We Traffic Police are justly proud of our
record in apprehending speeding motorists. We have amassed
thousands of pounds in fines for our Recreation Fund and have had
unrivalled fun in doing so.
We had believed that not a driver in the
region remained un-fined. This pride, however, was cruelly
crushed by Miss Dora Threadgarden.
A comparison of those fined with vehicle
owners in the area revealed that Miss Threadgarden had never
received a ticket. We immediately deployed a team of our best
officers to the case, setting up an observation and incident
centre in the house opposite to hers in Magnolia Rise. It
transpired that the Target was a sixty-two year old
ex-schoolteacher. She had been a lifelong Quaker and local
philanthropist. She was well respected in the community and had
never been guilty of even a minor offence. Even more difficult,
from our perspective, was that she was the one careful
owner of a 1961 Ford Anglia.
Initially, we were undaunted and adopted
our normal tactic of following her in a series of unmarked police
cars wherever she drove. After six months, and with the cost of
the operation running into hundreds of thousands of pounds, the
closest we had got to a kill was twenty-eight miles per hour in a
thirty miles per hour zone. At this point we called in a
psychological profiler who imparted the devastating news that the
Target was pathologically law-abiding.
It was then that the boys at Forensic came
to our rescue. The speedometer in a car senses the velocity of
the vehicle from the speed of rotation of a road wheel. A wheel
with a larger diameter also has a greater circumference. This
means that one rotation of a larger wheel moves a vehicle further
along the road than one rotation of a smaller wheel. The
speedometer is calibrated based on the normal diameter of a wheel
with a properly inflated tyre. If, somehow, the wheels on Miss
Threadgardens Anglia could be increased in diameter by one
centimetre, the boffins calculated that she would actually be
travelling at thirty-one miles per hour when her speedometer was
only registering twenty-nine. Furthermore, such an excess
inflation would occur if the air temperature reached that of an
English summer heatwave, due to the increase in pressure
resulting from the heating of the tyres.
So it was that nearly one hundred plain-clothes
officers with speed detectors were positioned along Magnolia Rise
at the hottest time of an August day as the Target motored from
We got her! Thirty point zero five miles
The team was jubilant. I ran down five
pedestrians in my rush to tell the lads at the pub.
The only downside was the attitude of the
Target who politely apologised and promised to be more careful in
future. She had intended to give what was now her sixty pounds
fine to a hospice for orphaned children, but she stoically
resolved to still scrape that donation from her pension somehow.
The lack of anger or tears was very
disappointing. What can you do with these sorts of people?