British Man Gets 8 Months in Jail For Using Laser Jammer, Flicking Off Speed Camera
Who said the British aren't funny?
Further ammo for those who say they just don't get British humor: a man in England has been sentenced to eight months in jail and handed a year-long driving ban after that for the crime of fitting his Land Rover Range Rover with a laser jammer and flicking off a speed camera. Gee, that's not funny at all.
We may gripe about the use of automated ticketing in various municipalities here in America, but it's nothing compared to the level of driver surveillance across the pond in Britain, where thousands of cameras blanket the roads. And it appears that 67-year-old Timothy Hill had just about enough of it.
According to North Yorkshire Police, Hill bought a laser jammer for his luxury SUV and proceeded to drive past mobile speed camera vans on the A19 highway with his middle finger proudly raised on three separate occasions late last year. Video from the first drive-by shows him staring straight into the lens, confident in the course of his own private revolution.
Unfortunately, mobile speed camera vans can detect when an illegal jammer is being used, and police soon tracked him down. Hill initially tried to cover up his tracks by tossing the device in a river behind his house, but eventually admitted to breaking the law. Because the jammer did its job and the camera couldn't get a reading on his speed, officials charged him with "perverting the course of justice."
"If you want to attract our attention, repeatedly gesturing at police camera vans with your middle finger while you’re driving a distinctive car fitted with a laser jammer is an excellent way to do it," Traffic Constable Andrew Forth, who led the investigation, said in a release. "It’s also an excellent way to end up in prison. As Hill’s case shows, perverting the course of justice is a very serious charge which carries a custodial sentence."
Whether or not speed cameras actually play a role in the "course of justice" is debatable—studies have found that their presence doesn't make a given stretch of road any safer (and that's when they're actually operational), and several cities in America have actually removed their systems over accuracy and effectiveness concerns.
But the judge apparently agreed with police, telling Hill that his actions “strike at the heart” of Britain's justice system at the sentencing and adding that he hoped the eight months in jail would serve as a deterrent to others. Well, it's deterring us from something, that's for sure.