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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
merlinthecat
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - April 2018
Date of the NIP: - 2 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 3 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - West Yorkshire
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - I regularly drive on this section of road and am aware that mobile vans are often present, so I always keep to the limit on this road. Indeed, I had driven twice on the same section of road earlier in the day.

I have seen the photo on WYP's website and, although the images of the car and the driver are of poor quality, I would have been driving at around that time.

However, I do not for one minute believe the indicated speed. As I am well aware that it's a favourite haunt of mobile camera operators, I do watch my speed here and unless there is something seriously wrong with my speedo, I am certain that this reading is false. As the filming was clearly done from across the road and the view is oblique, the reading clearly has not been made perpendicular to the car.

WYP's website also displays the calibration certificate for the camera. It was last calibrated on 11 May 2017, with the certificate stating that the next calibration is due on 10 May 2018.

I thought these cameras had to be calibrated every day? It beggars belief that something that was last calibrated almost a year ago is assumed to still be accurate without any further checks.

I know it's very hard to challenge a mobile speed reading these days but this really does annoy me, especially as the reading coincidentally just happens to be at the start of the ACPO threshold. It just feels to me like somebody was trying to get their quota up.


NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - Yes
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - Yes
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 10:21:43 +0000
peterguk
Alleged speed? Limit?

Post the photo here.

Catching speeders is like shooting fish in a barrel, so no need to "get quotas up".
merlinthecat
QUOTE (peterguk @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 11:30) *
Alleged speed? Limit?

Post the photo here.

Catching speeders is like shooting fish in a barrel, so no need to "get quotas up".




Limit is 40, alleged speed is 47.

I have redacted the number plate, time and issue number for privacy reasons. The plate was readable.

[Edit: photo now deleted]
peterguk
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 11:46) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 11:30) *
Alleged speed? Limit?

Post the photo here.

Catching speeders is like shooting fish in a barrel, so no need to "get quotas up".




Limit is 40, alleged speed is 47.

I have redacted the number plate, time and issue number for privacy reasons. The plate was readable.


Well the photo looks bang on.
merlinthecat
How do you mean? If you mean that the cross-hairs are in the centre of the plate, yes, it does seem that the operator aligned it correctly.
peterguk
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 11:51) *
How do you mean? If you mean that the cross-hairs are in the centre of the plate, yes, it does seem that the operator aligned it correctly.


Nothing wrong with the angle either.

As for calibration, they are factory calibrated every year. They are also subject to a daily procedure which checks alignment etc. Annual calibration and daily checks are two entirely different procedures.

The Rookie
The annual calibration isn’t really, mostly it’s a check and the device is within limits and no actual calibration is needed.
Logician
QUOTE
As the filming was clearly done from across the road and the view is oblique, the reading clearly has not been made perpendicular to the car.


To get a total accurate reading the measurement should be on the line of travel of the car, and the more it moves away from that, the lower the reading until perpendicular to the car would give a nil reading. you were therefore going slightly faster than the measured speed.

I would suggest that momentary inattention on a very familiar route is the reason why your speed drifted higher. You should be offered a course for that excess, provided you have not done one for an offence within the last 3 years.
Redivi
That will qualify for a Speed Awareness Course - £100 and a wasted day out of your life

A court will assume that the reading is correct unless you can prove that the instrument wasn't operated correctly

The only issue I can see is the presence of the lamp posts
There are anecdotal reports that reflections can create errors but, if the warning isn't mentioned in the manual, your chances of succeeding with the argument are almost non-existent

The prosecution would wheel in the manufacturer as an expert witness and, in addition to the typical £600 for a failed Not Guilty plea, you would have to pay his £3000 or so expenses
merlinthecat
So in essence, there is no mileage in challenging the reading despite this being a very well-known road to me where I always watch my speed. In no way do I believe that I was exceeding 40mph there. It's eight years since I last had a ticket, as I am actually very careful with speed limits especially in cities as this was.

I'm aware of cases in the past where attempts were made to challenge the validity of laser gun evidence, notably the LTI 20-20, but the court decided to prefer the evidence of the man selling them in the UK. I haven't really kept up with developments since then especially since I just stick to the limits these days.
Jlc
FWIW prosecution begins at 46mph.

I see nothing obvious to challenge and the slight angle is in your benefit. (The cosine of the angle reduces the measurement from true speed but is a tiny percentage unless the angle is significant)

Do you have a GPS to confirm your speedo? Normally a reading around 47 would be 50 on the speedo.
666
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:05) *
The annual calibration isn’t really, mostly it’s a check and the device is within limits and no actual calibration is needed.


Calibration - "to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements)."

If the checking shows no problem, then it has been calibrated.
Jlc
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:24) *
So in essence, there is no mileage in challenging the reading despite this being a very well-known road to me where I always watch my speed. In no way do I believe that I was exceeding 40mph there. It's eight years since I last had a ticket, as I am actually very careful with speed limits especially in cities as this was.

I'm aware of cases in the past where attempts were made to challenge the validity of laser gun evidence, notably the LTI 20-20, but the court decided to prefer the evidence of the man selling them in the UK. I haven't really kept up with developments since then especially since I just stick to the limits these days.

The type approved device will be presumed to be correct unless you can show otherwise. There’s a video too so readings could be corroborated should the need arise (at your expense should you lose).

It’s more likely you were speeding and they’ve caught you in a momentary lapse.
merlinthecat
Can I obtain the video? I know they're very reluctant to hand them out, I'm just very uneasy about the close proximity to the lamp posts and other street furniture (I now remember the issues with reflections in past cases against the LTI) and both frames being within the same second.

It does sound like I'll just have to roll over with it, as I don't have deep enough pockets to take it to court right now. Can I at least write to WYP along with a duly completed NIP to say I don't deny being the driver but I genuinely think the reading is in error? I know there isn't much prospect of getting them to withdraw the ticket but I'm a tad frustrated as I'm always very careful on that road and I don't think a crappy little Peugeot's speedo is likely to underindicate.

Even more frustrating is that I live on an estate within 100 yards of that location with a 20mph limit, where yobs routinely drive up and down at 80-100mph with impunity. I know that sounds like a "Why aren't you catching real criminals?" argument, but it's infuriating that they go for soft targets like this yet are nowhere to be seen where genuinely dangerous driving happens.



QUOTE (Jlc @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:27) *
FWIW prosecution begins at 46mph.

I see nothing obvious to challenge and the slight angle is in your benefit. (The cosine of the angle reduces the measurement from true speed but is a tiny percentage unless the angle is significant)

Do you have a GPS to confirm your speedo? Normally a reading around 47 would be 50 on the speedo.


I used to have a Tom Tom satnav but that died a few years ago. I use Google Maps on my iphone these days. If there's a GPS speed check app for iOS, I'll give it a try. Like you say, 47 would show up as around 50 on the average speedo so it really beggars belief that I was really travelling at 47. I wouldn't even risk an indicated 45, let alone 50.
Jlc
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:54) *
...but I genuinely think the reading is in error?

They may take that as a challenge and not offer a course or fixed penalty.
Logician
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:54) *
Can I at least write to WYP along with a duly completed NIP to say I don't deny being the driver but I genuinely think the reading is in error?


You can do, but there is no chance whatever that they will think you might have a point and let it go. What is much more likely is that they will not offer you a course or a fixed penalty, which are meant for drivers who accept they were speeding, and take you straight to court so that you have the opportunity to plead not guilty and let the court decide. Even pleading guilty in court would be more expensive than a fixed penalty and being found guilty after a not guilty plea would be very expensive indeed.

Basically you either have to suck it up and simply accept it or go to court, there is no halfway house.



peterguk
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:54) *
Can I obtain the video?


Not until you have lost the option of a SAC or CoFP.

SAC is going to be the best result.
The Rookie
QUOTE (666 @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:28) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:05) *
The annual calibration isn’t really, mostly it’s a check and the device is within limits and no actual calibration is needed.


Calibration - "to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements)."

If the checking shows no problem, then it has been calibrated.

Yes I know, but many posters seem to think it’s an ‘active’ calibration with tweaks to settings, there also seems an opinion that they are accurate for 365 days and then wildly inaccurate on day 366......
NewJudge
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 14:47) *
...there also seems an opinion that they are accurate for 365 days and then wildly inaccurate on day 366......

What if it's a Leap Year?

(I'll get me coat). biggrin.gif
merlinthecat
I was finding it very hard to replicate the exact location on Google Maps, to the extent that it was looking like the location described was incorrect (and therefore the NIP invalid). I think I've now located it, although from the angle of the posts the camera would have to have been located on the central reservation in the middle of the dual carriageway. I don't recall seeing a plod on foot operating a camera, nor do I remember seeing a van parked on the reservation (especially not one with police markings). When the Talivan has been visible, it's usually been on the other side of the road pointing at vehicles going the other way.

It's clearly been taken from some distance with a lot of zoom, because of the peculiar angle and the picture quality being so poor. Yet if it had been parked on either side of the dual carriageway, the angles of the pelican crossing posts and the lamp posts would have been very different. I know this won't help any defence, I'm just puzzled about where exactly they were.
merlinthecat
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 14:47) *
QUOTE (666 @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:28) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 12:05) *
The annual calibration isn’t really, mostly it’s a check and the device is within limits and no actual calibration is needed.


Calibration - "to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements)."

If the checking shows no problem, then it has been calibrated.

Yes I know, but many posters seem to think it’s an ‘active’ calibration with tweaks to settings, there also seems an opinion that they are accurate for 365 days and then wildly inaccurate on day 366......


And yet we are constantly reminded that an MOT certificate only indicates the condition of the car on the day of the test and shouldn't be seen as an indication of the car's roadworthiness for the rest of the year. wink.gif

Again, it's not an argument that would stand much of a chance in court but there does seem to be a double standard here. wink.gif
southpaw82
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:06) *
And yet we are constantly reminded that an MOT certificate only indicates the condition of the car on the day of the test and shouldn't be seen as an indication of the car's roadworthiness for the rest of the year. wink.gif

Again, it's not an argument that would stand much of a chance in court but there does seem to be a double standard here. wink.gif

The laser speed meters are tested every day they’re used. If you inspected your car each time it was used you’d probably not fall foul of the construction and use requirements either. Can’t see the double standard myself.
merlinthecat
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:34) *
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:06) *
And yet we are constantly reminded that an MOT certificate only indicates the condition of the car on the day of the test and shouldn't be seen as an indication of the car's roadworthiness for the rest of the year. wink.gif

Again, it's not an argument that would stand much of a chance in court but there does seem to be a double standard here. wink.gif

The laser speed meters are tested every day they’re used. If you inspected your car each time it was used you’d probably not fall foul of the construction and use requirements either. Can’t see the double standard myself.


There is no evidence that any such tests have been carried out. All the police are prepared to show is a document that says the camera was checked nearly a year ago. The MOT comparison is entirely valid.

I know there's no mileage in challenging the results, at least not without being prepared to spend a lot more money in court (and my pockets aren't deep enough for that). I also realise that people on the website don't want to give false hope, given the bitter experiences of past court challenges.

I remember Dr Clark's critique of the LTI 20-20 and other laser guns very well (I even had a copy of his dossier on it for some time back in the mid-2000s) and the court challenges. Unfortunately, the judge chose to believe the testimony of the LTI salesman, Frank Garrard, who had no qualifications at all in relevant fields, over actual experts.

So now we're in the position of police accusing people of this offence purely "because we say so" without any realistic prospect of challenging it. I thought the situation would be like that at the time of starting the thread - I was just hoping that there was something I'd overlooked. Evidently there isn't, so there isn't much else to discuss now. Seeya.

666
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:53) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:34) *
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:06) *
And yet we are constantly reminded that an MOT certificate only indicates the condition of the car on the day of the test and shouldn't be seen as an indication of the car's roadworthiness for the rest of the year. wink.gif

Again, it's not an argument that would stand much of a chance in court but there does seem to be a double standard here. wink.gif

The laser speed meters are tested every day they’re used. If you inspected your car each time it was used you’d probably not fall foul of the construction and use requirements either. Can’t see the double standard myself.


There is no evidence that any such tests have been carried out.



There almost certainly will be, if you challenge it in court. The operator will confirm that the prescribed tests were carried out, on oath.
Logician
The daily test involves checking the range measurement over a known distance, since the calculation carried out to measure speed depends on the time taken by the laser pulses, the test checks that the instrument's clock is accurate.
southpaw82
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:53) *
There is no evidence that any such tests have been carried out.

How do you know?
NewJudge
Fascinating as this is, it is all somewhat academic. You either defend the allegation on one or more of the bases you’ve mentioned or you don’t. It seems you’ve decided not to and I believe that is very wise.

The reason that few people succeed with the type of technical defences you have cited is because largely they are without foundation. The idea that measuring devices can somehow routinely “go off” and that they must be tested frequently to confirm their accuracy is fanciful. There are not that many components to go wrong and comparison with a vehicle that is thrashed up and down the motorway daily is not at all appropriate. It’s like comparing the reliability of your car with that of your oven.
Logician
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 19:55) *
Fascinating as this is, it is all somewhat academic. You either defend the allegation on one or more of the bases you’ve mentioned or you don’t. It seems you’ve decided not to and I believe that is very wise.


As long as he avoids the temptation he feels to say to the police that he does not actually believe their speed measurement was inaccurate and he was not speeding.

merlinthecat
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 17:57) *
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 16:53) *
There is no evidence that any such tests have been carried out.

How do you know?

OK, there is no evidence presented on the WYP website that any such tests have been carried out.

Happy now?
merlinthecat
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 19:55) *
Fascinating as this is, it is all somewhat academic. You either defend the allegation on one or more of the bases you’ve mentioned or you don’t. It seems you’ve decided not to and I believe that is very wise.

The reason that few people succeed with the type of technical defences you have cited is because largely they are without foundation. The idea that measuring devices can somehow routinely “go off” and that they must be tested frequently to confirm their accuracy is fanciful.

There certainly were technical flaws in the LTI 20-20 that made it prone to errors. "Sweep error" by the operator was one particular issue. I don't know if the device used here is prone to the same errors, I'm not up on the latest developments in laser speed detection. Going by how far away the device must have been to obtain that image (there is a high level of digital zoom, as demonstrated by the very low image quality), the 'cone' of the laser beam would be fairly wide and the close proximity of the posts may well be an issue.

But yes, I've made the strategic decision not to contest this one. There aren't really any compelling factors that make a successful defence likely and it would be throwing good money after bad.

Challenges to laser gun accuracy may be a dead end in UK jurisdictions now but successful challenges continue to be mounted in other countries, notably Australia in November 2016. In the light of this, I was wondering if there were any recent developments in the UK that I was unaware of. There plainly aren't, so let's leave it at that.
Jlc
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 - 08:06) *
OK, there is no evidence presented on the WYP website that any such tests have been carried out.

Since when have websites been the definitive source for such info?
merlinthecat
QUOTE (Jlc @ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 - 08:33) *
QUOTE (merlinthecat @ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 - 08:06) *
OK, there is no evidence presented on the WYP website that any such tests have been carried out.

Since when have websites been the definitive source for such info?

*sigh*

The NIP includes a link to the WYP website and a password so that the recipient of the NIP can view the evidence that the police are prepared to show at this stage. This consisted of two rather poor quality images bearing the same timestamp (i.e. taken within the same second) and a copy of the annual calibration certificate.

I have not been provided with any evidence of a daily check.

I'm not saying that no such check was carried out, I'm saying that I have not been provided with evidence of it.

People are free to assume that such tests have been carried out but cases are often won when it turns out that Plod didn't follow procedure correctly. However, as I have made the strategic decision not to contest this ticket, the point is entirely moot, so can you kindly stop making issues where there aren't any? I'm not contesting the ticket, that's the end of it.
merlinthecat
Can a moderator lock this topic now please - or better still delete it?

I have said a couple of times now that I'm not contesting the ticket and that there is nothing left to discuss.

Thank you.
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