Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Are You a Flasher? Be Warned
It wasn't my intention to post about this, but having watched a video I'm incensed.
I've done it - too many times to count. Most drivers do it on a regular basis. I'm not speaking about washing our cars but flashing our headlights to warn oncoming drivers of a hazard ahead. As well as warning them of speed cameras, I've flashed my lights because of an accident ahead, black ice, road flooding and obstacles in the road - to name but a few reasons. It's not illegal to do so, but I did read some time ago that 'flashing' wasn't a 'code' but a friendly warning of problems ahead.
If someone flashes their lights to me I usually slow down and become more aware of my surroundings and also check out my own car at the earliest opportunity if nothing was visible on the road within a few miles.
Have you behaved in what I consider a courtesy to fellow drivers? Very possibly.
The photograph is of Michael Thompson. He flashed his lights to warn fellow motorists to obey the speed limit because there was a speed camera ahead. The policewoman who stopped him said he was to be charged. He now has a criminal record and his case has occupied the courts for the best part of a day - when courts are bulging at the seams we're told and staff can't cope with the amount of cases.
Mr Thompson states on the video in the above link that the police didn't tell the truth in court and he firmly believes he didn't break the law.
Other than our police taking up court days with non-illegal actions which are then translated into illegal actions, the disturbing aspect of this case is Mr Thompson says the police didn't tell the truth in court.
I would hope he will contest his guilty verdict with the help of some kind lawyer who sees justice should be done in this case but if not, I do hope he applies to pay it off his fine and court fees at 50p or £1 a month which is the 'going rate' for those who contribute nothing towards the expenses of the UK.
Be warned. If this happens to you because you're exercising your 'civil duty' then you could be well out of pocket plus a criminal to boot.
This isn't justice. Spending nearly a day in court at public expense, prosecuting an action which isn't currently illegal but will now be regarded as such without any Act being passed, should concern all of us. Michael Thompson was doing the job of the traffic police insofar as he was ensuring traffic would slow down for a hazard.
PS If the video on the BBC website isn't there, it has been removed by them. My link is a cache which I hope works, but when I returned to the site whilst writing this, the video was missing.