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At what distance is a laser accurate?

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Just received my conditional offer of 3 points and £60 for apparently doing 38mph in a 30mph zone. I asked them for photo and therein I have the first two elements of doubt.

 

First - the distance is 268 metres. How do I go about questioning the accuracy at this distance? They'll have to give me the manufacturer's details and I'll have to write to them I'm assuming. Surely I can't be expected to see the van and sign at that distance in an urban 30mph area? (I've read that you have to be able to see the sign. Any ideas where the legal requirements are?)

 

Second - the laser 'cross' misses the number plate by a few inches. I've read it's supposed to hit the number plate. Anyone know where I can get proper confirmation of that information.

 

Third - the conditional offer letter does not contain a section or an address or instructions about what to do if I want to go to court. It simply says you may go to court, but if you don't want to do that then fill in this form. Are they within their rights to send me such an unhelpful explanation of my rights and procedures?

 

Have I got enough to get off in court do you think?

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1) the LasTec 20/20 is type-approved by the Home Office as accurate to up to 900 metres. You don't need to see them; the argument is that you shouldn't be exceeding the speed limit anyway. There is no requirement in law for a sign immediately prior to a van (as long as the road has already been signed as using speed cameras)

 

2) The 'cross' is not the laser - the laser is invisible - the cross is an aiming mark used by the operate. No cross actually appears on the car - it is only on the screen/pictures. A slight misalignment - magnified over distance does not, in itself, invalidate the reading.

 

3) the reason that there is nothing on the forms about going to court is that all you have to do to go to court is nothing. If you do not accept the CoFP, the matter will automatically be forwarded for a summons.

 

Note that you must comply with the s.172 request to supply the driver details or another (more severe) offence is committed - I am assuming that you have a combined NIP/CoFP and not that you have already had a NIP

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Yes, I've confirmed the NIP, but I don't think I was speeding. The photo shows me in my tiny little car going round a bend - if I was doing 38mph it would be up on two wheels!

 

What about not being able to see the van from 268 metres?

And what about that bloke who got off at 236 metres after the CPS decided it would be too much effort to get the experts in to prove the distance.

 

I don't know what model they were using, but surely there must be an increased element of error at a long distance?

 

Cheers

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What about not being able to see the van from 268 metres?

 

The response from the prosecution will be "Why do you need to see the van? You shouldn't be speeding anyway."

 

There is no requirement for the van to be obvious and visible (in fact, some authorities are well known for hiding theirs). The fact that you did not or could not see it does not mitigate the offence at all.

 

Your only hope as I see it, is to plead not guilty and at the same time require disclosure of the full session video to see if there is any procedural impropriety by the operator - like no start and end of session checks, zapping every vehicle regardless of speed, etc.

I don't know what model they were using, but surely there must be an increased element of error at a long distance?

 

There may well be, but you won't win on that alone as the device is type-approved for far greater distances and will be certified to the Court by a s.20 statement from the SCP.

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The photo shows me in my tiny little car going round a bend - if I was doing 38mph it would be up on two wheels!

 

If the laser reading was clearly taken whilst you were still in the bend, you may be able to call in question the acuracey of using the gun in these situations. I am not an expert on this and patdavies has much more knowledge I am sure, but as far as I understood it, the lasers should be used in a straight line.

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