When Nicholas Burke, general manager at JCT600 Brooklands Ferrari dealers, fitted a ‘Laser Elite’ jamming device to his company BMW 335d, he thought it would prevent police speed cameras from clocking him. It did; but it also landed him two months behind bars.
The device effectively renders the speed camera blind, but what Burke did not realise was that the camera can detect when such a device – which is of course illegal – is being used. The jamming device activates a special code in the camera, so the handler knows it is being actively jammed.
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Burke, 46 and from York, soon faced the embarrassment of having his BMW seized by police after an investigation, and the jamming device was found intact. The offence, which occurred last February, took place on rural roads in Yorkshire, where police believe the car was being driven in excess of the 60mph speed limit.
Burke has since resigned from his job at JCT600 – a well-known and respected Ferrari and supercar dealer – and police took the unusual step of issuing a ‘community impact statement’ to the court, which the judge read to those present:
“North Yorkshire has historically suffered from a high number of road traffic collisions, unfortunately resulting in the loss of life or resulting in life-changing injuries to users of the vehicles involved… It is not only the victim who suffers, but families, witnesses and communities.
“The primary purpose of is to reduce road traffic collisions by enforcing a range of road traffic offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone and failing to wear a seat belt.
“These are three of the four main causation factors for fatal and serious-injury collisions on our roads.
“We have detected an increasing number of vehicles fitted with laser jamming devices which are designed to interfere with police speed measurement equipment.
“Safety camera operators are fully-trained to detect the use of these types of devices, and are therefore able to identify a vehicle they suspect may be fitted with such a device.”
The moral of the story is, of course, stay within the speed limit, drive safely, and if you do want to take your car for a fast ride, there are plenty track days at circuits across the country.