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1/11/2006
UK Speed Camera Tickets Non-Speeding Protester
Annoyed by defiant gesture, speed camera issues ticket to non-speeding driver.

Churchill V-Sign
A UK court on Monday severely penalized a motorist for the crime of showing disrespect to a mobile speed camera van. The device had photographed Sean Toehill, 21, driving at 22 MPH in a 40 MPH zone on July 29, 2005 but police became enraged when they noticed he had given the camera a "V-sign."

At the time, the road was otherwise empty and police admitted there was no sign that Toehill's silver VW Polo was out of control or had ever drifted off-course. Officers nonetheless were dispatched to his home two days later to charge him with "dangerous driving."

The Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife, Scotland upheld the charge claiming even a momentary removal of hands from the wheel to make a gesture was dangerous (see full image). Sheriff George Evans suspended Toehill's right to drive for a year and imposed a £90 (US $160) fine. Toehill plans to appeal the ruling.

"I can't believe that speed cameras can be used in this way," Toehill, a North Sea oil worker, told the London Telegraph. "I thought they were to catch speeding drivers."

Source: V-sign driver is banned (London Telegraph (UK), 1/11/2006)

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