Driving 106 mph costs airman his license
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Singer Sammy Hagar may not be able to drive 55, but Airman 1st Class Virgil Heather had no trouble hitting 106. And now he’s hoofing it.
The 48th Maintenance Squadron airman lost his driving privileges on British roads for one year after appearing at Ely Magistrates’ Court and admitting to eight speeding offenses in the past 12 months, court officials said.
In addition, Heather also faces administrative punishment at RAF Lakenheath, and has lost his Air Force driving privileges, according to RAF Lakenheath spokeswoman Staff Sgt. Vanessa Young.
On one occasion, Heather, 22, was tagged driving 106 mph in a 70 zone, according to the Cambridge Evening News, which published Heather’s story on April 10.
He was ordered to pay $2,200 in fines and court costs, according to Ely Magistrates’ Court.
According to Young, Heather, who has served at the home of the 48th Fighter Wing for approximately 14 months, had incorrect information on his vehicle’s registration and did not receive the tickets in the mail in a timely manner.
But once he did, he notified his chain of command and the base British Liaison legal office and then appeared in court, Young wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
Hundreds of “safety cameras” are positioned on British roadside to photograph speeding motorists. Tickets are then mailed to the offenders. Infractions cost motorists a set number of points depending on the violation.
Accumulating 12 points normally leads to the revocation of a license.
Brake, a British road safety advocacy group, said the court’s decision to take Heather’s license sends a positive message to speeding motorists.
“We’re clearly glad he’s lost his license,” said Rachel Burr, a spokeswoman for Brake. “There isn’t an excuse for speeding, and doing 106 in 70 zone is simply inexcusable.”
Burr said that 29 percent of fatal accidents are caused by speeding motorists or drivers traveling too fast for conditions, such as driving 70 mph in a thick fog or heavy rains.
By comparison, 11 percent of fatal car wrecks are due to drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, she said.