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biaggi
Hi there,

Can anyone provide advice on the following?

I was stopped last week by an umarked car for allegedly doing 76 in a 60 zone. The unmarked car was parked forwards facing the direction of my travel in a layby and then caught me up and pulled me in the next layby.

I was asked the speed limit on the road (said 70 - genuinely thought it was - ignorance no defence I know) but at no point stated I had been speeding or thought I had been speeding. I did at one point say I wasn't taking the mickey or 'hooning it' but that was it. I was told I was doing 76 and shown the gun reading. I asked him when the gun was last calibrated and he showed me the sticker confirming July last year. He also confirmed he had checked before starting his shift and then demonstrated it's use. Now this is where it gets interesting:

It was 3 attempts before he got a reading on a passing car, because as he stated "he was not holding it steady enough". Also as it was a handheld gun, it was very windy and because of the position of the car, I am almost certain he used it inside the car to target me (I didn't ask at the time).

As I understand it, Laser should not be used through glass and you must have a very steady hand to operate it. Based on these two facts would it worth contesting it?

I did not surrender my licence at the roadside nor did I accept the charge, stating I wished to decide whether to accept or contest it later.

I have 3 points already (expire March next year), would this go against me in court (guess so) and if I lost is it likely the courts would increase the points?

Finally the car had a video installed, if I decided to contest it, is it likely the footage of catching me up would have been recorded and logged? If so, this would confirm any speed (and therefore if over the limit I could drop it before getting to court) and also me getting out of the car - confirming how windy it was and therefore adding support to the "targeted in the car theory".

Sorry lots of questions, hope it makes sense! biggrin.gif
Rosewell
QUOTE (biaggi)
It was 3 attempts before he got a reading on a passing car, because as he stated "he was not holding it steady enough".

Obviously he was holding it steady for your reading. Otherwise it would show the same error message that you saw with the three failed attempts. [Also remember, they do not even have to show you the reading if they do not want to].
QUOTE (biaggi)
... he used it inside the car to target me...

They can and do through the open window. [probably using the ledge as a brace to steady up the device]
All in all not your day, Max.
The Rookie
You can get a readying from an unsteady gun, and in that manner get a brick wall to move at upto about 10mph (with a bit of practice)...his in car video may show him catching you up, but doubt that will accurately show your speed, your call, but very hard to prove your case I think! At the end of the day he is using the 'gun to corroborate his opinion of excess speed (in theory) and not the other way round, you could plead NG and see if his statement is water tight, roll over at that point if you feel that way inclined..fair? perhaps not, realistic? yes!

Simon.

Simon
biaggi
Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated.

I realise he was steady enough to get a reading but my understanding is that it must be super steady otherwise the reading will be out (hence you can get a stationary object to return a reading) - my thoughts were to call into doubt his "steadiness" due to the errors he experienced when demonstrating it to me.

Due to the layout of the layby and the position of his car, I am certain he couldn't have taken a reading through an open window. The more I think about it the more I am sure the window was closed as I passed the car - the car caught my attention as the parking looked odd and the wheels were turned out - in hindsight bloody obvious it was a copper - a point that annoys me on a daily basis at the moment!

Anyway, if I did take it to court and then realised the game was up, and then held my hands up, is it likely the courts would treat me anymore harshly or just apply the same fix penalty?

Thanks in advance. smile.gif
Rosewell
QUOTE (biaggi)
....or just apply the same fix penalty?


Oh yes and then the really, really fit CPS girl said "I like a man who rides a bike, even though you came in second on Sunday" and asked you if you wanted to go for a drink at her place and then...... you woke up!!
laugh.gif rolleyes.gif
Sorry Max, you will have to pay costs [min of £35 Courts do not offer discount. Witneses? Then more] and the fine will be dependant on the amount you earn [you have to fill in a declaration at or before court but will, in almost all cases be a bit more than a fixed penalty [probably £100+] icon_cry.gif
There are a set of Magistrates guidelines published on this site somewhere.
sjpage
Some one correct me if i'm wrong,
but doesn't there have to be at least 2 officers to secure a conviction if hasn't been recorded

or else it's just your word against theirs

mind you we know who the court would believe icon_evil.gif
The Rookie
NO....1 officer and 'mechanical' corroboration, or 2 officers opinion is what I believed.......anyone?

Simon
Mika
Chaps,

If the High Court uphold this recent ruling in Bristol Crown Court, then it may become your word against that of the officer:

Police officer: “He was speeding”

Defendant: “No I wasn’t”

Magistrates: “The court prefers the evidence of the police officer”

Defendant: “You can’t do that, because I have this recent High Court precedent that says a civilian can also offer the primary opinion evidence.”

· Barton v Gilbert 1984 RTR 162. – Wilkinson Pp1/511 6.81

In this it states, quite clearly, that “the opinion of a driver as to his speed provided no evidential basis to cast doubt on the reading provided by the testing equipment”. It further confirms that the opinion evidence of the Police Officer was key to the prosecution, and that the measuring device corroborated that opinion.

Or will they have to rewrite the precedent that has stood for over seventy years icon_question.gif – that sounds like an awful lot of potentially unsafe speeding prosecutions to me. rolleyes.gif
sjpage
So does this mean

if a civilian can confirm an estimation of speed to prosecute then a civillian being prosecuted has as much sway saying he wasnt speeding ?

:?


So have the courts admitted that a civilians evidance is 'primary opinion evidence'

if so would this mean A civilians word is as good as a coppers so one on one without video evidance, you cant be done icon_question.gif
The Rookie
Stef,
I feel that will have to be tried and tested, this 'other' case was an S172, where the offence was alleged by a civvie, now if questioned as evidence of speeding, the answer could be different, but in this case the judge could allow the allegation to stand without it being enforceable..It will depend on what he puts in writing I guess!

Simon.
biaggi
Thanks for the further replies guys.

Rosewell - your too funny. He gave VR a run for his money though eh? Cracking season ahead I reckon.

Anyway, looks like I'm going to take my punishment like a man on this one. I'm more of a danger now though - watch the speedo like a hawk and have become a mobile road block!

I wish this crap would end! Remember when the media/government would go on about their pet subject, get all worked up and then promptly forget about it? Fingers crossed they get bored of "speeders" soon. There must be some other group that can be fleeced successfully? Moan over. rolleyes.gif
Rosewell
Heck! When I first started riding the plod had Morris Minors 'round my way! rolleyes.gif
Now they got helicopters and lasers and radar.
But it's big business.
What is required is a smart ass planted in the government/executive to formulate a more profitable income.

Hmmm I better get down off this slippery ol' soap box.

Yes, it was a close race, much more to come I think.

Regards,
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