By on October 22, 2019

The UK’s Derbyshire Constabulary celebrated a major victory this week. The triumph of justice was even given its own official announcement. Did the department finally tamp down the area’s rising violent crime rate?

Nope. They caught an automotive journalist speeding — one year after he did it.

Joe Achilles was testing an Audi R8 RSW on the A57 Snake Pass last November, later posting footage on his Facebook wall. Derbyshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit noticed the video while “investigating an entirely different matter,” according to its release, and set out to prove just how fast he was going. 

The problem was that Achilles didn’t put a camera on his speedometer, forcing police (bobbies) to estimate his speed by calculating how much ground he was covering in the video between landmarks. The department tapped Road Safety Support (RSS) to do the math.

“RSS provide help in all sorts of road safety matters to forces around the country; however, ours was a very specific request,” explained Sergeant Adam Shipley. “We needed to be able to prove the speed the car was travelling at along what, myself and my team know only too well, is one of our most deadly roads.”

From the Derbyshire Constabulary:

Using state of the art technology technical support manager for RSS, Steve Callaghan, was able to work out exactly how fast the Audi R8 was traveling.

Mr Callaghan said: “I examined the video file and was able to find the location of the incident, starting at the car park of the Snake Pass Inn, driving east towards Sheffield.

“The Facebook video showed road markings and traffic signs that were distinctive, and which were able to be identified in the video as well as the Google Earth Pro application.

“Distances between the signs were measured with the application and the timing of the journeys between the signs was calculated from the video file.”

 

Eleven average speeds were calculated for the 50 mph zone. The slowest was estimated at around 58 mph, with the fastest being 93 mph. Achilles appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court on October 16th, where he was handed a fine of £615, ordered to pay costs of £620 and had six points issued against his license. Authorities in the country have the right to revoke driving privileges at 12 under UK law.

“This type of driving is careless, reckless and selfish. On this occasion, thankfully nobody died, but all too often the outcome very different,” stated Sergeant Shipley. “For a man who drives for a profession I am appalled that he seemingly has so little value for the lives of other road users … Strapping a Go Pro to the side of a car and driving in this manner – all in a bid to get viewers on social media — is quite frankly pathetic.”

Equally pathetic is the police going to such great lengths to fine some guy over £615 for doing his job. Granted, he could have executed it in a safer manner, and yes, he did technically break the law. But the authorities are clearly making an example of Achilles — hoping to deter other would-be speeders. Rather than slapping him on the wrist, the Derbyshire Constabulary dialed its math to eleven in order to calculate the maximum penalty possible a year after the incident took place.

“I hope this case sends a message to others like Joe Achilles who think they can come to our county and put lives at risk,” said Shipley. “We may not see you at the time but know that we have the capability to ensure that you are brought to justice.”

Maybe I’ve watched too many Smokey and the Bandit films, but the best way to catch a speeder, in this author’s opinion, is in the act while they have the full support of truckers everywhere. While the Bandit isn’t ever going to stop, regular folks absolutely will and can be issued a fine by the side of the road (to the truckers’ collective dismay). Doing a CSI murder investigation over a case of someone driving too fast seems like a ludicrous waste of resources and is decidedly unsportsmanlike.

Was Achilles driving too fast for this particular road and its traffic? Probably. There were definitely opportunities for passing traffic to enter his lane before he had time to do much about it. I wouldn’t have done it. But ticketing him after the fact didn’t make those people safer and celebrating it like it was this month’s crowning achievement for the department seems unnecessary — especially given the nature of Achilles’ crime.

Perhaps you don’t agree and are happy with police using video evidence to penalize lead-footed motorists. That’s fine. But, with cameras cropping up everywhere (including inside cars), it’s probably just a matter of time before you get a bill for something more innocuous than speeding. And, if you’re a cop, don’t tell me you don’t enjoy going Code 3 to pull someone over. Chasing down speeders is half the reason you took the job.

Then again, maybe Achilles is just the one guy who got caught while everybody else keeps getting away with it, and there’s nothing really to worry about. It’s not like you have to film yourself breaking the law, even if it’s for a debatably good reason.

[Image: ffly/Shutterstock]

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58 Comments on “Motoring Journalist Prosecuted for Speeding in Video...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Joe Achilles? Well I guess they found his heel.

    The amount of effort that went into this is pathetic.

    I guess the YouTubers who blur their speedometers in their acceleration run videos are all in trouble now.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    You never know who’s watching. That’s why Mexico is the new hotspot for street racing and other hijinks.

    youtube.com/watch?v=_V6kZ1X_4g4

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      You can do pretty much anything and if you are not hurting anyone it is OK. I used to drive my car with an Alabama tag on it that was several years old. Nobody cared. I can drive twenty mph over the speed limit in town with a cop behind me and I don’t get stopped. Then US calls itself the land of he free. But Mexico is really the land of the free. Don’t hurt anyone and practically anything is allowed. It makes for a very nice life down here after living in the rule obsessed US. The freedom is wonderful.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Of course we’ve all done stupid things, I just thank God that I did mine before video cameras and posting things to the internet became a “thing.”

    This sets a precedent for – and serves notice to – all the would-be auto reviewers who document their exploits on video. Maybe it’s not on the same level as people who bash little old ladies or attack innocent victims for their funny youtube videos, but if you break the law and are stupid enough to put it out there for everyone to see you deserve what you get.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      What happens when we get to the point where you sell a car and then someone runs a history check on the computer and find that you, the previous owner, ran 120MPH for a mile on I-40 at 3:00AM and this gets reported to police whom decide to prosecute.
      Don’t get me wrong I think everyone of these people that are posting themselves on YouTube are idiots but I’m wondering how close we are to this slippery slope.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Is about solving crime? Or about the agency earning a name for itself? I’ve got a name for them.

        Does anyone care about the detective work involved? Man/woman hours and tax dollars invested/wasted for single speeding infraction?

        • 0 avatar
          Zipster

          I believe that apprehending someone driving 93 in a 50 mph zone is worthy of substantial effort to apprehend. Doing this mathematically is certainly safer than chasing the idiot through traffic.

          • 0 avatar
            ScarecrowRepair

            Zipster — his speed was unknown until they did the investigation. This is commonly known as fishing.

          • 0 avatar
            Mike Beranek

            And cheaper! I could calculate his speed in about 10 minutes. The article makes it sound like this huge, expensive investigation, but with Google Earth Street View, it’s so easy.
            Only an idiot would make a video of themselves committing a crime and then post it on the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Zipster – Well yeah if dodging traffic at 2X higher speed was remotely what we’re talking about, correctomundo.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          DenverMike,

          It’s high profile – sending a message. Good exposure for them and absolutely worth it from their perspective.

          (Depending on what you think their true objective is.)

          If you watch the video, you can’t say that he picked a low-traffic-volume time of day to do this.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So you would rather them fish for the high profile? Instead of the worst offenders? Except for every high profile case we see, how many high profile investigations went nowhere? And meanwhile, all that the meth labs have to do is not call all sorts attention to themselves.

        • 0 avatar
          Ol Shel

          We all like OUR crimes, but are very upset about the crimes of others.

          If you’re dumb enough to present the evidence of your crime to the world, don’t be surprised when you’re forced to pay for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Thomas Kreutzer

        Every idiot should know that before you change rides you need to lawyer up, delete facebook and hit the gym.

        Seriously, how long before our cars have black boxes that are able to call the cops on you while you are actually committing the offense?

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Beranek

        Simple- don’t own a car that tracks such info. Mine doesn’t.

  • avatar
    MBella

    The UK police really working on this one. I’m sure their citizens are sleeping way better tonight. It’s good that so far in the US this wouldn’t be possible. A police officer has to witness the act. That’s why even speed and red light cameras just give out a fine with no points.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It’s the UK, where you can go to jail for excessive self defense, or reporting on a gang rape trial, or for liking a Tweet. The only reason to care about these gestapo tactics is that there are some deranged losers who want us to be more like them. This story is a good barometer for detecting who has been twisted by postmodernist absurdity to have no sense of proportion. Speed? There’s no end to the lengths they’ll go to prosecute. Commit atrocities with ISIS? Here’s your debit card and clean slate!

    • 0 avatar
      Zipster

      Your great guide and hero recently issued orders that will only help the resurrection of the Islamic State, or so military leaders are informing us. Why are you now concerned about ‘ISIS atrocities?’

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Do you always support the military industrial complex, or just when the NYT tells you to?

        • 0 avatar
          Zipster

          T.A.

          Eisenhower, a man of intelligence and considerable integrity warned us about “the military industrial complex.” Unfortunately, he did not renew Alexander Hamilton’s warnings about demagogues. At this juncture, I am much more inclined to believe our military leaders and people such as Susan Rice than your great guide and hero.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Zip,

        you’re fool when it comes to this. This move unites Kurds with Syrians as it should be as they live in one country. The reason ISIS was at large in Syria because your hero said “Assad must go” and unleashed all sorts of “moderate” and even “democratic” forces. Now that Syrians finished all of these, they can work with Kurds to protect their country against ISIS. And Russia will broker this and also make sure Mr Erdogan gets on with the program.
        So, if your goal is to have more dead American soldiers – you can stay there. If the goal is to make long lasting peace – we leave and Kurds forced to make peace with Syrians. And they get along very well really. Kurds thought US will carve them part of Syria but that wouldn’t fly with Syria, Turkey and Russia. So, all things considered, great move POTUS Trump

        • 0 avatar
          Zipster

          Slavuta:

          Were the reality not so tragic, I would laugh at your analysis. Who was it recently that told your great guide and leader “from you, all roads lead to Putin?” It is quite obvious that you are not obtaining your great insights from our military and state department leaders.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Whats so tragic? Military and state department.. Thats the issue. We need to put a leash on the military and tell them that they are active when we, the civilian government will tell them to act. Otherwise we’re living in police state. You know what tragic in my opinion – who sliced apart a journalist in Saudi embassy? Tragic is that we can’t … no-no. our gov. DONT want to answer this. Now you can laugh.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I love it that you named Susan Rice as a credible source. She was the one that said that deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction.” She spearheaded the Benghazi cover up. She spied on Trunp’s election campaign. She was wrong about Yemen and blamed the Syrian civil war on climate change. You have never heard a lie that you didn’t prefer to reality.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Now this is a new level of revisionist history: describing a Turkish massacre of Kurds, with Syrians (and their Russian patrons) doing absolutely nothing to stop it, as “uniting Kurds with Syrians.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The funny thing is, this is the same guy who rails about me buying a German “Nazi” car, when the Germans haven’t been remotely Nazi-esque since, oh, April 1945. But stuff like this, which is right out of the good old Lebensraum playbook, is perfectly OK.

            Why? Because…Trump, I guess?

            I don’t get it either. If he really believes this stuff, wow. That, or he’s trolling.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Is this the massacre that took place in Kentucky two years ago? How do you keep the truth from seeping in?

          • 0 avatar
            Zipster

            Whatever these people say, their great guide and leader has lost the support of the military since his unilateral action less than two weeks ago. And that means if they take to the streets to exercise their Second Amendment rights when he is expelled from office, they will have to contend with the military.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            There wasn’t ANY massacre of Kurds in the long time. AND, Russians ans Syrians are now in “Kurdish zone”, effectively, protecting them of any such possibility. You are just propagating propaganda. Everything working out excellent. Today:

            “According to the deal, starting on Oct. 23, Russian forces and Syrian border guards will “facilitate the removal of [Kurdish] YPG elements and their weapons to the depth” of 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the Turkish–Syrian border.”

            Problem solved. Erdogan will now send refugees back to Syria. War is over.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            86 dead, 150k to 300k displaced as of yesterday.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50108417

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The BBC? Don’t worry Charlie Brown, Lucy isn’t pulling back the ball this time.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Pretty easy to construct the world you like if you only take seriously the information sources you like.

            For this sort of news (describing international conflict) the BBC is probably the most reliable news source in the world.

            Face it: your guy acted rashly, without consulting anyone who actually knew anything about the situation, and gave a murderous wannabe dictator what amounted to a green light to invade another country and engage in an exercise of ethnic cleansing. Erdogan even said straightforwardly that that is what he was doing with his “safe zone” shtick.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Dal, you just said “massacre”.
            1. your numbers are taken out of thin air
            2. Massacre is when Turks killed Armenians. This is just war. This is way less than Obama drone strikes
            3. Turkish army is not even fighting – they give support but fighting is done by pro-Turkey groups
            4. You assuming that Kurds are nice boys and girls. Of course – they fought ISIS. BUT, in fact, they are playing their game, not ours. Our interests intersected for the period of time. But they are not our allies in the long game. We’ve armed them, and this is why Turkey does what it does today.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “Face it: your guy acted rashly,”

            Haha. Erdogan said, “Operation starts in 24 hours. You leave, you live. You don’t – call it a friendly fire”. Our boys left coca-cola filled fridges behind. They rushed out.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Acted rashly? He stopped the bleeding after almost twenty years of objective-free war. Not everyone can create slave markets like Obama did in Libya and then sleep at night.

  • avatar
    chris724

    Back in 19-mumble, My friend took a picture of my speedometer at 100mph, and we made a B&W print in photography class at school. I still have it somewhere…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hot Fuzz!

    • 0 avatar
      RichardF

      Interesting range of viewpoints here.

      The overall Population Density of the USA is approx 84 people/sq mile, and for the UK, 680 people/sq mile. Around 8 times higher, so it’s quite a crowded little island.

      There are certain cross country routes, through hilly regions of the UK, which are popular for hooning, taking videos, and publicising this behaviour, regardless of the substantial risks to innocent third parties.

      As this video illustrates – and Snake Pass is one of these roads .

      So it may be worth considering the police action, in this context.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Good. Savage Geese, Straight Pipes, Smoking Tire, etc etc. they all have obviously been speeding on camera at one point. And I like these guys, all of them… but seriously, this is why 16 years olds dreaming about their first car think that they need 400bhp.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For context, we’re not talking about I-80 in Nevada here. This is the road where Mr. Achilles thought it was appropriate to drive 93 mph:

    https://goo.gl/maps/CcwVxUibe3J7tHdM7

    The safety consequences of this sort of speeding on this sort of road are such that I see nothing wrong with spending a little police time (and it doesn’t sound like it was all that much police time) to catch the person who did it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Gads, look at all the pedestrians!

      I’d be tempted to REALLY open it up on this road too, but it’s the wrong place. Too much traffic.

      Still, how much work did the police have to put in on this to catch this one guy? Seems to me they’d be better off putting those resources into actually patrolling the road.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I think it’s about changing an online culture that glorifies speeding, and specifically speeding in certain places that include the community where these local police work.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, yeah, but it seems to me the best way to deter that is to put some cops on the road (which they may well be doing).

          • 0 avatar
            Thomas Kreutzer

            Why waste the resources when idiots like this are going to self-report?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d say it takes resources either way. Here’s the difference, though – if this moron got busted pushing 100 on this road by a live cop, he’s busted. Period. But doing it this way, after the fact, lets him claim “Big Brother” victimhood. Now he can be a martyr. Don’t believe me? Look at the comments.

            There’s no Internet likes in getting pulled over by a cop when you’re driving like an idiot, after all, you know?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I do notice in the video that there is some oncoming traffic, and there are portions of the roadway where passing is permitted (it’s a 2-lane). Permitted passing zones are calculated based on sight lines, assuming that the oncoming traffic is going more or less the posted speed limit. With an oncoming driver traveling at nearly twice the posted limit, these calculations, obviously, are off. So a person passing in a passing permitted zone might find himself in a headon with our speeding auto ournosaur. Admittedly, the video doesn’t display in real time the vehicle’s speed, and I didn’t attempt to correlate the passing zones with the speed of the Audi as it approached them.

    The engine sound was cool, however.

  • avatar

    How many hits was that Video getting ?

    In NYC, a guy named Afroduck (turns out he’s from canada) did a ring road run of Manhattan. He posted the video, and NYPD read ez pass records and camera footage-found the guy. The purpose was to discourage ring road record seeking….

    Moral of the story…wait a full year (at least in NY) till the Statute of Limitations Runs…..

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I’ve driven similar roads in England, and the problem is that they are nothing but corners and with the trees, hedgerows and walls, every corner is a blind corner.

    It’s also a rural area and you never know when you’re going to come around a corner and find a tractor doing 15 mph in front of you – been there, done that and I will say a Jaguar XF has amazing brakes. Doing 90mph there is stupid.

    The usual UK speed limit for a 2 lane road is 60 mph, and I have been on some where that felt very generous. Seeing this posted at 50 mph says lot.

    Some of the roads in this area have the highest death rates in the entire country, partly because they do attract people like the one in the video, so that is perhaps one reason why the police cracked down on him.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I see a lot of people in the Mustang FB group I’m part of posting street racing vids. Speeds in excess of over 100mph on highways or country roads. I’ve done some stupid stuff in my time but I didn’t record it and then share online.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Interesting .

    -Nate


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