A Driving Instructor's Blog

This story from Staffordshire tells how Callum Lines, 19, took a car without telling the owner, and “panicked” when police tried to stop him. He got up to speeds of 90mph in Tamworth. When he was finally stopped by several police cars, he refused to get out and police smashed the windows to drag him out.

In the car were two 14-year old girls and a 17-year old girl.

The story (and, no doubt, public sympathy) appears to dwell on the plight of these darling little girls at the sole expense of Lines. I’m going to take the more objective position and point out that they bloody well knew what they were doing when they got in the car with Lines, so they easily share in a significant part of the guilt.

In fact Lines, his passengers, and the girl he stole the car off sound like a class group of individuals all round, and provide all the evidence needed for why insurance is so high for 17-24 year olds in the first place. You see, Lines only had a provisional licence and no insurance. Since he took the car without permission, he effectively stole it. Furthermore, he could have killed someone as a result of his childish behaviour.

You will note from the story that the best defence his lawyer could come up with was that Lines was “a very immature young man”.

You will also note that he was sentenced to six months youth custody, suspended for two years, banned from driving for two years, and ordered to take an extended test when he eventually gets there. Not a lot, really.

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