In an almost unprecedented legislative blunder, the States has accidentally passed a new law under which Guernsey motorists are permitted to drive no more than 20 miles in any two week period.
“Now that it’s happened we’re keen to describe it as a ‘bold measure,’” said Environment Minister Peter Sirrett.
The mistake came about as a result of an overeager Environment Department trying to introduce a 20 miles per hour speed limit without taking time to proofread the draft legislation.
A crucial spelling mistake in subsection 14(b), which saw ‘mph’ replaced by ‘mpf’, was noticed only after the Ordinance had been passed.
WHAT THE F…?
“We had to think fast,” Deputy Sirrett told Guernsey Futu. “What could the ‘f’ refer to, other than the obvious?”
Other States Members pitched in with suggestions. Treasury and Resources Minister Charles Parkinson was keen on ‘miles per Florence’, and set about establishing the number of women going by that name on the Island, while Deputy Quinn thought ‘miles per Fermain’ had a nice ring to it, not least because he lived nearby.
Home Department Minister Geoff Mahy suggested ‘miles per fatality’, but accepted that this could create a lot of paperwork for police.
Geoff Mahy suggested ‘miles per fatality’, but accepted that this could create a lot of paperwork for police.
“In the end,” said Deputy Sirrett, “Miles per fortnight seemed the most workable option. So we spent the next few minutes scribbling on the back of an envelope, trying to make the whole thing, you know, practical.”
And so from June, motorists will be permitted to travel as fast as they like, provided they do not exceed the biweekly mileage quota. ”Having to average 1.4 miles a day is surely a small price to pay if you’re allowed to do a ton forty down a Ruette Tranquille,” argues Deputy Sirrett.
Early indications suggest that the new measures will make Islanders hate their cars, and therefore provide a boost to local shoe-leather businesses. “In addition,” says Deputy Sirrett, “harmful CO2 emissions will also be cut – like anyone gives a fuck.
“Basically, the new law puts an end to unnecessary journeys, and therefore reduces petrol consumption,” he continued. “And the best thing is, it will only cost £500m to fit every vehicle with a fuel tank the size of a thimble.”
Guernsey Futu asked the Minister why his Department could not simply correct the typo, saving a huge amount of time and money in the process. He looked blank.
“Did I mention it was a bold measure?”