I have always been a law abiding citizen but the presence of In Car Cameras in my vehicle has certainly helped to remind me to stay on the straight and narrow in regard to my driving. Unfortunately even the most well intentioned of us can make the occasional mistake.
Since I have had a GPS dash camera in my car (and sometimes several) I have been very mindful of my speed and how I drive. You think to yourself that if you do get pulled over, at least you can prove you were not speeding, unless of course you were.
On Tuesday I picked up some people from the airport and was heading down the M1 to take them home to the Gold Coast. I hadn’t seen them for a few weeks and we were deep in conversation, traffic was light and flowing freely. I was cruising at 110 kph which is the speed limit in that area, I was in a late model V8 car with magical handling capabilities on a straight 4 lane highway.
I had 3 Car DVR’s on my windscreen, I always use one and I was testing the other two. Of the three dash cams, two were Full Hi Definition with GPS capability.
I should have been concentrating more but I will hold my hand up and admit that somehow my speed crept up around 120 kph, I was now officially breaking the law and I was about to suffer the consequences.
All of a sudden one of my passengers said “that’s you, your gone mate!”
There he was, a motorbike policeman, half hidden in the middle between the North and Southbound lanes, we had both seen him at the same time as he expertly put his Radar away and swung his leg over his bike with practised ease in preparation for the pursuit. I immediately looked down at my speedometer and it said 119 kph. He was soon on my tail with lights flashing.
As I pulled across two lanes to get to the side of the Motorway I really thought I would be ok. I knew I was just over the limit of 110 kph but I was within the 10% tolerance we have been used to in Queensland at 119 kph and I thought I could prove it.
The officer sauntered up to my car, he didn’t utter a sound, instead he glared at me like I had just committed the most heinous of crimes. He held up his speed camera backwards, at first I thought “he’s going to hit me with this thing” but I then realised the intent was to show me the screen. Here was a man of very few words.
I am generally not disrespectful of the law, for the most part I greatly admire the Police for the thankless job they do under the most trying of circumstances but I was confronted by a cop who acted like Judge Roy Bean (the hanging Judge), his actions have left me with no choice. It is impossible to respect someone who treats people with contempt and is himself, so disrespectful.
I looked at the screen on his radar and was SHOCKED to see “127”. My first reaction was to say “it wasn’t me”. I was certain that I was not driving that fast. I then said “your Radar must be wrong, I have two GPS dash cameras on my windscreen that will accurately show my speed”.
His first words were designed to make me feel stupid or maybe I am giving him too much credit, possibly he didn’t talk much because he has a limited vocabulary. His well rehearsed retort was a derisive “good for you” as he held out his hand for my licence before ambling back to his bike. It was then my passenger said “why does he need to act like Robocop?”
I knew I had a solid defence because my speedo has proved to be relatively accurate when I have compared it to the GPS video from my A8 GPS and my EHD69 GPS dash cams.
He came back to my car to virtually “throw” my ticket through the window and issue brief instructions that I was required to blow into his breathalyser.
I complied and then I said that I would fight the injustice of this because I was sure his radar was inaccurate.
At that point he opened up completely with his sunny disposition shining through his gruff exterior, I had found the key to his personality or lack thereof.
We were all surprised when he asked me two rapid fire questions. “How fast were you going?” I stupidly answered “119”. “What’s the speed limit here?” I stupidly answered “110”.
Robocop then said “see you again” as he triumphantly strolled back to his bike while neatly folding his well worn infringement notice book, my expletive laden reply was probably lost in the roar of cars and trucks rushing by at 110 kph.
It was obviously a tried and tested line of enquiry from the Clint Eastwood of motorbike cops to extract a confession from a mug lawbreaker so that the inaccuracy of his radar could not be contested. I found out later that they record everything we say.
At least the original Robocop gave wise counsel when a reporter asked him “Any special message for all the kids watching at home?
Robocops answer was – STAY OUT OF TROUBLE! Unfortunately my Robocop had nothing to offer, he had obviously watched the movie with the volume turned down.
Ok, I admit it, I was speeding, there, I said it! I got caught and a ticket was thrown at me but I didn’t drive drunk, I didn’t hold up a corner store at gunpoint, I wasn’t running drugs, I am not a bikie and I didn’t murder anyone so why was I treated with contempt by a cop who earns his living off the exorbitant taxes I pay?
When I got back to my office I reviewed videos from both GPS dash cameras, they showed identical results. I was travelling at 121 kph, not the 127 on his radar gun, a 5% discrepancy but of course I had no defence as I had admitted that I was travelling over the speed limit of 110 kph. My speedo was 2% out, his Radar gun was 5% out but I am certain that two different brands of Dash Cameras were right on the money.
I rang a speeding fine consultant who told me the Hand Held Radar guns are easily manipulated simply by waving them in the air, I believe he called it “the wave effect” and by doing this they can dramatically increase the reading on the camera. He also told me that the Police record everything you say.
The moral of the story is that first and foremost, don’t speed but if you do make that mistake, keep your mouth firmly SHUT and STAY OUT OF TROUBLE!