No holds barred on beat­ing speed traps

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CAPAZORIO

PEO­PLE have gone to ex­treme lengths to out­smart speed traps.

The BBC’s hell-rais­ing motoring show, Top Gear, af­ter sev­eral at­tempts, man­aged to beat a speed trap – by trav­el­ling so fast the cam­era didn’t pick the car up at all. While the the­ory is sim­ple enough, the team had to try the trick with sev­eral su­per­charged sport­sters be­fore fi­nally de­feat­ing the tech­nol­ogy with the light­ning fast TVR Tus­can S, driven by a racing driver at over 270km/h on a racing track.

Top Gear’s ir­rev­er­ent pre­sen­ter Jeremy Clark­son has long cru­saded against the speed trap cam­era, on one oc­ca­sion the­atri­cally shoot­ing fire­works at one of the de­vices from a rocket launcher at­tached to the side of the Porsche he was driv­ing.

Oth­ers seek­ing to out­wit the Cy­clops have come up with less ex­treme, but no less in­ge­nious, so­lu­tions. There are sev­eral prod­ucts on the mar­ket that claim to beat the cam­eras, rang­ing from lac­quer sprays that re­flect light off num­ber plates – thereby, so the man­u­fac­tur­ers claim, ob­scur­ing the num­bers, to laser jam­mers.

Laser jam­mers scram­ble the speed read­ing unit for a few sec­onds, leav­ing it un­able to give an ac­cu­rate speed read­ing.

In 2007, a Jo­han­nes­burg mo­torist man­aged to fool the laser but not the cop when he sped past. The of­fi­cer op­er­at­ing the de­vice be­lieved the man was speed­ing and gave chase, pulling the mo­torist, a cer­tain Moto Ma­banga, over.

The cop then dis­cov­ered the jam­mer.

Ma­banga claimed the de­vice had been fit­ted by the man­u­fac­turer on his Porsche Cayenne. He later ap­peared in court where he paid a R500 ad­mis­sion of guilt fine.

De­vices like th­ese are not il­le­gal to own. How­ever charges of de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice can be brought against mo­torists us­ing them.

SPEED SNEAK: Fast pre­sen­ter Jeremy Clark­son

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