Today’s meeting started promptly at 1030 a.m. with Chairman Michael Cochrane advising of four apologies. He then read out a letter from our retiring President Reverend Christine Gillespie thanking the Forum for its support to her and the Church and wishing us continued success.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw took a few minutes to reiterate the need for a Second Vice Chairman and more importantly from a time perspective the need for someone to pick up the mantle of Programme Secretary from John Taylor who will not be carrying on in the role after this season but will provide support for the next holder of that office. Members were reminded that it is incumbent on them to ensure these positions are filled and there is no separate management committee that will resolve the matters.

The talk this morning was given by Mr Philip Solity and was titled “An Amusing Insight Into Road Traffic Law”. His fee would be going to St. Gemma’s Hospice. Philip had spent over 40 years as a Legal Adviser in Leeds Magistrate Courts and whist not exclusively on motoring matters much of his time was spent advising magistrates and defendants on those issues.

He started his talk by sharing the Motorists Lord’s Prayer with the audience which set the tone for the morning….at turns amusing, instructive and educational. We learnt about the single justice procedure for guilty pleas; were advised about the various bands of penalties namely A, B and C and the consequences thereof. Speeding Offences; Drink Driving and Mobile Phone offences were covered and the procedures for Speed Cameras disclosed. Some of the loopholes used by famous personalities were detailed but shown to being annoyingly legal.Various knowledge tests were given by Philip on road procedures and laws with responses from members either being reassuring or giving cause for concern!!

The differences between Careless and Dangerous Driving was explained and again the penalties ranging from fines, disqualification to imprisonment highlighted. Driving Capability (affected by illness or disability) was touched upon and the proper/improper use of Blue Badges mentioned. The talk elicited a good number of questions and comment both during and at its conclusion and showed that the audience had appreciated both the amusing anecdotes and knowledge imparted.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of forty attendees was given by His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C.



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