The number plate...
was on the front?
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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They searched the national registration database and liaised with BMW to reveal that only 3 of these BMWs were registered in Bedfordshire. The search was then narrowed down to Coffey when his leathers were found to match those on the pictures but also, his additional headlights gave police extra clues to go on.
What an idiot! This guy not only feels smug that he can evade detection but has to literally stick two fingers up at the law at the same time. no wonder the police made a bit more of an effort to track him down and nail the fool. Anyway, anyone wanting to see an image of said offence can go to http://www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk/news?articleid=2884995
... as any flavour of the DPA includes getouts for "law enforcement".
And I'm not one of the "if it saves one child brigade, but I'm sure there'd be an outcry if this character had killed someone, been flashed going past a GATSO, and the police shrugged their shoulders and said "can't do anything - DPA".
The last thing we need is another excuse for the police to do s*d all.
Did BMW freely give the Police the data? If so, aren't they in breach of the Data Protection Act? The Police are not allowed to give anybody/organisation somebody's details without a court order - are BMW exempt?
I'm not saying that the guy shouldn't be punished - I'm just questioning wether a company (which probably has a lot of personal details relating to it's customers) should be releasing personal information so readily.
On top of the fact that we have one less moron driving buses, we also get to understand how the police work and processes they'll use when they get that order form the government to activate a totalitarian society.
There is huge a list of things we will be able to do once they become totally reliant on technology to undermine it with relative ease.
And yet again everyone talks as if they're saints that
never go above 70mph.
I'd bet not one of the commenters here hasn't
been up over 100mph.
Which if driven sensibly can be perfectly safe.
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.
On a side note, the v's shouldn't be offensive to anyone British.
They only needed to ask BMW what that model was, then look in the DVLA records for any registered users of that model in the surrounding areas, and then pay each a visit, or, even easier, simply observe them in situ on the road, take plenty of pics, compare the leathers to the ones in the photos and Bob's their uncle.
It nice to see BMW join the list of corporations selling out its customers to the government.
It is more proof Mr. Gibson was at least 30 years ahead of his time.
I hope future bikers take BMW's behavior into account when they make their next motorcycle purchase and they flip the V at BMW.
Instead of speeding in front of the cameras, he could have been doing what all the terrorists are doing - drive sedately past the camera, then, once out of view, stop the bike, take the explosive device out of the saddlebags, walk back to the camera (keeping *behind* the lens at all times, of course, and making sure there are no visible mirrors), affix the explosives to the camera and either set the timer, or slip the photosensor up in front of the flashgun, so that the camera is then permanently removed from service at a pre-determined time, or when the next poor stupid sod exceeds the limit.
It's at least the sort of misbehavior that's likely to be more popular with the general public than treating PC Plod like a Norman bastard.
Look, the police already know who owns what bike and where, what they don't know is how to tell one model from the next. I would say BMW almost certainly helped in just identifying the exact model of bike in question, thus allowing Mr Plod to trawl through his nice little registration database.
So, to not get caught, make sure you only do this sort of thing far from home....
(But anyway, why is the fact he has a helmet relevant in any way at all? Having a pic of a driver's face is only helpful when the owner of a known vehicle says it wasn't them driving - as far as I know, there is not yet a national database of every citizen's face nor the tools to make searching it remotely feasible.)
"just questioning wether a company should be releasing personal information so readily."
The company probably weighed up the relative repercussions between, on the one hand, the risks incurred by releasing personal information and, on the other, the risk incurred by increasing their reputation as a company that sells expensive toys to wankers.
People talk about speed limits in the UK and say if we raise them there would be more accidents. The reality is people are driving over them on a daily basis and motorways are our safest roads statistically.
However you have the rogue few who drive like maniacs regardless of road conditions. Owners of powerful motorbikes are the worst, always overtaking due to their sheer impatience and lust for excitement.
The most accidents on bikes occur 125cc and under, then 250cc and over. It's the scooters and powerful bike owners who ruin the reputation of bikers.
Hello?? Anyone else find it more than a bit creepy that all that needs to happen for data protection laws is for Police to get pissed off?
Speeding is one of those things that's not even a proper law. Who was harmed by this offense? No one. No victim, no crime.
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?
Because of what? Protecting society from a 45 year old bus driver on a BMW. Wow, thanks I feel a lot safer now. How about catching some real criminals you idiots?
Shame on BMW for helping with that. Guess they do sell a lot of bikes to Police...
Don't get me wrong, I am fairly passionately against the steady slide towards totalitarian restrictions that are progressively being placed upon us in the name of 'protecting our freedoms' but speeding is one thing I really cannot care about. Yes I speed, I know the rules, and if I get caught (not in the last 17 years) then I accept my punishment with poor grace. But it's my punishment for being stupid, and committing a crime, and being caught. Speeding isn't some sort of Robin Hood offence, neither is it a cry for freedom, it is simply choosing to disobey the law for my own personal benefit. Absolutely regardless of whether the camera is on a straight road, a corner, hidden in a puddle, or tracking me from orbit. Every time I speed I make a personal judgement as to whether I am likely to get away with it, and because I don't particularly push the boat out, I generally have.
The man was a twat. Everyone who has ever attacked a speed camera is a twat. Everyone who has ever two fingered a camera is a twat. If you are unhappy with the cameras vote against them Campaign against them. We do not *yet* live in a world where direct action is justified, and moaning about speed cameras on here and in the pub is not going to stop the surveillance society - it is simply allowing us proles to get incensed about something irrelevant whilst the real freedoms are destroyed.
It's easy to track down someone in a rare vehicle. I have done it, and I am not a policeman, nor am I an employee of any agency of the government. Or anything else interesting for that matter.
BMW identified the model, Inspector Knacker knocked on a few appropriate doors, and asked to see the rider's leathers. Not exactly brain science, and not even close to a DPA information request.
When it's a bike you could do it by going to a bikers pub and asking around. Probably not whilst dressed as a police officer admittedly. And possibly not when it's a beamer. Perhaps a wine bar instead.
. . . think Darwin Theory.
I, personally, use the Basic Speed Law: go as fast as the weather and traffic allows. 50-120 mph, whatever. Then let evolution take a swipe at ya.
so far so good. I wonder if any police in the state of WAh read this? hmmmmm
This guy is probably just fed-up like the rest of us as the new UK pocket animal attacks our wallets as we make the smallest of mistakes. I was worried for ages waiting for the bill to drop through the letter box after travelling the 400 miles to Cornwall in the car.. Thinking I had been captured by a speed camera within very long road works (within the speed limit too.) I speeded up after seeing a de-restriction sign only to be presented with a further average speed camera a few hundred yards down the road. I sh@t myself! Thinking.. 'Oh No' They've got me! I wasn't sure where I stood after that or what to expect :(
To save the post mental stress next time I may use the TT bike ;)
To Mr ChriZ, yes there are indeed people who haver never been over 100mph. Never been over 90 mph either actually. Yes I've been over 70 ... when its safe to do so, but there is a difference between 100+ and in control and over 70 and in control. That applies even more so on a motorbike. Do we really have to analyse the effect of a gust of wind on someone at 70 and someone at 100 on a 2 wheeled vehicle?
"Amazing he got up to 105mph really, being an *old man* on a beemer"
He was 45!That's not old! We all know the BMW association with pipe, cardigan and slippers, and so maybe in terms of 'functional age' it gives him an extra couple of years, but come on!
50-y-o VFR750 rider (but very safe)
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.
On a motorway, it's bad enough. But judging by the picture, he was doing 105mph near a junction on a normal road. And he's not done it once - he's done it over and over again.
Of course it's dangerous. And I for one am delighted the police went the extra mile to nail him.
. . . shame he had a licence really as well, because round here stolen / speeding / no licence / no insurance would get the guy about £80 fine and 9 points (on the lic he doesn't have of course)
I'm not saying that the 'system' is designed to get money out of those who can afford to pay rather than those who commit crimes of course
I am a biker with 12 years riding experience. I currently ride a suzuki gsxr k7 1000. I think you will find it would take a lot more than a "gust" of wind to knock a rider of at 100 mph, let alone 70. The braking distance of a bike is a lot less than a car in respect to control and obviously a lot quicker at acceleration. I have been involved in 2 motorbike accidents and both of them involved car drivers that were not observing the road and they're surroundings. One involving a lady driver that was more worried about her makeup than looking in front of her car to realize that i had stopped at a junction and the other involving a van pulling out in front of me. I think any speed, even up to 170mph can be safe if applied in the right conditions, i.e time of day, weather, level of traffic and the type of road your on.. I have also given the birdy to speed cameras but only as bravado and was traveling underneath the required speed limit.
"Do we really have to analyse the effect of a gust of wind on someone at 70 and someone at 100 on a 2 wheeled vehicle?"
Excuse me? Have you ever ridden a motorbike of any kind, let a lone the 1100cc machine this guy is on? A gust of wind does not send you hurtling out of control! Geesh I have ridden in gail force winds on bikes with and without fairing. Guess what? I was in control of the bike.
Bikers over take because it is easier and safer than in car, we are not all idiots just because we pass a bunch of cars. There are maniac bikers just the same as maniac school bus drivers/car drivers/taxi drivers/lorry drivers, however there are far less distractions on a motorbike, no fiddling with the radio or being distracted by the the screaming kids and wife, no eating/smoking/drinking as we ride along, an experienced rider can ride fast and safe withing the conditions of the road. It's not like this guy was reading the paper at 105mph unlike some car drivers I have seen on the motorways
"The most accidents on bikes occur 125cc and under, then 250cc and over. It's the scooters and powerful bike owners who ruin the reputation of bikers."
Those statistics make no sense what so ever, name your source.
If the guy was traveling in a 30/40 zone at that speed then he was an idiot, my guess is he is on a daul carriage way or faily major A road in what looks to be quite clear conditions from what I can see in the phote. I am also betting that if he hadn't given the V's the cops wouldn't have bothered, they went after him because he gave the two fingered solute not because of his speed.
That's my two pence worth
I used to own a rather battered and beaten Rover 214 (Rust coloured with a hint of paint).
For me the national speed limit was a wild and unobtainable dream. Anything over 40mph and things started to drop off. The only time it got close to 70mph was when it was on the back of the AA recovery truck.
I think the new biometric passport system already holds info on our photos?
At least, if you go to renew your license on the DVLA website they say you can enter your passport number and a new license will be despatched to you...
For the comments on speeding, 70mph is the limit. If you are caught over that limit then dont be surprised if you get fined. End of.
For the DPA stuff, BMW has all the rights to say what has been sold/not sold in an area as long as they dont say who it is sold to... So, if they sold three bikes in one place then all the Police needed to do is trace those three bikes...
"there is a difference between 100+ and in control and over 70 and in control. That applies even more so on a motorbike. Do we really have to analyse the effect of a gust of wind on someone at 70 and someone at 100 on a 2 wheeled vehicle?"
erhm... Obviously this reader has never ridden a bike - which is a pity because it would mean that one wouldn't have to give such misinformed comments. At least referring back to your time in phyiscs class when you were talking about rotational inertia and such; The faster you go, the more stable the motorbike is. Therefore the forces to push you off direction need to be greater.
Ergo; The faster you go, the less likely you are to have your direction changed by the wind...
*sigh* I wish people who have an opinion about issues like this would actually have _some_ sort of knowledge about it. And judges and _all_ police officers should have to ride a bike to and from work for at least two years before they should be allowed to even have an opinion about bikes...
And to top it off: Speed has _never_ killed anyone (sadly the sudden lack of speed does a lot of harm).
It's nice to know that we can sleep safely in our beds tonight now that matey won't be on the road for a year. I just wonder if his motorbike had been stolen or vandalised would the police spent so long on the case? Doubt it. Many thanks to BMW for being so public spirited, I'm sure BMW owners will appreciate their contribution.
It's not speed that's the issue, it's distance.
And if you see the cameras in time or just generally check your speed, drive carefully and stay within the law you'll still end up with some pig-ignorant car driver, police officer or not, right up your arse and perhaps even staring at their speedo too.
So all you boys in blue who think it's clever to measure speed by following so closely beware....
I'm going to be fitting a camera to my vehicles soon - I've called it the insurance spy but actually the information may be used to prosecute idiots...
You have been warned.
I've had a bike for 3 years and it's been my only form of transport. I can tell you that *no* biker will travel in situations that they do not feel safe. Yes, this bloke was speeding and breaking the law. And a V sign probably wasn't particularly smart. But this does not mean that he was driving unsafely.
If it's blowing a gale or tipping it down, we slow down, just like anyone else. If it's fine, then we can go faster, as bikes are more agile and controllable than a car. But every biker will match their speed to the conditions, cos if we screw up, we're DEAD. We don't have the comfort of the cage that make car drivers feel invincible.
It's actually easier, and therefore safer, to travel at appropriate speeds for the conditions than it is sticking to the speed limit. This is because we can concentrate on the road and what others are doing, rather than constantly watching the speedo.
There was a recent analysis (look it up on MCN if you want), that stated that speed was the major factor in an accident in only 5% of cases. The vast majority were caused by poor observation and error on the part of the non-biker.
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."
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...
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.
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.
* 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
"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."
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...
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??
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).
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.
Nobody thought to mention the Safe Speed website? safespeed.org.uk?
Or the Scrap Speed Cameras petition?
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.
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.
"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."
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...
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?