cop does 159 mph and gets let off!!
A police constable who reached 159mph on a motorway has been cleared of speeding and dangerous driving.
Pc Mark Milton, 38, from Telford, Shropshire, was recorded by the patrol car's video camera on the M54 in 2003, Ludlow Magistrates' Court heard.
District Judge Bruce Morgan acquitted him after calling the constable the "creme de la creme" of police drivers.
Pc Milton is trained in advanced driving and was "familiarising" himself with a new car, the court was told.
'Lack of policy'
The officer, who is also trained in the use of firearms, was recorded travelling at 159mph on the motorway near Telford in the early hours of 5 December 2003.
In reaching his verdict, Mr Morgan noted that two police officers who gave evidence for the prosecution, including West Mercia Police's senior driving instructor, had declined to classify the defendant's driving as dangerous.
But he added: "I can't help but see the irony that those that brought this prosecution are those very people who have purchased cars that go at this speed and paid for him (the defendant) to go to learn to drive at these speeds."
The magistrate also expressed concern at West Mercia Constabulary's "total lack of policy" on when and where police drivers should practise driving at very high speeds.
But speaking after the case, a police spokesman said the force was to clarify the guidance issued to advanced drivers.
Referring to the prosecution brought against Mr Milton, the spokesman said: "Members of our own staff identified that an offence may have taken place and began an investigation.
"The Crown Prosecution Service determined that a prosecution was appropriate."
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) said it was shocked that such a speed was not regarded as dangerous by the court.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety, said: "Police are governed by health and safety laws just the same as any other employer.
"We don't believe 159mph can ever be justified on public roads.
"Even in emergencies we consider that driving at 100mph or more is too dangerous."
But the Police Federation defended the driving of Pc Milton, who is also known to have travelled at 120mph in a 60mph zone and at more than 60mph in a 30mph zone.
Speaking on the steps of the court, Insp Keith Howes, said: "Pc Milton was driving in accordance with his training, honing his skills while possible and testing the vehicle's capabilities so that if he was required on an urgent call he would be driving safely."
The court heard the roads on which Pc Milton drove were deserted at the time of the patrol and that driving conditions were good.
how can 100mph be too dangerous!
its this type of mentality which we have over here..... which results in low speed limits .........
theses campaingers what just p*** off and leave the roads alone!
they were ok until people start messing!!
i'm glad he's done 160 and been let off.........
the germans do it all the time! i certainly dont see anything wrong with doing a speed the car was built for!!
i was doing 60mph the other day and a woman in the next lane swerved over the lines in to my lane!! i had to jam my brakes on!
surely this lack of lane disaplin is dangerous and causes accidents! which it does....
but the uk seems to have everythings ok unless i'm speeding thing!
its this mentality which is bring speedlimits to a grinding hault and accidents are rising!
and were wondering why when people have bad lane mannors!! :x
The UK baffles me sometimes. You guys are stuck with ever-decreasing speed limits, and yet I've seen videos of officers practicing high-speed chase tactics on public roads! Speed kills...but it doesn't. Is driver traning in the UK as rigorous as it is in other parts of Europe? Because you'd think that in places where you have to wait until your 18 to spend ~$3000 on training to get your license, they'd treat adults like adults.