Cops' front-plate howler
North Yorks police have trumpeted the unveiling of a new weapon in the fight against speeding riders ahead of this weekend's Scarborough Gold Cup. Trouble is, it relies on getting a snap of your face at the same time as it captures your FRONT numberplate.
Sorry chaps - but you're 29 years too late. Bikes haven't required front registration numbers since 1975.
Assistant Chief Constable David Collins said: "Autovision will mean an end to speeders falsely claiming they weren't the rider (or driver), or that we'd got the wrong vehicle."
Since only one camera, from one angle, is used to snap the reg plate, the rider himself couldn't ever be identified - even if you could spot him through a full-face lid.
The BBC trotted out the police line without bothering to question how it might work, claiming in its online report: "The Autovision system not only records the speed and number plate of the motorbike but also takes an image of the rider's face."
Assistant Chief Constable Collins is also quoted by the Beeb as saying: "One in four of those riders caught extreme speeding (in excess of 30mph above the limit) in North Yorkshire turns out to have a criminal record."
But when MCN challenged that assertion a North Yorks police spokesman admitted the reality is that one in four motorists caught extreme speeding have criminal records. It's also the case that the vast majority of extreme speeding cases in North Yorkshire relate to car drivers.
We have asked North Yorks police to issue a correction to the BBC and other media outlets. The BBC has since agreed to remove the offending paragraph about criminal records.
Having said all that, the force is warning that it will continue its get-tough attitude to speeding for this weekend's Gold Cup - and that its new Autovision cameras will at least make it easier to get a shot of even the fastest riders' numberplates.
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