Friday, March 03, 2006


Simon Thompson was driving home from work, below the speed limit, when he saw a speed camera set up on the side of the road. He hates the things, like most Brits, so he extended his middle finger to the camera.

Half an hour later, two cops showed up at his front door and handed over a fine for more $US110.
The two cops had been operating the speed camera and they claim Simon was giving the finger to them.

Sticking your finger up at the Ol' Bill is classed as 'making an offensive gesture' under the Public Order Act.

"I wasn't giving the officers the finger, I was aiming my anger at the camera," Simon told the UK's Sun newspaper.

"I've got as much contempt for speed cameras as everyone else. I'm a careful driver. My licence has been clean for ten years."
More than two million fines were issued in 2003-2004 to drivers caught speeding by cameras.

In some areas of England and Wales, two fines within six months can lose you your license.

In the past year alone, UK police have reported dozens of incidents of cameras being disabled by spray paint, hoods and people ripping them from the ground with ropes hooked up to trucks and vans.

And then there's the funny excuses for speeding (compiled by Welsh road safety group)

"My budgie was ill and I was rushing it to the vet."
"I was desperate for the loo and had to speed to the nearest public toilet."
"An ice-scraper fell out of a compartment in the door and jammed under the pedal."
"I picked up a hitchhiker who commented that they liked my car so I let 'this person' drive the vehicle. I don't have their name or address."
"I was in a hire car and the speedometer was in a different position - I was actually looking at the rev counter by mistake."
"As I entered onto the motorway, my car was dragged along in the slip-stream of a truck. My brakes aren't very good, so I had to keep pace with it."

And then there's the 'computer' errors :


A farmer from England's Midlands region was fined for tractor speeding in Wales, but he's never been to Wales, and his tractor's top speed on flat roads is only 20mph.

"It's a good tractor, but not that good," the farmer told the BBC.

"It can just about get up to 26mph, but that's downhill, with a following wind and with no trailer on the back."

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