While motorists caught speeding at over 100mph are routinely banned from driving by Scottish sheriffs, an off-duty policeman clocked at 5mph over the 'ton' kept his licence last week after doctors' letters said he was suffering from depression.
However, it was also stated in court that the officer was "upset and in an enraged mood" following an argument with his ex-wife. Shouldn't this be an aggravating factor rather than depression used in mitigation? Unfortunately we see 'enraged' drivers all the time, often taking out their anger by tailgating and performing other dangerous manoeuvres intended to harass and intimidate other road users. Some of this is no doubt caused by external factors, while in other cases it seems to be merely a symptom of an aggressive personality. But, either way, should this in effect be used as some sort of excuse?
Meanwhile, today it's reported that a driver who sped at almost twice the limit on the notorious A9 was similarly spared a driving ban because he would lose his job and find it difficult to secure alternative employment in the current financial climate.
Whatever next? As road safety campaigner Margaret Dekker put it, "I did not know the law was subject to the credit crunch. If the financial climate is an excuse for this kind of offence then I am sure many people will start using it."