According to British reports, a man in England has been charged for ‘headlight flashing’ oncoming motorists to warn them of an upcoming police speed detection radar. The man was charged £175 for flashing his headlights seven times and £265 in court costs (around $691 all up).
The actual offence was recorded as ‘willfully obstructing a police officer’. In court, the man accused of the offence, Michael Thompson, pleaded that he was simply warning motorists of the speed detection vehicle ahead so motorists wouldn’t suddenly hit the brakes, causing an accident.
In court, the police officer revealed he had warned Thompson at the time of the offence that he was ‘perverting the course of justice’. Thompson replied with, “I don’t believe that is the case”. The police officer then said he was only going to give him a caution but after that reply, he said he was going to fine him.
A representative responded to justify whether the right action was taken, and whether the fine was necessary, saying,
“When a file is provided to the Crown Prosecution Service from the police, it is our duty to decide whether it presents a realistic prospect of conviction and whether a prosecution is in the public interest. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors a prosecution was deemed appropriate.”
We’re not sure if ‘in the public interest’ was perhaps the best phrase. Either way, the man was found guilty and fined.
What do you think though, is it right or wrong to be fined for warning motorists of upcoming speed detection, and, should it be an enforceable offence?
In Australia, there are various laws and infringements against this offence depending on the state or territory. In Queensland, for example, it’s $30 fine and one demerit point if convicted on the spot. If the matter is taken to court however, and the accused is found guilty, it’s a $1500 fine.