Fast-flying pigeon triggers speed camera after breaking legal limit

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen German pigeon? About 28 mph

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 09 May 2019 08:37 BST
No respect for road safety - this pigeon was caught doing 12kmh above the speed limit
No respect for road safety - this pigeon was caught doing 12kmh above the speed limit (Bocholter City/Facebook)

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Louise Thomas

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A pigeon in Germany has been flashed by a speed camera after it was caught flying faster than the legal limit for the road.

The criminally rapid avian was snapped flapping along a residential street in Bocholt, western Germany, when it was clocked at 45kmh (28mph) in a 30kmh zone.

A mobile camera unit was automatically triggered by the bird as it flew past.

Representatives from the town published the evidence last week – a photograph unmistakably that of a pigeon mid-flight, and in which it is apparently swooping down the wrong side of the road.

The image has delighted many people and has already been widely shared.

If it had not been a pigeon, but a car full of people, the driver would have been served a €25 (£21) penalty for speeding.

The incident apparently took place in February this year, but it appears to have taken some months for the picture to be fully assessed and then released.

On the town’s Facebook page the authorities stated that even with the speed limit margin of 3kmh allowed in legal cases, the pigeon would have no chance of getting off, as the animal was 12 kmh over the limit.

The flight path of the bird indicated it was “on a collision course with vehicles and pedestrians”.

“However, the city administration does not want to launch a survey of possible witnesses,” the statement said.

Pigeons can in fact fly at far greater speeds than this individual, who was probably coasting along.

According to the UK’s Pigeon Control Resource Centre, the birds can fly at average speeds of up to 77.6mph and have been clocked at a meteoric 92.5mph.

They can manage astonishing distances of between 600 and 700 miles in a single day, with the longest recorded flight in the 19th century apparently taking 55 days, during a 7,000-mile journey between locations in Africa and England, and have the ability to reach altitudes of over 6,000ft.

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