Driving at 170: Police may have arrested wrong driver
It could have been four.
But the police never got hold of the motorist who drove at 170 kilometres an hour on the motorway.
Instead, a seemingly innocent Östra Göinge-resident was singled out. Several days after the incident he is still shaken over the police’s behaviour.
The car zoomed past Östra Göinge-resident at blazing speed on the E22 on February 27th, heading towards Sölvesborg. Perhaps as fast as 200 kilometres per hour. A few minutes later, the motorcycle police arrived.
But the police arrested Östra Göinge resident and said he had driven 170 kilometres an hour. The police said "we’re taking your driving license now."
– It was terrible. You know you are innocent but then you are accused in this way. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry, says the driver.
He felt that the police check had lasted "an eternity", maybe 45-60 minutes (the police believe it was a maximum of 40 minutes).
A younger police officer took a picture of his vehicle and sent it to his colleagues on the bridge at Gualöv. The make of the car was a match, but they were unsure about the colour and the model.
– We’re all good? Said one of the police officers to the man, gave him a pat on his shoulder and let the Östra Göinge resident drive on.
How could this happen?
Usually one police officer manages the laser, while the other takes down the make of the car and preferably the registration number; something that the motorcycle police find out over the radio before going after the motorist. But this time there no registration number was taken. With insufficient prior information and a late start, the police happened to stop the wrong vehicle.
– Sometimes we are human, says the motorcycle police.
But the man didn’t get an apology and won’t get one either.
– We can't apologise for doing our job, but the pat on the shoulder was one way of apologising? Of course it’s unfortunate if we have used too much of his time. You may ask him to call me if he wants to talk about this, says Bengt-Erik Lind, Unit Manager for the traffic police in Kristianstad, who was not at the scene on the day.
For the law-abiding citizen from Östra Göinge, who just happened to have the same make of car as the person who was speeding, the incident has left its mark.
– I feel insecure. And above all, I think about what if it had happened to a younger guy. If he didn’t dare to stand up for himself, but had taken the blame and had his driving license revoked and all of the consequences that follow.