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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 17:35 GMT
Police condemn 156mph BMW driver
Ronald Klos
Ronald Klos had denied driving the car, the court heard
Police have condemned the "blatant disregard" for safety shown by a man who was caught driving his BMW at 156mph with a mobile phone at his ear.

Businessman Ronald Klos, whose original acquittal was overturned, has been banned for a year and fined 3,000.

Fife Constabulary said it was the highest speed recorded by their traffic cameras.

Chief Inspector Joe Swanston said Klos' type of driving was "inherently dangerous" and risked lives.

Klos, an amateur racing driver, was filmed in his BMW M3 CSL on the A92 in Fife between Kirkcaldy West and Redhouse in May last year.

I am appalled at this blatant disregard for road safety
Joe Swanston
Fife Police

He was originally acquitted on a technicality but the Crown appealed.

He denied the original charges but was fined 2,500 for driving-related offences and 500 for failing to disclose who was at the wheel.

The accused, of Mount Frost Drive, Markinch, in Fife, was caught on 2 May, 2004.

Video footage showed that the driver appeared to be holding a mobile phone.

Klos, the founder of a salvage company, had originally been charged with offences including dangerous driving, using a handheld mobile while driving and failing to give police information as to the identity of the driver.

Required papers

When he first appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Klos denied he was driving the vehicle but Sheriff Paul Arthurson had refused to accept that.

However, the sheriff did accept his claim that he had not received the required papers for the prosecution and he was found not guilty.

The outcome was challenged by the Crown and three judges at the Justiciary Appeal Court in Edinburgh sent the case back to the sheriff with a direction to find Klos guilty of culpable and reckless conduct.

The judges said they suspected 156mph was one of the highest speeds ever recorded on a Scottish road.

We are only sorry that Klos has not been imprisoned for his high-risk offending that could have so easily cost lives
Mary Williams
Brake

Mr Swanston, head of Fife Police's road policing unit, said: "I am appalled at this blatant disregard for road safety.

"This type of driving behaviour is inherently dangerous and not only did Mr Klos put himself at risk he also compromised the safety of other drivers.

"No-one driving on any road would anticipate being in close proximity to a vehicle doing 156 mph, which is in fact more than twice the maximum national speed limit.

"This on its own is appalling enough but this driver was holding a mobile phone to his ear, this posed an additional and significant danger."

Andy Jones, communications officer for the Fife Safety Camera Partnership, added: "This case is a prime example of safety cameras detecting inappropriate driver behaviour.

"This clearly illustrates that cameras are not a money generator."

Mary Williams, chief executive of national road safety charity Brake, said: "We're delighted the original acquittal has been overturned and only sorry that Klos has not been imprisoned for his high-risk offending that could have so easily cost lives."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the reaction of Klos as he leaves court



SEE ALSO:
Judges overturn speeder acquittal
01 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Man cleared of 156mph BMW charge
08 Jun 05 |  Scotland
Businessman denies 156mph speed
21 Apr 05 |  Scotland


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