3 JANUARY 1936, Page 23


[To the Editor of T.TIE SPECTATOR.]

Sin,—Mr. John Prioleau's statement that the 30-mile speed- limit is now widely disregarded will be considered by many to be an undeniable fact. Your correspondent (" J.P. for Sussex ") admits "there are a certain number of drivers who take no notice of the speed-limit," but complains that by giving such facts publicity in "a paper of the standing of The Spectator a magistrate's task of dealing with this and any other motoring laws is being made even more difficult than it is at present." The logic of such a contention is far to seek, and it conveysthe impression that in the opinion of this J.P. for Sussex the easing of the duties of a magistrate should be the first consideration.

Many people openly state that if magistrates had but administered the law and suitably dealt with all speed- maniacs the number of deaths on the roads would never have reached the present appalling total ; and it is refreshing to find that London magistrates are now setting an excellent example in this matter of dangerous driving. Quite recently Mr. Dummett, the magistrate at Bow Street, is reported to have said :

"However sympathetic a magistrate may feel towards a prisoner, that -must. be put deliberately aside and his public duty considerOd. The only way in which reckless motorists can be taught that their whole attitude towards this problem must be radically altered is by the sort Of punishment which the courts can mete out to people found guilty."

Steyning, Sussex.