back to article BMW helps nail 105mph V-sign biker

A 45-year-old biker who thought it was a bright idea to give speed cameras the two-finger treatment while travelling at up to 105mph, on the grounds that his visor was obscuring his face and he had no registration plate on the front of his BMW, has been banned for a year, The Telegraph reports. Bus driver Philip Coffey appeared …

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Anonymous Coward

Safe?

Mr ChriZ, living in the fantasy world of all "safe speed" campaigners, writes: "The speed cameras probably on a perfectly straight bit of road, and he probably wasn't near anyone when he hit 105. Theres far more dangerous drivers round here that don't even get above 30."

Hmm.

Thanks to the wonders of the Interweb, we can all judge for ourselves. Look at the article at http://www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk/news?articleid=2884995 . So we know it was on the A505 Leighton bypass, and there's a fair chunk of road visible in the picture. A speed camera map gives us three possible places on the bypass. Off to Google Maps we go, to narrow it down to the only spot that has hatched lines like the ones shown in the snapshot: http://tinyurl.com/ywge8l .

Now zoom out a bit on that view.

Yep, that's right, he was doing 105 mph APPROACHING A JUNCTION where vehicles would be crossing the carriageway directly in front of him!

But of course he can handle that, he's a safe and responsible rider, you can tell that from the way he behaves...

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Re: Biker's view

I live 2 miles away from this very camera. They [there's actually two in quick succession) are on a very straight, wide bit of the A505, but right where minor country lanes cross. Visibility pulling out of these side roads isn't up to much, but you can see far enough that someone doing 50 is far enough away for you to either pull out and get out of their way, or stop. A pillock doing more than twice that will end up in the side of my car while some egit chants "now you see him, NOW you see him" like it's my fault.

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Speeding!

We have the lowest motorway speed limits in the EU. Wanna know why? Because we have the lowest level of driver competence in the EU. UK drivers are not as aggressive as Romans or Parisians but the competence level of many drivers here is very low (not as low as what I saw in the USA but then they have even lower speed limits), so it seems that speed limits are directly proportional to the competence level of the people driving those roads.

Stupid drivers = low speed limits?

OR (I do love a bit of controversy)

Low speed limits = stupid drivers?

Does that fact that France has faster speed limits lead to people driving with more care and attention. How else can you explain why the French drivers pull back into the driving lane leaving the overtaking lane for overtakers yet in the UK that lane inevitably has 4 times more vehicles per mile than any of the other lanes.

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Points:

* to the poster who claims the V sign should not be offensive to Brits:

In both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, a V made with palm facing the recipient is seen as a peace sign, as well as a victory sign in the UK. Knuckles facing the user (hand turned the other way) doing it is the sign for piss off!

* to the poster suggesting damaging the camera:

Aside form the fact that this is still criminal damage, it'll only encourage a move to the japanese system, where the camera is activated by certain sound or motions, it records high framerate video for a few seconds, and transmits back over the network, so the camera is just a ocnduit, and the data is safely backed up back at the SAN in police HQ.

* Mosty importantly anyone who's posted that it was his right to speed/it's darwinian/etc

Unbelievable. Speed limits are a rule, not a target. People who drive like this guy (topping a hundred with one hand off the bars???) are not SAFE drivers, they just think they are, and ultimately if he tops himself and noone else, I don't care, good for society. But if this f***ing tool tops or even injures other innocent road users... Can you not see at all why the police were absolutely right to protect the populace by chasing this ignorant fool down?

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Speeding not dangerous any more - Official

Swintons Insurance have announced this week that they will not increasing premiums for drivers with points for speeding. This is in recognition of the fact that so many drivers now have points that they effectively deem points as an occupational hazard of driving (my paraphrasing, not theirs!) and are no longer a valid indication that someone is a bad driver.

As far as I know (which might not be that much) no government research has ever differentiated between speed (or speeding) as the cause of an accident or just a factor. It would obviously serve their purpose to lump all together ( and I suspect that they do) in order to make the problem look worse than it is, in order to justify the creation and subsequent expansion of the camera programme. We all realise that cameras don't catch drunk/ tired/illegal or plain inept drivers, yet we all see the accidents and near misses on the road from these people.

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Anonymous Coward

donations gladly received

Politicians want to be politicians and it's just the same for the police - law makers and breakers alike.

Clearly the problem is that we in the UK have plenty of millionaires but we don't have enough private roads.

So lets persuade BG et al. to donate a couple of Private Autobahns to the uk countryside - get him to buy some small roads with good camber and surface, lots of curves - make them into one-way streets and offer subscriptions to cover the emergency services.

Any takers?

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He pleaded guilty to the speeding charges...

Had he not pleaded guilty to the speeding charges, I don't see how they could have convicted him. The evidence is purely circumstantial. He must have voluntarily shown the police his leathers & crash helmet, otherwise they would have needed a search warrant which I doubt they would have got for a traffic infringement.

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Anonymous Coward

Not fast enough?

Surely he was going too slow for the camera?

I would have thought the idea would be to speed past the onfacing camera at a rate quick enough to ensure the camera flashes once he's actually gone past?

It very easy to do on a bike or in a car, if you're the type of person who thinks wasting all the gatso film in his local 'revenue generator' is his sworn public duty.

Riding slow enough to get caught doing the V's is the act of a plonker, pure and simple.

Although I'd like to see the camera that caught him at "up to" 105mph; for setting off a onfacing camera behind you, you only needs about 90mph at the most (I've heard. *ahem*) - Is this a new type of super-responsive camera?

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Anonymous Coward

Gust of Wind

Maybe for those of you bikers in denial about speed, and the fact that are all so "in control" and its ok for you to go way over the speed limit, maybe a gust of wind wouldnt be enough for you machos, but perhaps a pot holes, or any number of other minor inconveniences.

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Anonymous Coward

People always pull out on you

"If someone pulls out in front of you at 70, when you are doing 105, it's the same as if someone steps into the road in front of you when you're doing 35. You haven't got a chance of evading them."

Cobblers.

If that were true, I'd have had *many* high-speed accidents (some of them within the speed limit); the average level of observation of UK road users is abysmal.

The reason I have survived is because I use the Roadcraft system - the same system taught to police riders. It's not that difficult. It just needs you to read one little book & practice it a bit.

If you believe that an accident is unavoidable, you have already failed to take responsibility for your actions - and that means that, in time, you will be correct...

"Always make sure you can stop on your own side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear". It's not always easy to stick to, but if you do, you can only have an accident by trying to...

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Orwell was right - so what are folks in the UK able to do about it?

BMW's conduct in this matter is reprehensible - they have bowed to the wishes of a totalitarian dictatorship.

Britons seem helpless to me -

1. You can't own guns to fight a totalitarian government (or to at least make the power grab quite a bit more costly)

2. You're about to have a National ID card (Black leather coated man says "Show me your papers!" and you do - or go to jail as a suspected terrorist)

3. Nearly everything you do - including driving - is on camera so a man's civil liberties are violated because of a corporate kowtow to the State.

Seriously, how do you all stand it and is anyone there fighting it??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Police Out of Control

Per Godwin's law, this thread ended: Thursday 17th May 2007 22:45 GMT

"Yet the cops get to cross reference databases in best Nazi tradition just to find this guy? Spending God knows how much money and time on this?"

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Re: Venting frustration

Was that the M5 per chance, just past Exeter, just before the easter holidays?

I drive down that stretch of road practically every day, and I was worried about the same thing. They were taking the speed limit signs down but still leaving the cameras up.

With regards to this biker, I don't like speed cameras but doing what he was doing was surely asking for trouble as the police seem to spend more time catching motorists than the real criminals (like the b******s that vandalised my car on two occasions, which STILL 6 months on hasn't been sorted out).

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, 105mph *can* be safe

Looks like this guy deserved what he got, but I couldn't let this pass:

"If someone pulls out in front of you at 70, when you are doing 105, it's the same as if someone steps into the road in front of you when you're doing 35. You haven't got a chance of evading them."

The "safe" speed depends on *all* conditions, including the condition of the vehicle, the road, visibility and the presence or absence of other traffic etc. That's the whole point. Speed cameras make driving *more dangerous* period because the driver has to keep looking away from the road to check the correspondence of speedo against an arbitrary number which usually has nothing at all to do with the "safe" speed at any given moment. It allows people who couldn't care less how safely they really drive to claim to be saints because they adhere to these random speeds. Road deaths were falling before cameras were introduced. Now they aren't. If you want people to drive safely, put *video* cameras at junctions and black spots, and prosecute the ass off the people who actually cause accidents or drive dangerously.

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Anonymous Coward

Safe Speed

Nobody thought to mention the Safe Speed website? safespeed.org.uk?

Or the Scrap Speed Cameras petition?

Oh well.

Also, I agree with CHANGING cameras from speed detection to CCTV, and catch the w*nkers that jump red lights, cut people up, and also drive TOO SLOW on a motorway. I have had a few near-misses because of people doing less than 40mph on the motorway, yet no camera currently exists to prosecute THAT dangerous human.

I'm all for Safe Speed and driving sensibly, if and when the road/traffic/surrounding conditions allow to exceed the stated speed limit then I usually do so.

Oh, and I slow down for cameras.

Take the warning labels off everything and let society's stupidity problem solve itself.

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Speedo watching

Hola,

My two pennies worth

I take issue with people saying speed camara's are dangerous because it encourages people to stare at the speedo, and not the road, whilst this is true in most cases, it shouldn't be an excuse, with or without a camara you should be able to feel your speed with only having to glance down every now and again to make corrections of about +/- 5mph, if you stick to the limits.

I prefer the SPEC camara's that measure the average distance as most numb nuts don't heavy break they just crawl through on average at 10mph below the limit, this is only a minor iritation if on a single carridgeway, I am seriously considering a PA system for the car, so i can tell the pratt infront that the speed limit is 40 not 30, and other useful pieces of information, like turn your bloody rear fogs off, i'm not flashing you for a laugh your blinding me!!

The police should sit by the fixed camaras and pull anybody who breaks sharply before a camara for dangerous driving, i'm not talking about soft breaking to scrub off 5-10mph 10ft before the camara, i'm talking about those who break so hard that they grind thier front bumber 10ft down the road scrubing 40 mph, for christ sakes these camaras are pretty much all now in floresent colours, with signs 1km in each direction advising of the possibility of a camara, if you can't see it, you are a danger to us all.

The saftey team, sneaky bar-stewards, but i know thier out there somewhere, and touch wood i've spotted them well in advance that i have yet to be caught, Speed all you like just make sure your watching the whole road and mirrors whilst doing it.

Camaras are not dangerous it is unobservent drivers that are the danger.

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Dom

The French drive better than the Brits???

Big_Boomer said:

"Does that fact that France has faster speed limits lead to people driving with more care and attention. How else can you explain why the French drivers pull back into the driving lane leaving the overtaking lane for overtakers yet in the UK that lane inevitably has 4 times more vehicles per mile than any of the other lanes."

Err...

Are we talking about the same France here? The chunk of land across the Channel?

Because I live here, and often find myself having to pull out to the third lane (when there is one!) to overtake some grenouille @ 110 kph in the middle, with nothing in sight in the driving lane.

And when they *do* pull in, don't bother looking for an indicator - that seems to be an optional extra...

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Anonymous Coward

Scare Tactics

What I want to know is, did any of that constitute as proof, or was it just scare-tactic gustapo crap? They knew that only one guy in hertfordshire with those leathers owned that bike, but does that proof that it was his bike?

I mean, yes that's the most likely possibility, but it is also possible that someone from out of town commuted that way every day, or went there to just for that camera. He admitted to it, so it was him, but if he had denied it, would any of this stood up in court?

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