Debate Magazine

Driving for the Sake of Driving is Apparently Not an "essential Journey"

Posted on the 06 April 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

The lock down rules have the aim of reducing person-to-person contact as far as possible.
Misguided or not, that's a clear enough basic principle.
So no more going on holiday by 'plane or train (fair enough); work from home if possible (fair enough); try and cut down on your shopping trips (one big shop a week instead of popping out for what you need - fair enough); no driving to beauty spots for a walk or picnic (too many other people there - fair enough). They classify this as "non-essential travel".
There is no earthly logic that says simply driving round in a circle for the joy of it goes against the basic principle (especially on empty roads with petrol at 102.9/litre). You get out of the house - with significant benefits for your mental health (doesn't mental health count as 'health reasons'? The alternative is hitting the booze much earlier in the day) - and you come into contact with precisely nobody.
In terms of person-to-person contact, driving is better and safer than going cycling or walking (which people still do in groups). Driving to your holiday home does not increase the number of person-to-person contacts so does not go against the basic principle either. But if you are employed by killjoys and banstubators, you have to toe the line I suppose.
A copper at a roadblock in the middle of Epping Forest yesterday informed me in no uncertain terms that joy riding is "non-essential" and therefore basically against the law - which they just made up on the spot. The logic is arse-backwards. Even more galling was the fact that said copper was standing well within two metres of me; and the road block was near a car park full of people going for walks or cycling.
There aren't expletives enough in all the world's dictionaries to describe the mentality of whoever decided that joy riding goes against the basic principle (which it clearly doesn't). According to The Telegraph, Mr Loophole even says that you might be void your insurance by doing so.


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