Opel Astra Driver 'Caught' By Speed Camera Traveling Over 400 MPH

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

You’ve probably received a speeding ticket in the mail before. Weeks after the incident, once you’ve forgotten all about it, you open a letter to read that you’ve been busted by a cleverly placed speed camera and have to pay a fine. Well, that’s what happened to a Belgian driver but he was fined approximately $7,800 for traveling 432 mph in a 30-mph zone.

Obviously, something went wrong. In addition to the 400-mph mark being well out of reach of his Opel Astra, the speed isn’t in the realm of possibilities for any production car currently in existence. Hell, Top Fuel dragsters don’t even reach those speeds on level pavement. In fact, you’d have to purchase a private jet or build a custom land speed car for Bonneville if you wanted that kind of velocity.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the city of Quiévrain was nice enough to round down the driver’s fine to 406.5 mph in the letter. Despite the kindness, the driver decided to fight the ticket anyway.

Police attributed the error to a malfunction with the camera, getting him off the hook for the initial fine, but still slapped him with a citation for 6 mph over the legal limit. The logic here was that the camera must have caught him doing something wrong or else it would have never been triggered in the first place. That’s some specious reasoning but, since it only came with a $60 penalty, the driver was less inclined to argue.

Exactly when the incident took place is unclear. While shared earlier this month via social media, an incomplete photo of the letter appears to include an order or payment date for October of 2010. However, the majority of outlets claim that the incident had taken place when the driver was 32-years old — which would have been within the last year.

[Image: Opel]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 49 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on May 14, 2018

    I see our camera clocked you going faster than a commercial jetliner but our cameras are still infallible so here's a ticket anyway.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on May 14, 2018

    Truly some strange judicial reasoning. Generally the rule is at least in Ontario, if there is a serious error on the citation, then it is withdrawn/invalid. Not a minor error, but as in this example a serious one. They cannot charge you with one thing, and then change it, in court. Still with no night courts in the GTA, you have to jump through hoops in order to fight a ticket. And take a day off work. So in many instances it is not worth the time or money. Unless you use one of the many 'ticket fighting' companies that have sprung up to do this. Spent a couple of years on the Department, get your paralegal license and advertise that an 'ex police officer' will be representing you.

    • Speedlaw Speedlaw on May 14, 2018

      Relevant to this. New York State and Canada Provinces swap information, so you need to be concerned with a ticket in your opposite. This is the only international points transfer I've ever heard of.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.