Homeowner builds fake speed camera in front garden after driver smashes into his wall
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:59 AM on 15th October 2009
It was bad enough for Tony Allen to see motorists constantly speeding through his village at way above the 30mph limit.
But when an uninsured driver ploughed into his garden wall causing £3,500 damage, he decided that was the last straw.
The 60-year-old builder constructed his own mock speed camera from a wooden box painted yellow, complete with a silver foil flash and lens, and installed it in his front garden.
Driven crazy: Tony Allen says he will not remove a mock speed camera from his front yard, despite the potential for legal action
Since then the traffic has moved significantly more slowly through Moulton Seas End, near Holbeach, Lincolnshire.
But police have warned Mr Allen that he could face legal action if a motorist should crash and claim that the fake camera was a distraction.
Mr Allen, a father of two, said he was undeterred by the threat. 'It's far more important to have people slow down and drive responsibly,' he said.
'The camera is obviously working so I'm not going to remove it. Once people have been past a few times they realise it's fake, but if it slows even one person down I'm happy.'
Soon after Mr Allen installed the bogus camera, in June, police told him to take it down after a complaint from a motorist.
Horror crash: Another car hurtled through Tony Allen's wall, prompting him to construct the fake speed camera
Following protests by fellow villagers, officers said he could keep the camera and admitted he was committing no offence as it was on his property.
However he was warned that if drivers crashed while passing the camera they could sue him for compensation.
Police spokesman James Newell said: 'If there's a serious crash there and someone claims they were distracted by the speed camera, he could be liable for civil action. I believe our officers gave him a word of warning.
'Our general advice is we prefer people to go through the proper channels that would lead to actual speed cameras being put up.'
Lincolnshire County Council said the road does not have enough accidents to qualify for a real speed camera.
In 2007, however, Moulton Parish Council received a letter from the county council saying the village qualified for a fully funded traffic calming scheme.
But soon afterwards members were told they would have to raise half the £10,000 cost themselves because of an 'error in calculations'.
Frustrated: Mr Allen was prompted to set up the dummy camera after an accident in his front garden last year
Parish councillor Martin Clayton, 60, said: 'We have a two-and-a-half mile straight road running through the village and people pick up a lot of speed.
We have only had two accidents but it is very intimidating when drivers speed through.
'All the children in the village have to cross that road to get to their bus stops every morning. It's an accident waiting to happen.'
The mock camera is not the first traffic calming measure installed by Mr Allen.
Earlier in the year, he dressed a scarecrow in a high-visibility jacket and a police hat.
After a few weeks of blissful calm on the road, however, somebody stole it.