Pensioner becomes first Briton to be fined for blocking a speed camera
Pensioner, 63, becomes first in Britain to be prosecuted for obstructing a speed camera – and vows to CONTINUE his one-man campaign despite being found guilty
- Jack Cureton, 63, said officers manning speed camera vans blocked pavement
- He targeted the vehicle on A61 Wakefield Road, Barnsley over three-year period
- Using walking sticks and an umbrella Cureton blocked the mobile speed camera
- He accused South Yorkshire officers of breaking Rule 244 of the Highway Code
- Cureton was fined £400 at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for his actions
A man who prevented police officers from using a road safety van to catch speeding motorists has become the first person in Britain to be formally prosecuted for obstructing a speed camera.
Jack Cureton, 63, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, accused police officers manning road safety vans of blocking his mobility scooter, claiming they were illegally obstructing pavements and preventing him from being able to safely drive along footpaths near his home in the town.
The retired engineer would use two walking sticks to block the mobile speed camera units and berate the person responsible for parking the van.
On other occasions over the course of his three year campaign, Mr Cureton would use an umbrella to obstruct the camera from catching speeding motorists.
The pensioner repeatedly claimed the van was ‘parked illegally on the pavement’ and was obstructing him as he drove around on his mobility scooter.
‘The van is always parked up totally illegally blocking the pavement,’ Mr Cureton said.
‘So I have been blocking his view. I park my scooter behind him, or stand up using my sticks. One passer by gave me his umbrella to block the lens as well.’
The grandfather would target the vehicle at the same location near his bungalow a total of 12 times before he was finally fined £400 at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for restricting a designated person conducting speed checks.
But despite the fine, Mr Cureton has promised to continue his efforts.
Jack Cureton, 63, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, accused officers manning road safety vans of blocking his mobility scooter from being able to safely drive along the pavement
On other occasions over the course of his three year campaign, Mr Cureton would use an umbrella to obstruct the camera from catching speeding motorists on the A61 Wakefield Road
The van containing the speed camera has consistently parked on Wakefield Road – a notorious 30mph zone in South Yorkshire.
But Mr Cureton has claimed the vehicle illegally obstructs the pavement contrary to Rule 244 of the Highway Code.
Rule 244 states: ‘You must not park park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.
‘Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.’
Mr Cureton’s efforts to argue with law enforcement landed him in hot water, after he recorded a number of his encounters on the A61 last year.
In self-filmed footage of his crusading efforts, Mr Cureton can be heard arguing with a police officer manning speed-checking equipment in the back of a road safety van.
Mr Cureton can be heard questioning: ‘Excuse me officer, do you know you’re illegally parked?’ before adding: ‘It’s not fair, it really isn’t.’
He continues: ‘I can’t park here, I would get a ticket. You’re illegally parked officer.’
As he points his camera into the rear of the van, Mr Cureton adds: ‘One law for the police, one law for everybody else’.
Rule 244 of the Highway Code states: ‘You must not park park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it’
In self-filmed footage of his crusading efforts, Mr Cureton can be heard arguing with a police officer manning speed-checking equipment in the back of a road safety van
Explaining the rationale behind his drastic actions, Mr Cureton said: ‘That speed camera van is always parked illegally on the pavement and I can’t get around it safely on my mobility scooter.
‘I struggle to stand because I only have four toes left due to diabetes.
‘I have had a lot of support for my actions because people are sick of it being one rule for us drivers and members of the public and another rule for the police.’
Mr Cureton, who also drivers a car, said: ‘There are no signs warning people like me that the pavement might be blocked and no signs allowing drivers to park on the footpath, and there is no dropped kerb at that location.’
But his one-man campaign landed Mr Cureton in court after he was prosecuted for obstructing a designated person/inspector after an incident on the A61 Wakefield Road last year.
Mr Cureton had claimed the vehicle illegally obstructs the pavement contrary to Rule 244 of the Highway Code. Pictured: A police officer takes a picture of Mr Cureton from inside the van
Mr Cureton was found guilty by magistrates of obstructed a speed enforcement van on Wakefield Road at about 1.15pm on 7 December by parking his mobility scooter behind the vehicle and shouting obscenities at the Policing Support Officer inside
He was found guilty by magistrates of obstructed a speed enforcement van on Wakefield Road at about 1.15pm on 7 December by parking his mobility scooter behind the vehicle and shouting obscenities at the Policing Support Officer inside.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Cureton continued to stand behind the vehicle, blocking the speed enforcement camera’s view, while intimidating the Policing Support Officer.
Cureton refused all attempts to be interviewed, and he was found guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 9 November.
He was made to pay £400 in fines and costs, plus a £25 victim surcharge, and was handed a 12-month conditional discharge.
Scott Dernie, South Yorkshire Police’s Head of Safety Cameras & Ticket Processing, said: ‘Our staff do not deserve to be intimidated and threatened while carrying out their duties.
‘We are pleased with this court result, and hope it will show all members of the public that such behaviour towards or staff will not be tolerated.’
But an unperturbed Mr Cureton has vowed to continue obstructing the speed camera in the future.
‘If I see it parked there again I will do the same again. It should not be blocking the pavement,’ he said.
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