I did a stupid thing last night. I drove my car at 182 km/h on the way back from the airport and was pulled over by the cops and arrested. When you do stupid things, there are consequences. I have admitted my guilt, advanced no argument in mitigation, and made no excuses. Now we await the turning of the slow wheels of justice to determine the amount of a fine.
Now that I have said, plainly, what happened and how I feel about it, let’s look at a few other things that have happened around this incident, and which people seem curious about:
Firstly, it was doubly unfortunate for me that eTV’s intrepid news team were there, accompanying the Highway patrol cops and that they managed to nab someone of minor public interest. Great for their ratings no doubt, but an aggravating factor for me in that I’ve had to deal with calls all day and night from concerned family, friends and colleagues; subjected to repeat broadcast of that footage.
I am startled by the response of a small clutch of hysterical people – some who thought I should have been locked up, others who believed a fitting punishment for speeding is to be raped in jail and a few who said I drove too slowly and was a pussy to have stayed under 200km/h. I’m sure these people can be considered the lunatic fringe – but the sententious overtone is insufferable.
The news media also couldn’t get their story straight. Four newspapers came out with headlines about me sleeping in a jail cell last night. This was not true. All the newspapers managed to get the wrong court for my appearance this morning and none of them seemed to have known the procedures involved when someone is arrested even in the broadest sense.
The police were courteous, helpful and efficient. Not at any stage did I feel unsafe, intimidated or harassed. If the media could have constructed the story themselves I’d have been clapped in irons and locked away for years. This is not what happened, and it’s not how traffic offences work.
These are things even good citizens occasionally have to deal with. I have no prior convictions or arrests to my name. I don’t like to break the rules. Some people may have even thought me holier-than-thou before the arrest. I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be. I’m sure I’ll have to put up with excessive moralising, complaints about being a hypocrite and the slavering over the details.
If there is a lesson in any of this it must be that speeding isn’t only bad when it kills, it’s also just not worth it. Drive safely. I’ll catch you in the morning.