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ProLaser 4, Expert witness required - Ex military please read
prolaser4lover
post Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 22:38
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Hi

I was recently prosecuted at magistrates court for a speeding offence. Unfortunately the magistrates ignored my defence completely:

1) They ignored my plea that a fair trial was not able to proceed due to no disclosure of the evidence requested under the criminal evidence and procedures act
- I was told in no uncertain terms that the prosecution has no obligation to disclose any evidence to me (which is total BS as section 20.1 of PACE clearly states they do)

2) They ignored my defence that the offices was not trained on the device and therefore failed to zero the device in accordance with the operating manual.
- The magistrates claimed that although the officer had not known what zeroing meant he had in fact done the test.

3) They ignored my argument that the officer could have potentially not targeted my motorcycle correctly as he was at an angle to the bike and hence slip effect is Highly likely.

4) I also argued that the speed measured could not theoretically be possible due to the stopping distance of the vehicle being 6m more than the distance the officer was away from me when the reading was taken.

I genuinely believe the only reason I was convicted was purely based on the fact that I am considered a "lay" person and the court took advantage of this fact to ignore my defence.

I'm looking into buying the ProLaser 4 to demonstrate its inability to measure the speed of a vehicle accurately and am looking for some one with experience in Shooting hand guns (or laser devices).

I have looked extensively into the accuracy of shooting and it is clear that even professional shooters (such as world champions) would find it difficult to accurately hit a MOVING target at the distance claimed an untrained police officer can acquire a target.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking to contest it at crown court

This post has been edited by prolaser4lover: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 22:39
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post Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 22:38
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southpaw82
post Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 22:55
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 23:38) *
1) They ignored my plea that a fair trial was not able to proceed due to no disclosure of the evidence requested under the criminal evidence and procedures act
- I was told in no uncertain terms that the prosecution has no obligation to disclose any evidence to me (which is total BS as section 20.1 of PACE clearly states they do)


Section 20(1) deals with the seizure of computerised information?

What evidence was disclosed to you?

QUOTE
2) They ignored my defence that the offices was not trained on the device and therefore failed to zero the device in accordance with the operating manual.
- The magistrates claimed that although the officer had not known what zeroing meant he had in fact done the test.


Was he trained or not? Did you assert he wasn’t trained or was there evidence before the court that he wasn’t trained? What evidence was there that he’d done the zeroing test?

QUOTE
3) They ignored my argument that the officer could have potentially not targeted my motorcycle correctly as he was at an angle to the bike and hence slip effect is Highly likely.


No idea what you mean.

QUOTE
4) I also argued that the speed measured could not theoretically be possible due to the stopping distance of the vehicle being 6m more than the distance the officer was away from me when the reading was taken.


Again, no idea what you mean.

QUOTE
I genuinely believe the only reason I was convicted was purely based on the fact that I am considered a "lay" person and the court took advantage of this fact to ignore my defence.


Or you didn’t present it very well.

QUOTE
I'm looking into buying the ProLaser 4 to demonstrate its inability to measure the speed of a vehicle accurately and am looking for some one with experience in Shooting hand guns (or laser devices).

I have looked extensively into the accuracy of shooting and it is clear that even professional shooters (such as world champions) would find it difficult to accurately hit a MOVING target at the distance claimed an untrained police officer can acquire a target.


What has shooting got to do with it? How far away was he when he caught you?

Were you actually speeding?

QUOTE
I am looking to contest it at crown court

Ok, so nothing that happened at court matters. You get to run your case again in front of a fresh court with a professional judge.


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Logician
post Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 23:39
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QUOTE
They ignored my argument that the officer could have potentially not targeted my motorcycle correctly as he was at an angle to the bike and hence slip effect is Highly likely.


If you mean that he was not directly on the line of travel of your bike and therefore measured at an angle, that will always mean that the speed measured is lower than the actual speed.

QUOTE
I have looked extensively into the accuracy of shooting and it is clear that even professional shooters (such as world champions) would find it difficult to accurately hit a MOVING target at the distance claimed an untrained police officer can acquire a target.


Shooting a bullet is completely different because the trajectory of the bullet and windage has to be taken into account, neither of which affect the beam of laser light. In addition at a distance there will be little sideways movement to take into account, and the light is travelling incomparably faster than a bullet in a straight line. This is hopelessly misconceived

It is not surprising your defence, as you describe it, was not successful. You will do no better in the Crown Court and very much worse if the prosecution decide to instruct an expert witness to refute you, because you will have to pay the cost of that.


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big_mac
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 01:16
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QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 00:39) *
Shooting a bullet is completely different because the trajectory of the bullet and windage has to be taken into account, neither of which affect the beam of laser light. In addition at a distance there will be little sideways movement to take into account, and the light is travelling incomparably faster than a bullet in a straight line.

Perhaps more importantly to the claim, the laser is not focused on a single point - the beam could be as much as 2.5 feet wide.
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Jlc
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 07:02
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What’s the alleged speed/limit?

Slip is less likely with a motorcycle - it requires the linear sweeping of the beam along the length of the measurement to produce a higher than actual read. As already noted any angle will reduce the reading due to cosine effect.


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Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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NewJudge
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 07:25
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 23:38) *
2) They ignored my defence that the offices was not trained on the device and therefore failed to zero the device in accordance with the operating manual.
- The magistrates claimed that although the officer had not known what zeroing meant he had in fact done the test.

Did you simply allege or suggest that he was not trained and had not zeroed the device, leaving the prosecution to prove that he was and did? Or did you have proof of your allegation/suggestion?

Your re-run in the Crown Court will be before a judge and two lay magistrates. Each has an equal say on matters of fact (on which most of your multi-pronged defence rests). This means the magistrates can outvote the judge and if, as you suggest, you were convicted in the lower court because of your lack of credentials, you may fare no better with your appeal. Before you buy your Pro Laser device I would await the outcome of that appeal because if your conviction is upheld you realistically will have nowhere to take your demonstration of its shortcomings.
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Colin_S
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 07:28
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 - 23:38) *
4) I also argued that the speed measured could not theoretically be possible due to the stopping distance of the vehicle being 6m more than the distance the officer was away from me when the reading was taken.


How did you calculate this stopping distance? Did you measure the coefficient of friction of the road surface for starters? Did you take into account the tyre temperatures, the load on your bike, your own personal reaction time, any gradient on the road, etc., etc.,?
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Jlc
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 07:43
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I'm not even sure what the relevance of stopping distance and 6m more is? (Nor ex-military)

EDIT: Rookie's explanation may explain.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 10:40


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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The Rookie
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 09:25
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An approved devise (such as a prolaser4) is deemed to be working correctly unless the defendant shows otherwise. What proof did you present it wasn’t? Did you have an expert witness? If not you were always going to lose I’m afraid.

As for stopping distance, I assume he flagged you down and stopped you (you don’t say what actually happened) if so how about you share your maths on that for a critique?

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 09:27


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Chijiki
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 11:36
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover)
. . . . . . . am looking for some one with experience in Shooting hand guns (or laser devices). . . .

I have looked extensively into the accuracy of shooting and it is clear that even professional shooters (such as world champions) would find it difficult to accurately hit a MOVING target at the distance claimed an untrained police officer can acquire a target.


I'll save you the expense of hiring a "shooting professional".
I was a Royal Navy Gunnery Instructor.
One of the subjects I taught was ballistics and their application to everything from handguns to 4.5" guns and missiles.

I can assure you the "professional shooters" of our armed forces have very little difficulty accurately hitting moving targets.
We, as a country, would be in the mire by now if, historically, we had failed to master that art.

You say that you have "looked extensively into the accuracy of shooting" but I would suggest that your research must be flawed.
The firing of a projectile from a gun bears almost no comparison to operating a laser gun.

Sadly I can only see you spending many thousands of pounds to be proved wrong on your present crusade.
However, I wish you the best of luck and will await with interest to see your result.
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TryOut
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 12:02
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...also, when you shoot light it goes straight to the target, no need to adjust for the time it takes to get there for even the fastest road vehicle.

Point...click...and in a few 10's of billionths of a second the light has reached the target and has come all the way back.

"Slip", "motorcycle" and "highly likely" don't fit together.

This post has been edited by TryOut: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 12:05
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prolaser4lover
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 13:32
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Thanks a lot for your comments.

1) They ignored my plea that a fair trial was not able to proceed due to no disclosure of the evidence requested under the criminal evidence and procedures act
- I was told in no uncertain terms that the prosecution has no obligation to disclose any evidence to me (which is total BS as section 20.1 of PACE clearly states they do)

I meant to say : Under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996
The prosecutor must—
(a)disclose to the accused any prosecution material which has not previously been disclosed to the accused and which [F2might reasonably be considered capable of undermining] the case for the prosecution against the accused [F3or of assisting the case for the accused] , or
(b)give to the accused a written statement that there is no material of a description mentioned in paragraph (a).

In addition to this my evidence stated

"Fairness ordinarily requires that any material held by the prosecution which weakens its case or strengthens that of the defendant, if not relied on as part of its formal case against the defendant, should be disclosed to the defence. Bitter experience has shown that miscarriages of justice may occur where such material is withheld from disclosure. The golden rule is that full disclosure of such material should be made.” (R v H [2004] UKHL 3; [2004] 2 Cr. App. R. 10, House of Lords

I believe that Failure to acknowledge my argument, and completely ignore it was a miscarriage of justice and an "abuse of Process" by the prosecution.

It should be noted the the magistrates court did not look at my request for evidence:

I stated that evidence requested was not disclosed as per my request, to which the court answered "they do not have to disclose any information"
I then stated Under the criminal procedures act they do, while attempting to had over my evidence and a copy of the law.

I was then told by the Usher - "the lady has answered your question, please sit down" - I took this as Shut up or else there will be consequences.


2) They ignored my defence that the offices was not trained on the device and therefore failed to zero the device in accordance with the operating manual.
- The magistrates claimed that although the officer had not known what zeroing meant he had in fact done the test.


I presented the manual as evidence and highlighted the relevant section showing he had not done this. He then claimed to have done the test after I has pointed out in the manual it was required.

He stated on the stand under oath that he was NOT trained on the prolaser 4. He stated he was trained on the prolaser 3 and that they were similar devices

My understanding was that Homeoffice approval required training and a certificate issued? Could some one please clarify this?

Home office approval is reliant on the device being operated correctly in accordance with manufacturers instructions, is this correct




The prolaser 4 is not being contested, the officers use in accordance with home office guidelines is being contested. As his certificate of training, calibration certificates, speed reading (downloadable from the prolaser 4) device was not disclosed to my self within 7 days I was unable to construct a defence and hence a fair trial was not allowed. This I am arguing is an abuse of process by the prosecution.

Any advise on abuse of process would be greatly appreciated.

The argument about the targeting comparable to a firearm is purely academic for now and will not be used in my appeal.


As to the firearms this is more of a long term project as I believe that it is impossible to accurately target a vehicle travelling at significant speed (i.e. 50mph which is approximately 22m/s) even at relatively short range of around 100m with a hand gun, without using any support of any kind (obviously other firearms exist that are more accurate, and with support even more so).

As to the speed of light, this makes it more likely you miss your target and don't realise:
1) your cant see the light pulse
2) it travels so fast that if your hand is out even by a 1 degree you miss your target at the exact time your pull the trigger -
at 100m your discrepancy in where you thought you hit and where it landed is 1.7 meters. this is a considerable distance.
3) Wind, air density, humidity, dust all affect the propagation of a light pulse. however are statistically insignificant - I would argue that on a normal clear, non windy day a firearm over 100m will also have negligible change in trajectory.

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The Rookie
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 13:45
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Too much in there to address in one go but
What didn’t they disclose that may reasonable have helped you or undermine their case, how did you request it, did you request a court order for it?
No the type approval makes no such conditions


You still seem to think the laser produces a pencil beam like in a Star Wars film, it doesn’t it produces a cone with the point at the device, at 300m the main strength part of the cone is 1m across and the is enough outside that to create a useable return.

You’ve not clarified the stopping distance bit at all?


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
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southpaw82
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 13:55
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:32) *
Thanks a lot for your comments.

1) They ignored my plea that a fair trial was not able to proceed due to no disclosure of the evidence requested under the criminal evidence and procedures act
- I was told in no uncertain terms that the prosecution has no obligation to disclose any evidence to me (which is total BS as section 20.1 of PACE clearly states they do)

I meant to say : Under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996
The prosecutor must—
(a)disclose to the accused any prosecution material which has not previously been disclosed to the accused and which [F2might reasonably be considered capable of undermining] the case for the prosecution against the accused [F3or of assisting the case for the accused] , or
(b)give to the accused a written statement that there is no material of a description mentioned in paragraph (a).

In addition to this my evidence stated

"Fairness ordinarily requires that any material held by the prosecution which weakens its case or strengthens that of the defendant, if not relied on as part of its formal case against the defendant, should be disclosed to the defence. Bitter experience has shown that miscarriages of justice may occur where such material is withheld from disclosure. The golden rule is that full disclosure of such material should be made.” (R v H [2004] UKHL 3; [2004] 2 Cr. App. R. 10, House of Lords

I believe that Failure to acknowledge my argument, and completely ignore it was a miscarriage of justice and an "abuse of Process" by the prosecution.


The prosecution duty is to disclose:
1. The evidence they intend to rely on.
2. Any evidence in their possession that tends to assist the defence.
3. Any evidence in their possession that undermines the prosecution.

I can only presume that the disclosure exercise was completed and all evidence that fell within the above categories was disclosed to you. What evidence did the prosecution have that would have fallen within categories 2 and 3, bearing in mind that you can’t go “fishing” (i.e. “it might show something amiss so I should be allowed to look at it”)?


QUOTE
It should be noted the the magistrates court did not look at my request for evidence:

I stated that evidence requested was not disclosed as per my request, to which the court answered "they do not have to disclose any information"
I then stated Under the criminal procedures act they do, while attempting to had over my evidence and a copy of the law.

I was then told by the Usher - "the lady has answered your question, please sit down" - I took this as Shut up or else there will be consequences.


Did you make an application for disclosure? It is, of course, entirely possible that your interpretation of the law is wildly at odds with what the law actually requires - I don’t know. What evidence were you asking for or expecting and how would that evidence have assisted in your defence or undermined the prosecution?


QUOTE
I presented the manual as evidence and highlighted the relevant section showing he had not done this. He then claimed to have done the test after I has pointed out in the manual it was required.


How does the manual demonstrate whether he did or did not do anything? Apparently the officer then gave evidence that he did do it and the court apparently believed him (did it?).

QUOTE
He stated on the stand under oath that he was NOT trained on the prolaser 4. He stated he was trained on the prolaser 3 and that they were similar devices


And what difference does that make, do you say?

QUOTE
My understanding was that Homeoffice approval required training and a certificate issued? Could some one please clarify this?

Home office approval is reliant on the device being operated correctly in accordance with manufacturers instructions, is this correct


I can only comment on approval as a prescribed device - none of which mentions training or use.

QUOTE
The prolaser 4 is not being contested, the officers use in accordance with home office guidelines is being contested.


Did the court make any finding as to whether he had operated it correctly or not?

QUOTE
As his certificate of training, calibration certificates, speed reading (downloadable from the prolaser 4) device was not disclosed to my self within 7 days I was unable to construct a defence and hence a fair trial was not allowed. This I am arguing is an abuse of process by the prosecution.


And how was any of that going to assist you in your defence or undermine the prosecution? You say “within 7 days” - 7 days of what? Was it eventually disclosed to you?

QUOTE
Any advise on abuse of process would be greatly appreciated.


I doubt it has legs.




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prolaser4lover
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:07
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:45) *
Too much in there to address in one go but
What didn’t they disclose that may reasonable have helped you or undermine their case, how did you request it, did you request a court order for it?
No the type approval makes no such conditions


You still seem to think the laser produces a pencil beam like in a Star Wars film, it doesn’t it produces a cone with the point at the device, at 300m the main strength part of the cone is 1m across and the is enough outside that to create a useable return.

You’ve not clarified the stopping distance bit at all?



"certificate of training, calibration certificates, speed reading (downloadable from the prolaser 4) device was not disclosed to my self within 7 days I was unable to construct a defence and hence a fair trial was not allowed"

No court order is required, just a notice served to the prosecution requesting such evidence posted by first class mail. Which I did, and actually sent it 3 times.
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666
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:27
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:32) *
As to the firearms this is more of a long term project as I believe that it is impossible to accurately target a vehicle travelling at significant speed (i.e. 50mph which is approximately 22m/s) even at relatively short range of around 100m with a hand gun, without using any support of any kind

That might be so if the officer was stationed 100m from the road, and the vehicle traveling at 22m/s across his field of vision.

However, in speed measurement the officer is normally beside or above the road, and the vehicle travelling towards or away from him. There is little or no lateral movement to make targeting difficult.
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cp8759
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:38
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Were you provided with any disclosure at all, prior to the trial? Or are you saying that the first time you saw / heard the prosecution evidence was at the trial itself?


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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NewJudge
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 15:21
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 15:07) *
"certificate of training, calibration certificates, speed reading (downloadable from the prolaser 4) device was not disclosed to my self within 7 days

Did you disclosed the nature of your defence either when you entered your Not Guilty plea or at a "Case Management" hearing. Did you say why you wanted the documents? The reason I ask (and as has been pointed out) is that you cannot ask for anything you fancy just in case something might be deficient. The device is assumed to be accurate and operated correctly. The prosecution does not have to prove that it was. You have to prove that it was not. Lack of a calibration certificate or training certificate does not provide that proof.

What set you off on this quest? Was there a significant discrepancy between the speed alleged and the speed you believe you were travelling or has that not been a consideration?
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southpaw82
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 16:27
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 16:21) *
What set you off on this quest? Was there a significant discrepancy between the speed alleged and the speed you believe you were travelling or has that not been a consideration?

I find it telling that the OP has not answered that question. It is far easier to advise if we know whether the OP is bang to rights and is looking for a technical defence or is wholly innocent and something has gone horribly wrong.


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TryOut
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 18:02
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QUOTE (prolaser4lover @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 14:32) *
...

The argument about the targeting comparable to a firearm is purely academic for now and will not be used in my appeal.


As to the firearms this is more of a long term project as I believe that it is impossible to accurately target a vehicle travelling at significant speed (i.e. 50mph which is approximately 22m/s) even at relatively short range of around 100m with a hand gun, without using any support of any kind (obviously other firearms exist that are more accurate, and with support even more so).

As to the speed of light, this makes it more likely you miss your target and don't realise:
1) your cant see the light pulse
2) it travels so fast that if your hand is out even by a 1 degree you miss your target at the exact time your pull the trigger -
at 100m your discrepancy in where you thought you hit and where it landed is 1.7 meters. this is a considerable distance.
3) Wind, air density, humidity, dust all affect the propagation of a light pulse. however are statistically insignificant - I would argue that on a normal clear, non windy day a firearm over 100m will also have negligible change in trajectory.

Vehicles are normally targeted as they approach or recede at 0degrees or a slightly shallow angle. There is therefor little or no angular motion for the operator to track. There is no difficulty in taking the speed of a vehicle at 200mph at ranges well outside of 600m with no supporting aids for the laser. In fact at long ranges the targeting is easier.
While it may be "academic" you would be advised to seek an academic to give you sound advice before you do anything further along this line.
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