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11/24/2006
UK: Cop Cleared of Speeding for Fast Food
A South Yorkshire, UK police officer is found not guilty of speeding for Chinese takeout food.

Stephen Akrill
A South Yorkshire, UK police officer has been cleared of speeding charges because he was on his way to pick up Chinese takeout food on his birthday. A speed camera on the A631 in Wickersley photographed Constable Stephen Akrill, 41, on February 13 in his police Land Rover driving a claimed 48 MPH in a 40 zone. Akrill was on his way to pick up fast food for himself and four other officers at the time.

Although Akrill ordered the food twenty minutes in advance, he told the Rotherham Magistrates' Court that he was on his way to an emergency. He was not using emergency lights, nor had he been ordered to any accident scene by dispatchers.

The case only came to light after motorist Paul Wood witnessed the high-speed takeout from the Wickersley Cantonese restaurant located about 100 yards from the camera. Wood filed a complaint.

District Judge John Foster said, "In my view the officer gave his evidence in almost disarming honesty." Foster found Akrill not guilty.

"It really has been a sweet and sour experience for me," Akrill told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"The real problem here is that the speed camera program is building enormous resentment by penalizing safe driving. Seeing the police 'get away with it' is just rubbing salt in the wound," said Safe Speed founder Paul Smith.


Source: PC who was picking up takeaway in his police car escapes speeding fine (London Daily Mail (UK), 11/24/2006)

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