Use finesse to clamp down on drivers

From: Coun Graham Latty, Harrogate Road, Rawdon, Leeds.

IT’S right that we should crack down on motorists who deliberately break the rules of the road, (Yorkshire Post, August 28), but I’d also like to sound a note of caution about the proposals for councils to get more of these powers.

True, bad driving, even minor infractions, can cause accidents and increase congestion, but there are also motorists who just make honest mistakes, and I wouldn’t want to see us penalising everyone regardless of the individual circumstances.

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There’s a danger, particularly with the huge revenue-generating potential of such proposals, and the budget pressures on the council, that the powers could be exercised too broadly, with motorists being badgered and bullied out of all proportion to the nature of the offence.

At a time when many households are already financially stretched, a new system of fines would be an added and unwelcome burden.

What’s needed is a bit of finesse: we should aim to capture and discourage the deliberate law-breakers, while not being so draconian as to alienate all drivers with too blunt a system of penalties.

From: Eric Vevers, Turnberry Avenue, Alwoodley, Leeds.

THANK goodness we don’t have people like SB Oliver of Heckmondwike running our country (Yorkshire Post, August 25). His letter regarding the clamping problems in Haworth and his comments criticising those unfortunate enough to get clamped while visiting Haworth deserve to be used in wrapping up tomorrow’s fish and chips, with or without the rest of your esteemed newspaper.

Mr Oliver seems naive in the extreme if he fails to accept that clamping cars in any location and charging exorbitant fees for their release is nothing less than a very grubby, money-grabbing exercise which tarnishes our towns and villages.

Yes, of course, we need regulations but it’s the penalties imposed on often innocent visitors which are all wrong. While I personally would not set foot in a place like Haworth if that’s how they treat car owners, I do have every sympathy with those who have to fork out huge amounts of money for what are only minor indiscretions.

It’s about time these grubby car clamping companies and those who employ them are themselves “clamped” and the keys thrown away.

Exams make the grade

From: David Tankard, Birkdale Avenue, Knaresborough.

THE controversy over the English exams remind me of an incident from over 50 years ago.

We had a new maths teacher. The top mark in his first test was about 70 per cent. Wasn’t he a lousy teacher? In his next test, three obtained 100 per cent. Wasn’t he now an excellent teacher? Neither was correct.

He simply wasn’t used to setting tests. Now we have new English exams. Unfortunately, in January they were marked hopelessly. Presumably, the teaching staff were congratulated on achieving better than expected results.

Now with far more taking the exam, it can fulfil its proper purpose of separating the good from the less good. Meanwhile industry complains vociferously about the lack of English and Mathematical skills – despite the good grades. Something somewhere is clearly wrong. Ofqual should stick to its guns – it is the January exams that need regrading, but it’s too late now.No doubt those appointing staff will no doubt check on the date of the English qualification and react appropriately.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

WHAT a furore about the exam results this year. When we took O-levels in the ate 50s, we got the marks we had obtained given to us. Surely an easier method for employers and universities to decide what standard they wanted for a particular job or university place?

Barbaric slaughter

From: TW Coxon, West Aukland Road, Darlington.

BARRIE Frost’s letter over halal slaughter (Yorkshire Post, August 28) should be welcomed by every animal-loving and decent person in this country. There should be no place in British society for such barbarism and we should all voice our concerns and disgust that the British parliamentary system allows such practices. Too many concessions are made to foreign nationals despite the warnings over the years of the consequences. Those voicing these warnings, instead of being heeded, were ridiculed and berated by people of less common sense and foresight. The aphorism “you reap what you sow” will come to pass and we will rue the day.

Paralympic inspiration

From: Peter Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield.

WHY are the Paralympics relegated to Channel 4? They are surely worthy of coverage without the interruption of commercial breaks.

In fact I find them far more inspiring, seeing the disabilities these athletes have overcome just to compete in the first place, let alone the dedication of each and every one of them. Well done Sainsbury’s for sponsoring the Games but it should never have been necessary for them to do so.

The Para-Olympians have 
done their countries proud and, apart from their medals, will receive far less reward for their magnificent efforts.