2/1/2006UK: Man Fined $142 for Flipping Off Speed Camera
Essex, UK police ticket a non-speeding driver who flipped off a speed camera.
Essex, UK police on Sunday issued an £80 (US $142) ticket to Simon Thompson, 41, for the crime of raising his middle finger in the direction of a speed camera. At the time, Thompson was traveling at less than 30 MPH -- well within the road's speed limit. Two police officers arrived at Thompson's door just thirty minutes after the incident and charged him with violating the Public Order Act of 1984.
"This shows the police have got their priorities completely wrong," Thompson told The Sun newspaper. "A teacher gets attacked by thugs and by the time the police get there they've all scarpered. Yet they pursue me to my own front door for making a gesture at an inanimate object."
Essex Police defended their actions saying, "The man received the fine because he was seen to gesture several times to officers operating a mobile speed camera in an obscene and offensive way."
Earlier this month, the Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife, Scotland upheld a £90 fine and one-year driving ban against a man who made a defiant gesture toward a speed camera.