Inventor Could Get Seven Years In Jail Because Of His Inflatable Speed Cameras

For most of his adult life, Shed Simove - which, by the way is a great name - has sold funny novelty items. For example, the London-based Big Brother producer 'wrote' a bestselling book called What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex that consisted of just 200 blank pages.

He's also created sweets called Hate Hearts (as opposed to Love Hearts) for those anti-romantics among us, the iFoam - a washing sponge that looks like and is the same size as an iPhone X - and a Not So Smart Watch, which is essentially a white board you can wear on your wrist. Which is actually a really great idea.

Anyway, while most of his products have been designed for laugh, Shed's latest product could well land him in hot water - an inflatable speed camera.

Credit: Samuel Ridge
Credit: Samuel Ridge

The inventor/entrepreneur/public speaker came up with a blow-up camera called the FAKESO - based on the GATSO speed camera design - that you can then attach to the top of a lamppost, and commissioned a factory in China to manufacture them.

The plan was to sell them in stores for £30 ($40) each, and Shed hoped that people who wanted to get cars to slow down outside their homes might find them handy - as well as giving drivers with a sense of humour a bit of a laugh.

However, Shed has been warned by police that if he sells or uses his inflatable speed cameras he could face up to seven years in prison if his gadget causes any crashes.

While it's not illegal to set up fake speed cameras, he could be punished if anybody crashes as a result of them being set up - because they don't comply with the Road Traffic Act of 1988.


Speaking to the Daily Mail, Shed expressed his disappointment at their decision.

"I'm gutted," he said. "I really thought I'd created a product that could help everyone by reducing speeding on Britain's roads.

"With my product, anyone can quickly construct their own fully mobile speed camera and reduce incidents of speeding in minutes.

"I just want to encourage safe driving. The last thing I want is to cause an accident.

"I was flabbergasted when the police told me I could face seven years in the clink for this."

Credit: Samuel Ridge
Credit: Samuel Ridge

The full extent of the situation was explained to Shed in an email he received from police officers about his cameras.

"Although it is not illegal per se to put up pretend speed cameras, the police do not endorse them," it read.

"Depending on where they were erected, there could be an offence contrary to section 22A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Causing danger to road users) - this carries a maximum of seven years in prison.

"Additionally, if an accident were to occur as a result of the fake camera, those responsible could find themselves being sued by the victims."

Credit: Samuel Ridge
Credit: Samuel Ridge

The email continued: "Finally, putting up such a camera may breach planning legislation and so the local council may take action."

Oof. Shed is now waiting on legal advice as to whether he can continue making the product, but for now manufacturing is on hold.

Featured Image Credit: Samuel Ridge

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]

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