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02-03-08, 04:45 AM #1
Policeman banned from driving after going through a speed camera at over 70 mph, while giving the thumbs up
A policeman was banned from driving yesterday for a crazy 70mph stunt during a 999 call in which he took both hands off the steering wheel to give a thumbs-up to a speed camera.
PC David Mayes, 34, repeated the performance just over an hour later on a second emergency call.
He posed twice to the same camera in a 40mph built-up area, the first time driving at 68mph and the second, 73mph.
The married father of two has been removed from frontline duties but is still in his job, though he faces an internal inquiry and could be sacked.
Last night road safety campaigners expressed outrage at his behaviour.
Lorna Jackson, of the charity Brake, said: "It goes to show that
the culture of excessive speed and disregard for the lives of others extends to some police officers - many of whom regularly work with the tragic consequences of such behavior and should know better.
"This man's actions have undermined the good work that the vast majority of police do."
Mayes, a police officer for eight years, was driving with two different colleagues when he answered the 999 calls in Sheffield in the early hours of July 26 last year.
The first was in relation to an abandoned car and the second to the theft of some lead.
"He was legitimately driving at these speeds," prosecutor Malcolm Christy told Halifax magistrates. "It's the lack of care, not the speed. On both occasions his hands are off the wheel."
Tom Nutter, defending, said his client was full of remorse. "It was an episode of complete stupidity and his behavior was wholly uncharacteristic," he said.
"His actions not only impact on his standing but on the South Yorkshire Constabulary and the police service as a whole."
The magistrates heard that Mayes was given three points on his driving licence last year for speeding off-duty.
Yesterday he was banned from driving for for six months and fined £400 after admitting two charges of careless driving. Magistrate Andrew Entwistle told him: "You exhibited a blatant disregard for the safety of other road users." Claire Armstrong, of Safe Speed said: "How fortunate for this officer that nothing worse came of this. Such behaviour from a policeman, to whom we should be able to look up and respect, only increases the already floundering respect with which the public perceive the police."
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: "His conduct fell well below what we and the public expect and he now faces misconduct proceedings. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated."
02-05-08, 11:37 AM #2
I hate speed cameras though........................................................
02-05-08, 06:40 PM #3
wow hands off the wheel thumbs up that couldnt look any worse for him. and its not like hes some you kid either at 34 and a father of 2 he should know better than a stupid stunt like that. that just give fuel to the ppl who like to bash LE.
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