That’s no typo: A Belgian driver has received a ticket for speeding in an Opel Astra. According to the ticket, he was clocked in at a solid 696 km/h while racing past a radar speed check. Although deducting the measuring tolerance put him at a mere 654.24 km/h, the motorist was still (just) over the maximum speed limit of 50 km/h.
A picture of the letter he received has gone viral over the past few days, circulating on social networks and French-speaking online media. Understandable – after all, not only would the ticket have put the Astra driver into the Belgian criminal records, he also would have easily made it into the Guinness Book of Records, breaking the previous speed record for a land vehicle on a public road (457.49 km/h).
Emphasis on the ‘would have,’ however: When the would-be world-record breaker arrived at his local fine collection center, the clerks apologized for a technical mishap and the ‘coding error’ associated with it. But his joy was short-lived: Since his actual speed was 60 km/h, the speeder was promptly given a new ticket.
Incidentally, according to Section 3 of the German traffic regulations, the original violation would have already warranted the maximum punishment in Germany, which starts at 71 km/h: two points on the driver’s license, a three-month driving ban, and a hefty fee of €680.