Dependable Erection

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Go Speed Racer, Go!

A Swedish man has been handed what is believed to be the world's largest speeding fine, which is expected to cost him £650,000.

The 37-year-old man was driving at two and a half times the speed limit in his £140,000 Mercedes when he was pulled over by traffic police in Switzerland.

They said he was traveling so fast it took him some distance to stop.

The motorist was traveling faster than any other person to be caught speeding in the country, according to prosecutors.

In Switzerland, speeding fines are calculated using a formula that takes into consideration on the income of the motorist and the severity of the speed.

The article goes on to note that most of the radar guns that the police have were not even capable of recording the actual speed of the car, which was eventually clocked at 186 mph. It doesn't say whether or not the driver grew up in Durham, but it does note that he claimed that typical North Carolina speeding excuse: "I think the speedo on the car, which is new, is faulty."



  • For all the sturm und drang about the uncalibrated speedometer excuse, it does happen, on occasion.

    I was 17 and driving back from a summer spent working on Oak Island. I had just gotten onto I-40 (at Castle Hayne), in my 1965 Mustang 3-speed, with the top down, when I was pulled over by a Pender County deputy who claimed I was doing 95 miles per hour. He threatened to arrest me and seize my car.

    I was literally shaking.

    My speedometer had been showing 77 (in a 70) and cars were passing by me in the left lane. I limped home at exactly the speed limit, essentially a moving chicane for every other car on the road.

    When I told my parents of the difference between my clocked speed and what my speedometer said, they told me to take it to be dyno'd.

    The dyno shop told me that, in order for my then-31 year-old car to be doing 95, it would have been indicating over 110mph on the speedometer, and that, at 77, I was probably doing closer to 69mph.

    Curiously, enough, I received a solicitation from a lawyer, three days prior to my court summons, the lawyer, of course bring the Clerk of the Court's brother.

    Since the court date "just so happened to be" the first day of class for my senior year of high school, I couldn't appear in Burgaw fight the ticket and had to request a "Prayer for Judgment Continued," for a low-low price of $250 and $110 in attorney's fees.

    14 years later, it's still the only traffic ticket I've ever been issued.

    By Blogger Dan S., at 11:11 AM  

  • I got a speeding ticket in 1976, driving the Death Mobile on I-40 in New Mexico. There's a 3 mile long downslope either approaching or leaving Albuquerque, with a small rise at the end of it. About a dozen state troopers stationed just beyond the rise pulling everyone over. Speed limit was 55 then, and the trooper i got claimed to have clocked me at 71. There was a big difference in the fine for doing 15 mph over the limit and 16 mph over the limit ($25 & $50 if memory serves.)

    I laughed at him and said that the hill needed to be about 6 miles longer and 10 degrees steeper if the DM was ever going to get up to 71.

    He laughed back at me and told me i was welcome to present my case in court in 10 days if i so desired.

    I don't know if that bench warrant is still valid or not.

    I can put a piece of cardboard over my speedometer, and tell you within 2 mph how fast i'm going in my car. Granted that some young 'uns might not be able to tell the difference between 90 and 70, but if you're doing 185, you can kinda feel it, if you know what i mean.

    By Blogger Barry, at 11:33 AM  

  • I have a vivid memory of my dad's dashboard growing up circa early '70s. Across the bottom of the instrument window was a 12" strip of blue plastic label tape with "actual" readings for every 5mph increment. He had gotten a speeding ticket some years previously and gotten out of it by getting his speedometer professionally tested somewhere. Probably cost more than the ticket, but that's my dad.

    By Blogger andy, at 2:29 PM  

  • In 2007, the N&O did a series on speeding in NC, and i think they found that something like 40% or more of all speeding tickets in the state were pled down to "faulty instrumentation" and the offenders given light wrist slaps.

    In 2009 they did a followup after the law was supposedly changed to prevent this kind of plea for anyone clocked at more than 25 mph over the posted limit. Didn't seem to have much effect.

    By Blogger Barry, at 2:45 PM  

  • If I thought it had a snowballs chance in hell, I would definitely be in favor of a law making traffic violations directly related to your reported income.

    By Blogger skvidal, at 10:21 PM  

  • I can put a piece of cardboard over my speedometer, and tell you within 2 mph how fast i'm going in my car.

    At age 16/17, I most definitely, could not have done that, especially given that my frame of reference was calibrated on a car that severely under-reported its actual speed. (Not that a 3-speed manual was going to get me anywhere fast, anyhow.)

    14 years later, with a lot of track time under my belt, I can tell almost exactly how much faster/slower my corner entry/exit was without ever looking at the speedometer. (And between GPS track mapping and dyno runs, I know exactly what the speedometer reads, compared to actual speed.

    Back to the OP topic, at 120mph, even the most unaerodynamic brick (I race an old BMW e30) begins to experience some lift and the steering feel gets light.

    Assuming that this was a Mercedes SLS AMG, the car has an electronic limit of 197mph. (Almost every other Stuttgart product has a lower top speed, save the Mercedes SLR McLaren, which are aerodynamically limited to 190mph and cost twice as much as the price stated in the article.) I can't imagine how twitchy the car had to be at that speed, not to mention the bone-jarring sensation of going over any imperfections in the road surface at that speed.

    By Blogger Dan S., at 10:56 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home