It is October 1999 and then Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is up in court facing a charge of illegal driving having been stopped by officers on the hard shoulder of the M602 in Eccles, Greater Manchester.
Sir Alex gave full disclosure for the reasons behind his actions, telling the court he was frantically trying to find a bathroom after suffering stomach cramps. The Manchester United club doctor confirmed he had made a diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis, a state of affairs Sir Alex said he was too embarrassed to admit to to the officers who stopped his car.
In the end, the legendary manager was cleared of any offences. But is this a case of one rule for the rich and famous, another for the rest of us? Or can anyone escape trouble on the roads by claiming an urgent need to visit the loo?
Of course, speed limits and penalties for those that break them are of absolute paramount importance when it comes to preventing road traffic accidents. Driving faster than the limit on any given road increases both the likelihood of a vehicle collision occurring and the severity of any accident on the road.
The bathroom excuse is one that could potentially see you escape a fine or points on your license.
If you can successfully argue that your need to get to the toilet was an ‘emergency’ then you can be backed up by international treaties that state that ‘the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.’
Of course, you will need evidence to back up any claim of illness. Sir Alex had diagnosis from a medical professional and you would imagine this to be the minimum requirement. ‘Needing wee’ is unlikely to cut it as an excuse with either the traffic officers or a court of law.
What Sir Alex also had was a highly-paid, expert lawyer of a calibre way beyond the budget of many people.
The importance of preventing accidents on the road means that speeding offences are taken extremely seriously. Essentially, if you are caught, a fine or some other punishment is invariably heading your way.
If you are injured in a car crash, Accident Advice Helpline can help you win the traffic accident compensation you may be due.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice