the tip of the iceberg.

In sum, there is a shortage of rules of the road, and it has a negative impact on how one gets about in a car in Japan.


Recently, there's a disturbing tendency in some DFSers to discount a person's opinions simply because of their national background. Already, somebody has asked for opinions from "Japanese only", because Americans are too "noisy". Twice. I find that extremely irritating.

Same with the flames: Hey, Dave, you're not Japanese, so why should you comment on Japan? I've even been likened to a racist American Redneck saying "Nips can't drive". One flame said that my comments sounded like I was "generalizing the behaviour of some of the 'low quality' drivers that I may have encountered to make a caricature of all Japanese drivers." As though I should follow one of my Travellers' 10 Commandments, "Thou Shalt not judge the people of the country by those who hath given thee trouble."

I don't understand this at all. I am not a visitor here. I live here. I have lived and driven here for seven years--half of all my time on the road since I got my licence in the US fifteen years ago. I have driven in almost all the fifty states plus Europe, and been in some pretty hairy places for traffic control (Cairo, New Delhi), so I've seen a broad spectrum. Nowadays, I drive at least 300 kms a week--far above the average Japanese driver except the pros, and probably more than most Japan-resident DFSers. So why am I not allowed an expressable opinion?

Because I might be looking at this situation through American-culture-tinted glasses? People, this is a road, and the cultural relativism arguments don't clearly apply when it's you versus a truck with no time for communication. There is such a thing as standard rules of the road, and there had better be or people are gonna get killed. Japan, for the reasons I've outlined above, doesn't follow them as well as they could. If I see shortcomings in a system, I should be allowed to point them out.

Especially on DFS. Flames like these sound like the "shaddap, you foreigner, you don't understand Japan because you aren't Japanese" type of Nihonjinron circular logic. If I were a Japanese commenting, would I receive the same treatment? I daresay not.

"Can't you say anything nice about Japan?" was another comment. I find this reprehensible because it's a common Japanese tactic to stop criticism of this society. A celebrity like Sting comes to Japan, calls on Japan to stop using drift nets and whaling (a plea that would be ho-hummed in other countries), and suddenly the press here calls him rude--why, the very idea of a guest critizing the host! Even Jim Fallows had to do a couple of tame "culturally nice Japan articles" in the Atlantic to pay his dues after his "Containing Japan" article. I'm not going to do that. I call a spade a spade, and will not quietly watch some members of DFS import the strategy of blunting analysis by calling problems ubiquitous or "otagaesama".

It's so easy to be a critic of a person's points, but where's the evidence to the contrary? Flamers, are your minds getting fat? This isn't the Mickey Mouse Club, where we have to learn and follow rules of "saying something nice, or don't say it at all", or "nakayoku shiyou" stuff. This is DFS, a debate network. A debate about only nice things is like a nonviolent Tom and Jerry cartoon; it can be done, but what's the point?

Finally, some say this topic is not appropriate to DFS--it's not politics or economics. Well, nowhere in DFS Bakufu Brian Kushnir's post on submissions does it say we have to stick to those two. So you don't like a bit of culture with your pie and chips? Okay. Delete me. But if you take the trouble to read my occasional postings, I promise to give you an essay that will pull your eyes through it, with a point about something important, not just gripe. DFS Bakufu--any comments? Am I out of line?

Finally, you say you don't like my hyperbole. Sorry. But don't shoot me down because you want to suppress a DFS Rutskoi or Zhirinovski. Shoot my ideas down with some good evidence, please. If I am demonstrated to be wrong (as I was in the Eagleburger posting), I will capitulate. Always have done to the author. I'll do it publicly, if it will serve your sense of justice.

Dave Aldwinckle

STATS FOR DRIVING ACCIDENTS (you pick and pull them apart as you like)


TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS: 11,086(1989) 11,227(1990) 11,105 (1991) 10,942(1993) 11,024 (Dec11,1995)

TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS: 661,363(1989) 643,097(1990) 662,388 (1991) 724,675(1993)

TOTAL NUMBER OF INJURED PERSONS: 814,832(1989) 790,295(1990) 810,245 (1991) 878,633(1993)


SPEEDING: 2404 deaths (22.8%)

VIOLATION OF SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES: 3692 (35%) broken down into:

Driver Error 5.7%, Careless Driving 8.4%, Not keeping the eyes on the road (wakimi) 8.4%, Not confirming 5.2%, sono ta 5.8%

DRUNK DRIVING: 525 (5.0%)



PEDESTRIAN INTERFERENCE (hokousha bougai): 387 (3.7%)



PASSING: 171 (1.6%)


OTHER AND UNCLEAR: 1034 (9.8%)

Sources: Japan Almanac 1993, Daily Yomiuri Dec 13, Imidas 1995



DEATH RATES (per 100,000 pop.) 18.9 (1989) 8.6 (1990) 17.2 (1991)











of the above:


Source: World Almanac 1993

Hmm. Not much of a base of comparison here, is there?

Apologia ends. Then in came a some notable comments that added to the debate.

Date: Wed Dec 20 1995
From: Ed Lincoln <elincoln@snap.org>
To: fukuzawa@ucsd.edu
Subject: More Auto Accidents

David Aldwinkle provided additional interesting statistics about auto accidents in Japan. In doing so, he also inadvertantly opened an issue about statistical comparability in comparing the total number of accidents in Japan (listed as 661,363) and the Untied States (19.5 million). It turns out that the Japanese number called "accidents" counts only those accidents involving death or injury; the American figure includes all reported accidents--the vast majority of which involve only damage to the vehicle and not individuals. So far I have seen no Japanese figure for this more inclusive definition of accidents. However, comparing the United States and Japan on the more restrictive definition of those involving injury or death results in an accident rate in Japan (accidents per vehicle mile) that is 70 percent higher than that in the United States.

David also provided a long discourse on driving in Japan and various explanations for the high accident rate. Worth reading. I would guess that many of the student and academic members of DFS have not driven a car in Japan. Neither had I until my current stint of living here. It has opened a whole new dimension of Japan to me and I have found it a fascinating learning experience (albeit, often a fairly unpleasant one). I recommend it to those of you looking for something new to study and analyze.

Edward J. Lincoln
U.S. Embassy, Tokyo

Date: Thu Dec 21 22:1995
To: Kaz K
From: Dave Aldwinckle
Subject: DRUNK DRIVING IN JAPAN: rules are tougher than you think

KAZ SAID: >I am only familiar with Californian law, but the enforcement (I mean, the fine and possible imprisonment) on drunk drivers in California (a few thousand dollars?) is much stricter than that in Japan (Menkyo Torikeshi and Bakkin of a few hundred dollars?).

Sorry, Kaz, you're way off. Japan is a lot tougher than that.

I just gave the Chuo-ku Keisatsu Cop Shop a quick call, and got somebody who wasn't used to talking to foreigners much (what does one expect, calling them at 8 pm?). What I could get out of him was this:

There are two types of drunk driving (inshu unten):

1) The more serious type is called "juki obi unten", which means that there's an alcohol content of more than 0.25 ppm in your blood. If you're caught, of course you lose your licence automatically (the cop wasn't sure for how long). But more to the point, you face potential punishments of two years inprisonment (choueki) or a 100,000 yen fine or both.

2) The less serious type is called "sake yoi unten", which means there's an alcohol content of less than 0.25 ppm in your blood, but you've drunk enough for it to affect your driving (wait two hours for every bottle of beer, they say). They determine this by erratic driving, slurred speech, minty smell on your breath to cover something up, etc, which gives the cops quite a bit of leeway. The punishments are 3 months in prison or 50,000 yen fine or both. License also goes poof.

If you're caught, it is also apparently standard practice for the police to report it to the papers and even your workplace. This could even result in your salary being lowered. (This was apparently not always carried out--my superior, who died last year in his sixties of complications from alcohol poisoning, drank to dropping nearly once a week and still snuck out onto the roads. Though he was caught a few times and even lost his licence, he drove regardless. I never heard of his salary being lowered, but then again I probably wouldn't.)

Moreover, if you drink and drive you're arguably more likely to get caught here. There are certain funnel roads round here where you face booze checkpoint charlies, stopping every car one by one in the middle of the night to smell your breath and give you the balloon.

Kaz, maybe you were here in Japan in the bad old days when just about anything, including car accidents, were forgiven if the person was drunk, but Japanese laws are much tighter now. Also, given the fact that mass transportation and taxis are better in Japan, and Americans have to resort to cars more often to get around (Has anyone ever lived out in the American Plains and Rockies states? People drive 40 miles one way just to get a pizza. Or a beer in a bar.), it's not at all surprising to me why Japan has significantly lower rates of alcohol-related accidents or fatalities than the States. Good for Japan.

KAZ ALSO SAID:>Japanese drivers have to pass paralleI parking (if you mean Juretsu Chusha) test to get a license. (The problem is those drivers can hardly reproduce it on the street.) On the other hand, I got my California license without one.

I do mean Juuretsu Chuusha. According to my wife (who, admittedly, passed her driving test an unmentionable amount of years ago), all she had to do was back parallel into a "garage" (shako) in a road-test site (not on a street), and if she didn't hit the wall behind she passed. She didn't have to park "between" anything (since there was apparently lots of space in front of the car), and there was no curb. In New York State (where the required parallel parking part of the test is the most terrifying part), if you hit either car, front or back, or the curb, or end up farther than six inches from the curb, or have your nose or tail unduly sticking out into traffic, you failed the ENTIRE road test. The Japanese sense of "parallel parking" is in no sense the same as the NYS one, and it shows on Japanese roads.

I SAID: >>. . the police hardly enforce the parking law sufficiently (they mainly do nothing).

KAZ REPLIED: >An enforcement is wanted to enforce policemen to enforce the law.

I ADD: Well, to be fair to the cops, they do catch you if you're really stupid. About five months I went to Tower Records downtown and parked (on the curb, mind you) illegally on a side street. I saw some flashing lights down the street, but I thought, nah, that couldn't be the cops. 30 minutes later, I came back, and my Civic was gone. All that was left were some chalk marks on the street saying what time my car had been towed and to whom I should contact to get it back. I had to walk 2 kms to the cop shop, sign some forms and pay (cash or furi komi), then walk another 3 kms to the private parking garage (which makes all its money from the tow trucks) to get the car back. All told, I had to pay (if I remember correctly) 15,000 yen for the parking violation, another 15,000 yen for the tow truck, and 309 yen to the parking garage for the hour's parking. Ouch. Most expensive CDs I ever bought.

Thanks for your replies, Kaz and everybody out there. That's it for me for a few weeks. I wish everybody a pleasant holiday season. Don't drink and drive, especially if you're in Japan.

Dave Aldwinckle
On the Road Again in Sapporo, Japan

Then I realized I got a big goof in my mail:

Date: Fri, 22 Dec 95
From: MCW
Subject: Re: DRUNK DRIVING IN JAPAN: rules are tougher than you think

David, You have it backwards.

>There are two types of drunk driving (inshu unten): 1) The more serious type is called "juki obi unten", which means that there's an alcohol content of more than 0.25 ppm in your blood.

It's "shuki obi unten" and it is the lesser of the two charges.

Blood alcohol is ABOVE 2.5ml, and you lose your license for 30 days. The fines and prison term (if any) are determined by the court, according to the officer at Aichi Prefecture Police, but the cop didn't know the fine print of the law.

>2) The less serious type is called "sake yoi unten", which means there's an >alcohol content of less than 0.25 ppm in your blood,

This is the more serious charge, and blood alcohol doesn't matter. The criteria is apparently your inability to safely operate the car. It is a 15 point charge, so if you have no prior offenses (no points against you, in other words) you lose your license for one year. If you do have points, you could lose your license for up to three years. Fines and prison terms are up to the court. The copy told me to look it up the limits myself! > >If you're caught, it is also apparently standard practice for the police to >report it to the papers and even your workplace. This could even result >in your salary being lowered.

In Aichi they don't contact your employer, and they don't hand out names to the papers, unless they deem it necessary, like when a drunk caused a big accident, crashed into a show window or something. And then it's not because it was a "drunk driving" case but because it was a crime, and a big incident.

> >Moreover, if you drink and drive you're arguably more likely to get caught here. There are certain funnel roads round here where you face booze >checkpoint charlies, stopping every car one by one in the middle of the night to smell your breath and give you the balloon.

Your cops must work harder than ours. Our checkpoints generally last only from 7 to 9. And judging from the number of drunks on the road, it doesn't take much imagination to avoid the checkpoints on the nights they do it--generally Fridays, and days before holidays.

But you DO have to be careful how you get home after a night on the town. My friend purposely left his car at home and came on his bike. Round about midnight on his way home he was stopped by a patrol car at the bottom of a long hill (he was exceeding the speed limit on his BICYCLE). Cop told him to be more careful because he could also be cited for driving under the influence on his bicycle!

"Nomu nara, noruna. Noru nara, nomuna!"

Mark CW

Well, oopsie. Guess the cop was in a hurry to get me off the phone and was just agreeing with whatever I said--I had made sure to confirm which offence was worse. It happens. But we still got a lot of info out on the street, which is paramount.


I was out driving home in the middle of the night last November, minding my own business (of course), and decided to turn right through a red light after stopping. Stupid me. There just happened to be a cop car in my left blind spot, and out came the sirens. Gotcha. Since they caught me fair and square, I gave them no trouble (like pretending I'm a dumb gaijin only capable of katakoto Japanese), and surrendered all information to them in the back of their cop car (You pull over, they call you over to their car, and you spend a half hour or so filling out forms. At least it's warm). Name, address, employment information, questions about whether you were aware that this was a red light (I hedged and said I thought it was going to turn soon--to which they said, "Nah, there was plenty of time left. right?" I nodded.), how many points were going to be taken off my licence (two for shingou mushi, one caution point for a burnt-out taillight, which I truthfully claimed to be unaware of). No inkan? Give me your thumbprint. Okay. Now pay a 9000 yen fine later by bank or post (within one week, or else you get a bigger fine and notification at your workplace), and, be careful, these roads are slippery.

As is my wont, I started asking questions. Their answers in italics:

How many points before you lose your licence? Seven.

Are these two penalty points permanent? They will be reinstated if you do not repeat the same offence within three months. They will be doubled for a repeat offense.

How about the taillight? You get off with a warning. Get your taillight fixed at any gas station (5 minutes and 500 yen), then take your car to the nearest police box and give them this form. They will check your tail and your point will be eliminated. But if you get stopped by the cops again with this tail ailment, you will get that minus point for for real because you can no longer claim ignorance.

Will this be a permanent record? I ask because if I ever decide to become a Japanese citizen, two of the same crime will disqualify me, even if it's a parking ticket (I already had one to my credit). Well, tough beans. It's permanent for as long as you hold your licence.

Do you catch a lot of people like me in a night? Hum and haw. We catch enough.

My licence runs out in two months. Does this mean I'm now classified a dangerous driver and will have to sit through two hours of lectures at the DMV when I renew? No. Only a half hour, like everybody else. You will have to renew again in three or four years, instead of the regulation five years for a long-term spotless driver. Just pay your fine, keep your nose clean, and all should be peachy. Bye.

I got my licence renewed for four years and got a fascinating talk about how bad Hokkaido's drivers are, after all. Highest death rate per accident rate--and that's because people all go too fast. So slow down, everyone.

In retrospect, I was glad I was stopped by the cops. I got taken down a peg and found out a lot. The rules are surprisingly fair, in my opinion, with a surprising lack of loophole or bullshit. You breaks the rules, you pays the fines.

Now, if only driving conditions were as clockwork as the poilce would like. But I guess that's not human nature. I'm as guilty as the next driver, however spectacularly I happen to drive, of bending the rules.

Dave Aldwinckle

(Further Epilogue: Things did not go all that peachy, it turns out, for two years later I was not only stopped repeatedly for speeding, but also lost my licence! Fascinating story of how I got it back is available here)

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