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2/16/2006
UK: Man Fined $50 for Honking at Speed Camera
Seven Dorset, UK police officers personally ticket a man who honked at their speed camera operation.

Nick Lenthall
Seven Dorset, UK police officers pulled over workman Nick Lenthall, 47, to serve him with a £30 (US $52) ticket for the crime of honking at their mobile speed camera operation. Lenthall had sounded his horn and raised his thumb as he passed their ticketing operation near Bournemouth. The officers -- a sergeant, two constables, and four trainees -- all piled in a van to hunt him down.

"It was a very light-hearted thing, I was just having a laugh," Lenthall told the Sun newspaper. "And I wasn't speeding. But I was stunned when they pulled me over and started telling me off. It's a waste of resources."

The "unnecessary use of audible warning equipment" citation was issued just days after the Dorset police warned retailers that they did not have the manpower to respond to minor shoplifting crimes.

"I respectfully request that prior to calling the police, consideration be given as to whether the matter could be dealt with within the store," Constable Gordon Wallis wrote in a letter to shopkeepers. "I would like to recommend that the police are not called in the case of goods below a value of £75 [US $130]."

Road safety advocate Paul Smith suggests this focus is entirely wrong, saying: "It's extraordinary that police find it reasonable to get an easy target who is a law abiding citizen."

Source: Fined 30 for tooting horn (The Sun (UK), 2/16/2006)

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