Speed Camera Evidence in Doubt, Warns Safe Speed
Safe Speed Press information

 release date 3rd April 2004 number PR111


News: For immediate release.

We are hearing of dropped court cases all around the country concerning laser speed cameras in mobile vans. The cases are being dropped when defendants exercise their legal rights by demanding to see the "traffic video", 7 days before a court hearing.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed campaign said: "The rumours are that some of these traffic videos prove that the equipment does not always record speeds correctly. We don't know of any other explanation for these mysterious failures of the CPS to provide traffic videos when formally requested."

UK law, drafted in the interests of a fair trail, provides an opportunity for both sides to examine the evidence prior to trial in a process known as "disclosure". Defendants are entitled to disclosure of evidence no later than 7 days before the trial. Any evidence not so disclosed must should be excluded from consideration by the court. If a traffic video is not disclosed, then it cannot be admitted as evidence and no corroborative evidence of the speed of the vehicle would be available to the court.

Paul continues: "We strongly recommend that no one submits to a trial in one of these cases without proper advanced disclosure of the video evidence.A short clip is not enough, the entire video comprises one "document" and defendants are entitled to disclosure of the whole document."

These doubts about the legal evidence in speeding cases are centred around the "LTI 20/20" laser speed meter. Most, if not all, mobile speed traps in the UK use this particular equipment. In a typical application the laser speed meter is linked to video recording apparatus that records continuous video from a speed trapping session. The vehicles and their number plates are recorded on the video, and the speed readings from the laser speed meter are superimposed on the pictures. This means that the video is the main evidence of the speeding offence.

The LTI 20/20 has been criticized for spurious readings in other countries according to reports.


About Safe Speed:   

Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Paul Smith, 48, an advanced motorist and road safety enthusiast, and a professional engineer of 25 years UK experience, has carried out in excess of 4,500 hours of research into the overall effects of speed camera policy on UK road safety. We believe that this is more work in more detail than anything carried out by any other organisation. Paul's surprising conclusion is that overall speed cameras make our roads more dangerous. Paul has identified and reported a number of major flaws and false assumptions in the claims made for speed cameras, and the whole "speed kills" system of road safety.    

The inescapable conclusion is that we should urgently return to the excellent road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place.    

Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or appropriate enforcement of motoring laws, but argues vigorously that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate.    

Contact Safe Speed:   

web: http://www.safespeed.org.uk    
email : psmith@safespeed.org.uk   
telephone: 01862 832000 anytime.    
mobile: 07799 045553    
note: the mobile does not work well at our office. Always try land line first.    
Location: North Scotland    

We are available for press and media interviews.

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Created 3/04/2004. Last update 3/04/2004