A DISABLED man is the first person in Britain to be prosecuted for obstructing a speed camera – and he says he WON’T stop.
Jack Cureton, 63, began pulling up his mobility scooter behind the road safety van because it was parked on the pavement – making it tricky for him to get past.
The retired engineer – using his two walking sticks – would stand in front of the camera lens, he also put up an umbrella to obstruct the camera catching speeding drivers.
A dozen times, over a period of around three years the granddad, of Athersley North, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, parked up behind the marked road safety vehicle at the same location near to his bungalow..
“That speed camera van is always parked illegally on the pavement and I can’t get around it safely on my mobility scooter,” said Mr Cureton.
“I struggle to stand because I only have four toes left due to diabetes.
“The van is always parked up totally illegally blocking the pavement.
“So I have been blocking his view. I park my scooter behind him, or stand up using my sticks. One passer by gave me his umbrella to block the lens as well.
“I have had a lot of support for my actions because people are sick of it being one rule for us drivers and members of the public and another rule for the police.”
The speed van parks on Wakefield Road – a 30MPH zone.
Mr Cureton, on his Kymco pride maxima mobility scooter, with a top speed of 8MPH, claims it obstructs the pavement illegally, contrary to Rule 244 of the Highway Code.
Rule 244 states: “You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.
“Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”
Mr Cureton, who also drivers a car, said: ”There are no signs warning people like me that the pavement might be blocked and no signs allowing drivers to park on the footpath, and there is no dropped kerb at that location.”
But his one-man campaign landed Mr Cureton in court after he was finally prosecuted for resisting/obstructing a designated person/inspector after an incident on the A61 Wakefield Road last year.
He was found guilty by magistrates of obstructed a speed enforcement van on Wakefield Road at about 1.15pm on 7 December by parking his mobility scooter behind the vehicle and shouting obscenities at the Policing Support Officer inside.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Cureton continued to stand behind the vehicle, blocking the speed enforcement camera’s view, while intimidating the Policing Support Officer.
Cureton refused all attempts to be interviewed, and he was found guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 9 November.
He was made to pay £400 in fines and costs, plus a £25 victim surcharge, and was handed a 12-month conditional discharge.
Scott Dernie, South Yorkshire Police’s Head of Safety Cameras & Ticket Processing, said: “Our staff do not deserve to be intimidated and threatened while carrying out their duties.
“We are pleased with this court result, and hope it will show all members of the public that such behaviour towards or staff will not be tolerated.”
But Mr Cureton has vowed to continue obstructing the speed camera.
“If I see it parked there again I will do the same again. It should not be blocking the pavement,” he said.