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How often are camera vans wrong?


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Hi Caggers, and apologies if this has been done to death elsewhere but i can't find anything specific.

 

Other half has received an NIP relating to an alleged speeding offence a few days ago. She is gobsmacked, as it is on a stretch of road where there is often a camera van, she saw the van, and she was behind "a little hatchback" going so slowly she didn't even feel the need to check her speedo. They think she was doing 72 (indicated about 75 on the dial, then) in a 60. She doesn't believe it, but daren't risk taking it to court in case she gets a heavier fine and more points. This will take her to 9!!!

 

Question: In the expert opinion of the assembled wisdom, how often are camera van readings successfully challenged (in court or elsewhere) on the basis of the speed being inaccurate (i.e. not just on a technicality or the NIP having inaccuracies)? It may influence whether she should request a court hearing.

 

Also, how can it be fair and equitable for police forces to differ in the ability  to access the photographic record (e.g. Lancs where you can, and West Mercia (us) where you can't)? The law is the same throughout England.

 

Thanks in advance 

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they are very rarely wrong.

 

what would concern me more is that she appears not to be able to judge her perceived speed accurately .......

thinking one is 'going so slowly' when infact she was in excess of 70MPH doesn't point to well toward ever being generally too aware  about her speed anywhere. 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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How would your wife establish that the camera reading was inaccurate?  I have heard it done, but I would guess that it's only in about one case out of a thousand of those that get to court.

 

My understanding (which may be mistaken) is that so long as the speed reading is measured by a Home Office approved device, it is presumed to be both accurate and correct, unless the defendant can show otherwise.  This means showing that the reading actually was incorrect, not just that it could have been incorrect.  I suspect your wife saying "I thought I was only travelling at 60mph" would not be enough.

 

Also, once you start querying the accuracy of the device in question, the prosecution will bring in expert evidence at an eye-watering cost.  You would probably be looking at expert witness costs alone in excess of £1000 - not counting normal prosecution costs of about £600.

 

This chap was certain he wasn't breaking the limit as well:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-49641063

 

I don't know enough to say whether she may be eligible for a speed awareness course (if she's not done one in the last three years) or whether she should get a conditional offer of a fixed penalty.  Personally, I'd take what they offered rather than contest it at court - unless I was 100% certain I was not guilty and was 100% confident I could demonstrate it.

 

I presume she has already acknowledged that she was the driver and has done so within the prescribed time limit?

 

FWIW I tend to agree that the availability (or otherwise) of photographic evidence is a bit unsatisfactory.  But it makes no difference to your wife's case as she would argue the photographic evidence is wrong anyway, wouldn't she?  So it doesn't matter that she can't see it(!).

 

Another poster, Man in the Middle, will probably correct any errors I've made - he knows what he's talking about.

 

 

Edited by Manxman in exile
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also 6 points previously for what?

don't tell us speeding......

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks for your sage advice, @Manxman in exile and @dx100uk

 

I'm surprised she was going that fast on that particular stretch of road, but there is a reason why West Mercia's finest stake it out on such a frequent basis.

I'm not here to defend her (nor was i with her, or i would have suggested she moderates her speed), just wondering if there is case-history of these cameras being challenged. You have answered that very clearly, for which you have my thanks.

 

Time for her to suck it up, i suspect (again :()

 

EDIT: Part of me was wondering if the camera might get it wrong if the view was interrupted by a lorry or something (the van was on the opposite side of the road).

Edited by Oddfellow
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Yes Manxman has near enough covered it. Your wife must prove to the court that the measurement in her particular case cannot be relied upon. She will be hard pushed to do that. Showing that "this might have happened" or "that may have malfunctioned" will not do.

 

She should be offered a speed awareness course for that speed provided she has not done one of the applicable type (there are three) within the last three years. This will cost her about £100 and three or four hours of her time but, crucially, no points. If she does not fancy that or it is not offered the alternative is a fixed penalty of £100 and three points.

 

Nobody is entitled to any evidence before court proceedings begin. Drivers can ask for "any photographs which may help identify the driver." Obviously they should do so before responding to the Section 172 request for driver's details. Some areas provide them, others do not and there is no obligation to do so. The photographs rarely help identifying the driver as they are designed to identify the vehicle, not the driver. Identifying the driver is the duty of (in the first instance, at least) the Registered Keeper. Those photographs usually only form the evidence (if it is needed) to identify the vehicle. Evidence to substantiate the speed alleged will come either from the automatic device or, in the case of a manned device or a vehicle stop, by the operator or police officer who measured the speed.

 

You can see from the link provided by Manxman about Mr Keedwell's case, the perils of defending an allegation solely on the basis that the driver was "certain they were not exceeding the limit." Your wife would do well to accept whatever out of court offer is made.

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