If there’s anything that true crime podcasts have shown us, it’s that legal systems are systematically flawed and often devour citizens of both their free time and money. For some, legal cases are as easy as throwing $1,300 at court fees to dispute an assault case. For others, the price to see justice served on a speeding ticket is about a few thousand dollars short of Mike Tyson’s weed habit.
A 71-year-old English man by the name of Richard Keedwell got a £100 ($120) speeding ticket for doing 35mph in a 30mph zone in 2016. He didn’t believe he broke the law, and he definitely didn’t want to justify spending £100 to pay off the ticket, so he instead spent nearly £30,000 ($37,000) of his son’s inheritance fighting the traffic violation in court within the means of a “seriously flawed” legal system.
Keedwell, a retired engineer, swears he didn’t commit this crime so hard, he decided to expose a faulty traffic camera instead of paying off his ticket. “I know I wasn’t doing 30 mph because I’m someone who is quite obsessed with fuel economy and I drive no more than the speed limits to get the most miles per gallon that I can,” he told British publication i. “So I was very surprised when I got the NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution]. Most people would open it and think ‘damn,’ and just pay the fine. I’m sick of the injustices happening with our government and police and ordinary people being ripped off. I thought, I’m going to challenge this.”
And challenge he did. In court, Keedwell hired the help of electronics and radar specialist Tim Farrow to analyze images of the alleged speeding incident. Farrow exposed a speeding camera malfunction known as the “double doppler” effect, in which a camera’s speed radar measures the speed of a passing car and deflects that speed onto a second car that is heading the same direction. Basically, Keedwell maintains that he wasn’t speeding, it was some other dude who sped by him and the camera snapped the wrong guy.
Ultimately, after a few hearings, various court fees and travel expenses, and hiring Farrow, Keedwell said he spent around $36,982 fighting his case. He lost his most recent hearing in August. But hey, three years later, Keedwell has finally paid off his fine. Sometimes you’ve got to blow some dough to disrupt the system.