A driver in the United Kingdom flipped-off a police van armed with a speed camera while driving under the speed limit, and for his exuberant gesture he was slapped with a fine.
The incident occurred as Ben Baron was on his way to work on December 5 in Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire. As he drove past a camera hotspot where he had been nailed previously for speeding, he stuck up both middle fingers and laughed and cursed at the police for good measure. Both of his hands were allegedly off the wheel as he delivered his message, the Daily Mail reported.
Six weeks later, Baron got a letter that informed him he had been caught on camera while “not being in a position to have proper control” of his car. Millions of drivers can relate as anytime someone receives a ticket or fine by mail it comes as a nasty surprise. It’s a daily occurrence in the U.S. anymore. But instead of being fined for speeding, Baron was fined for taking his hands off the wheel while driving.
No amount has been set for his fine as of yet. It could be as much as $1,390. The car was registered to Baron’s company and he has not officially confirmed that he was driving the vehicle. But that won’t stop him from being fined.
Baron allegedly finds the whole thing hilarious and was reportedly “in tears of laughter” when he got the letter and a notice of impending prosecution in January. Included were pictures of Baron spouting obscenities while he laughed with his passenger. He did, however, respond to the fine:
“[When I got the letter] I was in tears of laughter. I’ll take one for the team with this one because it’s so funny,” Baron scoffed. “It’s a clear-cut case of me flipping the bird at them with both hands.”
“It’s a bit of kudos. It’s so funny – I’m happy to pay the fine,” he happily declared.
Baron also admitted, “I did a celebratory double-flipping, two-handed, which is obviously now leading to the prosecution.”
“I carried on doing it for quite a while – around 200 meters (219 yards) potentially. They’ve got good cameras,” he commented. “I think looking on the internet the maximum fine is £1,000 for that offense. I decided to launch a GoFundMe. Hopefully, people with a sense of humor [will donate].”
Help Me Pay My Fine For Sticking It To The Man https://t.co/IGnEd2AkH9
— Michael (@EcnadEkim) February 15, 2021
Baron, who is a software engineer, is now launching a GoFundMe campaign to pay the fine. Any money left over will ostensibly be given to charity. The page is entitled “Help Me Pay My Fine For Sticking It To The Man.”
Baron wrote on the fundraising page:
“Speed camera man made it personal!”
“I was travelling under the limit when I spotted the van and decided to celebrate by flipping him the finger. Unfortunately, I did it with both hands….and he clearly decided to make it personal.”
“Made my day when I got notice of intended prosecution together with frameable photos for not having full control of a vehicle.”
“Happy to take the points on this one but was suggested I [set up a fundraising page] to pay the fine and donate any excess to charity. Whilst it’s amusing, covid is tough.”
Baron says he believes the fine is personal. Evidently, they were supposed to mail the notice within 14 days and didn’t. At first, he was going to appeal the fine but now says he won’t.
The father of two stated: “I’ve been driving for 20 years. It was a quiet day on the roads since it’s lockdown. I was just driving to the office.”
“Online, I’ve had [funny replies] and people telling me how to appeal it, but I don’t think they knew the full story.”
“I can’t necessarily appeal it. Realistically, I don’t think I’ll get away with it because I was doing it.”
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