I get it. Speeding is just too tempting. I mean, why obey the law and drive safely when you can get to where you’re going two or three minutes earlier by driving like Batman? Speeding is a complex phenomenon influenced by a number of sociological and psychological factors, and law enforcement and transportation agencies still don’t have a good way of mitigating the problem. Until cars start driving themselves, that is. In the meantime, we’ve all got to agree to get along on the road and drive with decency. Unless you’re the Belgian driver who was recently ticketed for driving 432 mph in a 30 mph zone. The best part? It was allegedly done in an Opel Astra, a family car with a four-liter engine and less than 100 horsepower. How exactly did this happen?
It turns out it didn’t. The 432 mph ticket was the result of a computer glitch in Belgium’s automated ticketing system. Like many countries, Belgium uses computer-controlled traffic cameras which can track vehicles’ speeds and issue tickets autonomously. In this case, a coding error causes the system to dramatically overestimate the driver’s speed as he drove through the winding streets of Quiévrain, a small Belgian town on the French border.
The Opel Astra driver immediately sent the ticket back in to Belgian transport authorities and the ticket was reduced to 60 kph, or around 40 mph – still speeding, but not enough to set a land speed record. Good thing, too, because the initial ticket would have cost the driver around $7,800.
While driving 432 mph in an Opel Astra would have been braggable, few – if any – land vehicles are able to achieve such speeds on ordinary roads. The fastest production vehicle on the planet is thought to be the Koenigsegg Agera RS, a Swedish-produced roadster capable of reaching around 284 mph.