Jason Sayers, 47, was accused of putting lives at risk after parking his van in front of a mobile speed camera on Keir Hardie Way in Sunderland back in January. He was ordered to appear in court for obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty but, unsurprisingly, he failed to attend.
PC Pete Burke from Northumbria Police, said: “I find it astonishing that people would park in front of one of these vans when they are there to prevent someone from being killed or injured by a speeding driver…Consider how you would feel if one of your family or friends were killed or injured because of a speeding driver. Would you still think this behaviour was acceptable?”
After posting a photo of the van on Faceboook, Northumbria Police received criticism for fining the driver, the force responded by saying the action taken against Sayers wasn’t about making money.
New legislation has been introduced to prosecute those who stop speed camera operators from carrying out their work. Under the Police Reform Act the crime of obstructing a police officer now also applies to civilian speed cameras operators.
PC Burke hit out at people who praise the obstruction of speed cameras and their operators: “Images of this type of incident published on social media gain many likes from similar minded people and offenders are often praised for their actions…It is not big or clever and doesn’t merit the consequences.”
Lonely Driver Verdict – I understand the ‘us against them’ mentality that adds fuel to this kind of behaviour and I understand why some people might assume it’s just a money grabbing thing, but does it really matter what the motive was behind stopping this behaviour? If a speeding driver wasn’t caught and stopped because someone purposefully obstructed a speed camera and that speeding driver subsequently killed someone you loved, wouldn’t you be angry that police hadn’t moved the motorist obstructing the camera? Speeding kills. Thats a fact. Anyone who makes it hard to catch the idiots speeding and making our roads dangerous should, at the very least, be fined and I personally would impose on them the same penalty points that a speeding driver would receive.