A Whitby man was caught on film by a police safety camera doing 62mph on the Guisborough Road with his hands behind his head for around 30 seconds, Scarborough Magistrate’s Court heard this week.

Precisely what Dick Newt, 36, was using to control his vehicle as he negotiated the curves and undulations of the A171 with oncoming traffic continuously passing in the opposite single-lane carriageway, was not revealed (perhaps there were ladies present).

Didactically minded copper Dave Brown of the North Yorks Police was at pains to emphasise the complete absence from Mr Newt’s stunt of either bigness or cleverness, adducing that there are two clear lessons to be learned from his case.

“One,” he commented, “is the sheer stupidity of some people who put others in danger, and the other is the ability of our safety camera to capture a range of offences.”

To this short list he might have added that, for a man with two hands off the wheel, Newt holds a pretty good line on the road.

But that would have been a reckless and irresponsible thing to say, so it’s just as well he didn’t.

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