Should You Pull Over When Flashed By Police?

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Jun 17 2014
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What should you do when there’re police motorcycle-riders behind you flashing lights on you? Should you pull over to let them pass? That was what most ordinary people would do – pull over and let these officers with gun to pass. The last thing you want is a fine when the money can buy you many set of meals right? Wrong – don’t pull over, as what Daniel Wiggins found out.


As a supposedly good citizen, Daniel Wiggins pulled in to allow five police motorcycle-riders to pass as he drove his Peugeot van through south-west London earlier this year. However, he was left flabbergasted when he was given a ticket for a fine of more than £500 (US488, RM2,740) for driving in a bus lane. The painter and decorator couldn’t believe his lady luck for doing his public duty (*grin*).

UK Driver Fine Despite Giving Way - Before 5 Police RidersUK Driver Fine Despite Giving Way - After 5 Police Riders

Apparently, CCTV images sent to him showed his van only entered the restricted lane as the police bikes passed him on his right-hand side. Obviously the authorities deliberately select certain CCTV images that show his guilty part, not the actual story. The worst part – Daniel didn’t receive letter ordering him to pay the fine, which means his vehicle would be clamped.


Interestingly, Kingston council who initially told Daniel that it was too late to appeal, finally agreed to refund the fine after photos of the incident were exposed. Just when you thought UK is one of the civilized and model countries for others, you’ve councils or little Napoleons whose goal was targeting drivers or motorists to fill their coffers. What if there’s no CCTV and it was the police’s story alone against you?

UK Driver Fine Despite Giving Way - Daniel Wiggins

Britain motorists have long suspected that cash-strapped local councils sought to issue fines to raise funds. Last year, documents released from London’s Hammersmith and Fulham council under freedom of information requests suggest a culture of targets and revenue-raising inside the traffic enforcement department.


The proof – emails obtained in an investigation by the BBC apparently show staff being “congratulated” on the number of fines being handed out to motorists. The council issued 81,458 tickets for moving traffic offences in 2012, more than four times the 2007 figure of 19,278. One email reads – “Aim of project: to increase parking revenue (target: additional £5m).”

UK City Council-run CCTV in Operation Signboard

Early this year, it was reported that Britain registered a record 1.32 million fines issued for minor offences in year 2011-2012, 16% up from the year before. The results – UK motorists were milked for £135 million (US$229 million, RM739 million) a year in fines by spy cameras in bus lanes and box junctions. London drivers were hit the most – 850,000 tickets for year 2012-2013, up from 797,000 fines in 2011-2012.


Amusingly, a Peterborough City Council-run CCTV smart car, supposedly used to catch motorists flouting rules was snapped parked on double yellow lines. But a council spokesperson was quick to offer an excuse – the car is allowed to park on double yellow lines in exceptional circumstances.  Are these the clearest proof that UK councils are dead-set to make money? The answer is a big YES.

Peterborough City Council-run CCTV smart car parked on double yellow lines

So, what should you do the next time those thuggish police riders flash on you from behind? This is what you should do. Keep driving calmly, don’t pull over. Before you start your journey, it’s worth to invest in a smartphone holder. Adjust the holder so that your smartphone can record clearly the road in front of you. This is your only (technology) witness when you get into trouble.


If you’re using iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake or Home button. Then slide the camera icon up to launch camera. Slide to right for “Video”, if it’s not already in that position, and tap on the red button to start recording. This 3-4 simple steps provide proof that you’re not driving in the bus lane “before” being forced to do so by any thuggish authorities. If they never flash on you, great, keep driving and enjoy the view.

UK Driver Fine Despite Giving Way - Use iPhone Smartphone To Save Life

In fact, such tactic is not only applicable in UK, but also in the United States, Malaysia or any countries you’re driving on. Besides combating local authorities, you’ll never know how such simple steps could save you. Anyway too bad UK police or council authorities were not as corrupt as Malaysians, otherwise a flash of RM50 (£9, US$15.50) would do the trick (*tongue-in-cheek*).


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