Man Beats Speeding Ticket After Pointing Out It Was For 50 mph Faster Than His Car Could Go

from the physics-101 dept

Red light cameras and speed cameras continue to stir up controversy as police and local governments increase their use. The general claim is that they're used to make roads safer, but scams like in Italy, where people have been accused of shortening yellow lights in order to catch more offenders, do little to quell the idea that revenue generation is the real goal. The good ol' radar gun is generally pretty widely accepted by people, even though on more than one occasion, they've proven fallible, too. The latest story comes out of England, where a guy has gotten out of a ticket for driving 173 miles per hour -- after pointing out that his unmodified car's top speed is 127. He admitted to driving 105 in a 50 mph zone, but wanted to avoid the jail time a conviction for driving at the higher speed would bring. In this case, rather than technology fouling up, it looks like human error: the guy was busted with a time-and-distance device, which measures the time it takes a car to travel between two points. Police officers have to press a button or take some other action when the car passes the points -- opening up tremendous scope for error, particularly at high speeds.

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  1. identicon
    DC, 26 Mar 2009 @ 2:48am

    Bowen88 said:
    "Yes, they do measure speed in mph, as distances for the motorway is given in miles. However, if you hike the trails the distances are in kilometres."

    All distances on UK signs are in miles.
    "Trails" are typically called footpaths in the UK; in the rare events they have distance information on signs, they use miles (though some may additionally have km scale for benefit of visitors from mainland Europe).
    All road signs use miles.

    All maps have km and mile scales - but just about everyone in the UK uses imperial NOT metric for discussing distance (only exceptions would be UK residents who recently migrated from a "metric country" and still in mindset of using metric - which I guess would be the same for immigrants to the US)

    Imperial is still in use in pubs (bars). Beer is sold in pints (or 1/2 pints) and we have an archaic measure called the gill, fractions of which are still used for some spirit sales in pubs.

    For those unaware the UK is one of the few places to drive on the left hand side of the road

    Dave - UK (Great Britain) resident.

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