Of all the ways to end up on the wrong side of the law, a measly 5km/h above a well-signed speed limit doesn't usually amount to a Bonnie-and-Clyde offence.
Nay, it's the sheer pathetic nature of a minor speeding ticket that makes for its frustration. It's second to jaywalking, perhaps, or neglecting to poop-scoop after the family cocker spaniel. These are legitimate breaches, sure, and rules are in place for a reason, but most would agree that 55km/h in a 50km/h zone isn't a home invasion.
And yet I don't think much of Peter Dunne's attitude to the two speeding tickets he's admitted to receiving while driving in 2013. Dunne was caught on the same stretch of road twice on the same day, which would have been rather annoying. Like most of us, he probably didn't want the world to know, but after an Official Information Act request by Newstalk ZB, he pre-emptively released information about his indiscretions.
"Oh, I'm deeply shocked," he said, on releasing the information. "I have been taking counselling because this is a very serious state of affairs and I'm just ashamed of the fact that you've exposed me as a serial traffic offender."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. The sky hasn't fallen and no one's calling for resignations, yet.
But come on, wouldn't it be the dignified thing for a government minister just to suck it up? Especially since, unlike jaywalking or neglecting to pick up dog crap, speeding can have a direct impact on public safety?
There are few attributes less attractive than someone who doesn't accept being wrong. But if Dunne was really that annoyed at being called out by the press, he could have consigned those fines to history by swiftly falling on his sword.
"I was caught speeding on the same stretch of road, twice in the same day. The breach was minor but we have a speed limit for a reason and I admire the New Zealand Police. It was a dumb mistake and I'm sorry."
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