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X-treem
Ok, I'm camaraderising a bit, but yesterday I was in Warrington Magistrates' Court representing myself and cross-examined the police officer that observed me speeding south-bound on the M6 near Warrington at 00:10 on 19 February 2007.

First of all, the FPN had the wrong date on it - it stated 20 February 2007 - which the officer admitted in court was incorrect. However, I argued that this affected how I would've dealt with the FPN initially as I could neither admit to speeding nor even driving on the incorrect date that was stated.

The officer stated in his statement that he corroborated his opinion of me speeding using his calibrated speedometer on his police vehicle. I asked when it was calibrated. He said on manufacture of the vehicle. I stated that according to ACPO Guidelines, section 6.1 states that "A road policing vehicle must be fitted with a certified calibrated speedometer regularly tested in accordance with Force instructions." He then changed his mind and said that it is regularly calibrated but could not recall the "Force instructions". He said that he checks the speedometer's accuracy at the end of every shift. I pointed out that this does not mean it is calibrated at the time of the offence then and that his "accuracy check" does not constitute a calibration in accordance with section 6.1, but a required check that should be made in accordance with section 6.3 of the ACPO Guidelines.

I then asked how he makes his check at the end of his shift. He said using a stopwatch. I asked if it was a certified calibrated stopwatch as required by section 6.3. The prosecutor then produced a certificate, but it was dated 26 March 2007, after the event. I pointed this out and asked for a certificate to cover the date of the offence. They could not produce one saying that it was not requested by me - so I pointed out that it was strange that they made the effort to bring a post-dated one, but not for the date of the offence, whether or not one was requested.

I then produced a printout of this map of the world from www.daylightmap.com. It shows where in the world was light and where was dark at the exact time of the offence. I asked the officer to point out where in the world the offence took place. He pointed at the UK. I asked him if he was sure it wasn't in the South Pole region. He confirmed that it was definitely the M6 south-bound near Warrington. I then asked why on earth (so to speak) did he state that it was daylight at the time of the offence which was ten past midnight in the middle of February. The only place it is daylight at that local time in February is the South Pole.

I used this notion to make the point that, in addition to the mistake made regarding the actual date of the offence, how many more mistakes were made in the officer's statement such as the speed I was going, etc.

Anyway, it seemed I had the whole thing in the bag as I had rubbished the calibration certification of the speedometer and put the officer's statement's accuracy into question. But then they found that in the Road Traffic Act, a vehicle is considered to be speeding if it is the officer's opinion that it is, and this must be corroborated using a certified calibration speedometer... anywhere except... motorways!! On motorways, the only evidence that is required as to the speed of a vehicle is a single officer's opinion, and I saw this for myself in the Road Traffic Act.

Did anyone know this? I wish I'd known this to begin with as it would've saved me a 450-mile round trip to Warrington, £440 extra fine and an extra point on my license. So, anyone who has been caught speeding by a patrol vehicle on the motorway, be warned... you're pretty much screwed no matter what!

Anyway, it was still an amusing day in court interrogating a numpty police officer who doesn't even know what day it is or where he is on the planet, but was an expensive bit of entertainment. However, does anyone think it's worth appealing this on any grounds? Such as the original FPN date being wrong then not being entitled to the original £60 fine and 3 penalty points?
Glacier2
Might be worth appealing.
facade
So you showed that he had no idea what the date was and couldn't tell night from day, and they still believed him that you were speeding with no corroborating evidence whatsoever ohmy.gif

Strikes me that something is wrong somewhere rolleyes.gif
JME
No corroboration needed on motorway, exceeding maximum speed limit on motorway is specifically excluded from the corroboration requirements of s89 RTRA 1984.
andy_foster
S. 89(2) provides that (other than on motorways) the opinion of a single witness cannot be sufficient to convict. It does not state that the opinion of a single witness is irrefutable on motorways.
Glacier2
I take it an appeal would be pointless.
X-treem
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Thu, 11 Oct 2007 - 20:50) *
S. 89(2) provides that (other than on motorways) the opinion of a single witness cannot be sufficient to convict. It does not state that the opinion of a single witness is irrefutable on motorways.

Ah, true... I should've picked up on that in court. However, don't think it would've helped cos the Magistrates' words were that despite the errors made, the officer's statement was credible and they believe that I was indeed speeding.

I've written to my solicitor (Pryce Woodrow) with a link to this discussion to see what he thinks to me appealing on the grounds that the date on the original FPN was wrong (therefore I could not deal with the FPN properly).
jdfi
Was this a BiB pull on the motorway, or was a postal NiP the first you knew of it?
theunpalatabletruth
The wrong date kills them. You can't possibly be convicted legally. Appeal. Threaten judicial review. Contact the OJC and kick up a major fuss about the magistrate.
X-treem
QUOTE (theunpalatabletruth @ Fri, 12 Oct 2007 - 19:29) *
The wrong date kills them. You can't possibly be convicted legally. Appeal. Threaten judicial review. Contact the OJC and kick up a major fuss about the magistrate.

You serious?! Ok, how do I appeal? Is there information online about doing this? And do I contact the OJC separately (i.e., as well as appealing)?

Why do u think the wrong date kills them? The officer corrected himself in court and I had to admit to driving on the date they said in court - it was obvious that it was simply a typo. Are you saying that I can get off on a technicality that invalidates the whole FPN?
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