It can happen to the most careful and law-abiding among us.
A momentary lapse of concentration, a little too much pressure from the right foot and, before you know where you are, there’s an exceedingly bright flash or (far worse) a rotating blue light in your rear view mirror indicating that a burly traffic officer intends to have a few words.
Mind you, anyone who heard young Lewis Hamilton on Top Gear rhapsodizing about modding his Merc with 24in alloys may not be in the least bit surprised.
The facts of the case: Mr Hamilton has reportedly been pulled over by a traffic officer in France armed with a radar gun.
He was spotted doing 196 kilometres per hour in a Mercedes Benz CLK by police on a motorway near the northern town of Laon, between Calais and Reims.
For those who still think in old money, that’s something in excess of 120 miles per hour. To put this in context, the general speed limit on a French motorway is 130kph (around 80 mph) – and it lowers in bad weather.
The offence took place at a notorious speeding blackspot on which foreign drivers are often caught out.
His car was temporarily impounded, he has been banned from driving in France for a month and told to pay a 600-euro (£430) fine. He will have to appear at a court hearing in January.
A police spokesman said that Hamilton had been very polite and co-operative, and had admitted the offence immediately.
Good job, really, because anyone going at more than 25kph over the speed limit in France is at risk of having their licence confiscated on the spot.
McLaren said it had been made aware of the incident.
Reports do not confirm whether or not the Mercedes in question had been fitted with 24in alloys.
Looking on the bright side, at least this can’t make that much difference to his insurance premiums…