Spunky British grandmother gains internet fame with 'hairdryer speed gun'

Spunky British grandmother gains internet fame with 'hairdryer speed gun'
Jean Brooks, 64, uses a hair dryer to trick speeding drivers into slowing down.
PHOTO: Facebook/BBC News

Have no fear, grandma's here!

Spunky British grandmother-of-four Jean Brooks recently found herself in the spotlight with a rather ingenious method of tricking drivers who attempt a fast and furious on the roads.

Armed with a hair dryer, the 64-year-old who hails from Nottingham, England, would hold her bathroom appliance over the garden fence to confuse drivers into thinking it's a police speed gun so that they would slow down.

The traffic busting nan gained notoriety after contacting BBC Radio Nottingham about her solution to dangerous motorists who were causing mayhem in the area. 

"I was listening to the radio and they were talking about these kids who were riding around on bikes," she told the Nottingham Post.

"They asked if anyone had got a solution for it and I phoned up and said 'I've sorted it - I use my hairdryer'."

BBC later filmed her speeding vigilantism in action and since their video was uploaded on Saturday (June 3), it has racked up a staggering 23 million views.

"One of my daughters called me up and said I'd gone viral. I thought 'I don't have a virus' but she told me what she meant. My grieving daughter has seen it and it made her laugh."

Brook's attempts at road safety started following the unfortunate passing of her son-in law. After the family tragedy, she devoted herself into fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care, a UK-based charity organisation for people with terminal illnesses.

The retiree raises funds by creating a cafe in the front garden of her home which was when she promptly noticed the cars speeding up and down her front road.

"The problem with the traffic was that it was mental, kids with what I like to call sewing machines on wheels or quad bikes and mothers were driving at around 50 or 60mph (80 to 96 km/h) because they were late to school," she told The Sun

That proved too much for Brooks as the neighbourhood speed limit was only 30 mph (50 km/hr).

If they don't like it, that's tough. I live here, my friends live here, my friend's children live here and if we can't be safe in our own street, where the hell are we going to be safe in the world?

Jean Brooks

"I thought I'd get my hair dryer, stand by the gate and follow them up the road with it so they must've thought I was a nutter."

Hilariously, drivers often slow down for fear they might be caught speeding.

In fact, her neighbours have been so impressed with the hair-raising method that they've been inspired to give dangerous drivers their own hairdryer treatment.

Brook's neighbour, Ashley Mays (52), made plans to set up his own fake speed camera to help clamp down on racing cars.

"It's made a tremendous difference," he said. "No quad bikes, no fast traffic and all thanks to a hair dryer which is amazing. It's calmed down so much as soon as she's got her hair dryer out you would not believe how much of a difference it makes."

"I'm going to put up a yellow box on a pole to look like a speed box after seeing how big an impact it can have."

A former local newspaper owner, Brooks said that she's been confronted by angry motorists since using her imitation speed gun but added that she's not intimidated.

The gruff gran said in the video, "If they don't like it, that's tough. I live here, my friends live here, my friend's children live here and if we can't be safe in our own street, where the hell are we going to be safe in the world?"

Trying to speed? Not on her watch. 

Way to go grandma!

ljoey@sph.com.sg 

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