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One officer's opinion of motorway speed
Logician
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 11:05
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s89(2) RTRA 1984 requires the opinion of more than one witness as to a vehicle's speed for conviction for exceeding the speed limit and I "know" that this does not apply on motorways. Is this simply because of s89(3)(a) disapplies the provision in respect of s17(2), which governs motorway regulations and there is no similar provision in respect of motorways, or is there something more specific?


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post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 11:05
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sgtdixie
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 16:49
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 12:05) *
s89(2) RTRA 1984 requires the opinion of more than one witness as to a vehicle's speed for conviction for exceeding the speed limit and I "know" that this does not apply on motorways. Is this simply because of s89(3)(a) disapplies the provision in respect of s17(2), which governs motorway regulations and there is no similar provision in respect of motorways, or is there something more specific?


In 25+ years of motorway enforcement I have never know 1 officers corroborated opinion be allowed as sole evidence of speed.
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andy_foster
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 16:53
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ITYM uncorroborated.


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Andy

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sgtdixie
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 17:02
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I hate my iPhones spell correct Andy. Well spotted.
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Warwick
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 21:36
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QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 18:02) *
I hate my iPhones spell correct Andy. Well spotted.


Slightly off-topic, but this website is pertinent to the spell correct feature


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Logician
post Mon, 26 Sep 2011 - 22:21
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Interesting, thanks Sgt.


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roadrunner 163
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 17:49
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Logican, dont forget one officer need only glance at his speedometer and then its not just his opinion, (calibration distance etc.. to be discussed later.), chances are the officer would look to his speedo to confirm his opinion of the excess speed. You do not need two officers in the car.



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BB Law
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 18:13
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Whilst on the topic of corroboration, I'd be interested to hear members views on the issue of whether an officer must form an opinion that a vehicle is speeding BEFORE corroborating that opinion evidence with a speed detection device. I.e. whether it is fatal to the prosecution if the opinion was formed AFTER taking a reading.

I am aware of the Carlisle CC case but I suspect that decision was more to do with the fact the operative wasn't bothering to form an opinion at all, rather than the order in which the opinion was formed.

BB Law


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BB Law's posts are for general information only and are based on general principles of the law, they do not constitute specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. BB Law does not accept instructions via this forum and does not enter into a solicitor-client relationship via this forum.
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sgtdixie
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 18:30
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In almost every speed statement I have ever seen the opinion came first. The definition of corroboration for intelligence purposes as defined in the ACPO manual simply requires both 'facts' to agree. I have not seen in statute the order mandated however for an opinion to be corroborated it must by definition come first. Just my opinion, however I believe the key point is that there should be 2.separate 'measures' of speed to convict.
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henrik777
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 18:50
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QUOTE (BB Law @ Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 19:13) *
Whilst on the topic of corroboration, I'd be interested to hear members views on the issue of whether an officer must form an opinion that a vehicle is speeding BEFORE corroborating that opinion evidence with a speed detection device. I.e. whether it is fatal to the prosecution if the opinion was formed AFTER taking a reading.

I am aware of the Carlisle CC case but I suspect that decision was more to do with the fact the operative wasn't bothering to form an opinion at all, rather than the order in which the opinion was formed.

BB Law



It'd make for an interesting witness statement.

"I was behind scumbag motorist's vehicle and happened to look down at my speedo which said "nick em he's going a bit quick". I was not speeding myself, honest. I then thought mmm you know what, he's speeding. This corroborated my speedo."
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andy_foster
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 19:37
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QUOTE (BB Law @ Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 19:13) *
Whilst on the topic of corroboration, I'd be interested to hear members views on the issue of whether an officer must form an opinion that a vehicle is speeding BEFORE corroborating that opinion evidence with a speed detection device. I.e. whether it is fatal to the prosecution if the opinion was formed AFTER taking a reading.


The consensus appears to be that their is no strict requirement that the opinion is *prior*, but it must be independent. An opinion formed by a witness after seeing the corroboration is IMHO not independent.

edit: If a talivan operator pings say 200 vehicles in an enforcement session, and performs several enforcement sessions per week (if not per day), what contemporaneous notes does he use (or need) when he describes forming an opinion that a specific vehicle was speeding in 'his' witness statement (that someone else writes and he just signs) several months later?

This post has been edited by andy_foster: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 20:00


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mickR
post Tue, 27 Sep 2011 - 19:49
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there has been plenty off discussion on exactly this point
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