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Blond1e
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - April 2009
Date of the NIP: - 7 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 13 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A441 Pershore Road, Birmingham
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - Not known
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 -

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: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 10:45:31 +0100



I applied and received photographic evidence as I was totally unaware of having been caught speeding. The photographs show I was caught by Gatso and there are two photos taken half a second apart. I was apparently doing 40 in a 30 mph speed limit. I was very surprised by this as a few years ago I had two speeding tickets in short succession (both now expired) but have been very careful since.

My question is that I've read on another website a one-liner saying that Gatsos need to be callibrated so that they only record traffic in on lane at a time. As the photos show two cars (with mine in the overtaking lane), can the photos be used as evidence to prosecute me or can I ask for this to be thrown out because it has caught vehicles in both lanes?
bama
judging by the title of the thread we may have to see the pictures. Scrub all identifying information from them with any of the popular and free picture editors.
use Tinypic to host
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?autoco...ticle&id=16
Blond1e
I'm a bit of a technophobe so will have to get my partner to help me out with that tonight.
I just thought there would be a straightforward answer as to whether I can be prosecuted if there are cars in both lanes.
Pete D
True of hand held radar devices but not gatso's where there is a secondary check to identify the faster/offending vehicle. We need the photo's. Pete D
Dr Science
QUOTE (Pete D @ Tue, 2 Jun 2009 - 11:43) *
True of hand held radar devices but not gatso's where there is a secondary check to identify the faster/offending vehicle. We need the photo's. Pete D

Actually the opposite is more nearly true.

There are no hand-held radars approved for prosecution use in the UK (or if there are, they are very rare). Neighbourhood Speed Watch (or whatever they are called) use hand-held Radars, but these are not for prosecution - they are used only to send warning letters.

Anything hand-held is probably laser based, and should be capable of picking out a vehicle in one lane without influence from the vehicle in the other lane. This assumes that the invisible laser beam has actually been correctly aligned with the cross-hairs or aiming dot (or whatever that brand of laser device uses). That is quite a big IF. It also assumes a skilled operator who has chosen a good vantage point and is operating at fairly close range.

The GATSO has the secondary check, which in UK law is used to verify that the primary (radar) reading is correct. In some other countries, the radar reading is assumed to be correct and the secondary check is used to decide which car (if there are more than one) set the camera off. Strictly speaking, the UK does not recognise the use of the secondary check to discriminate between two cars in the field of view. For this reason, the ACPO Code of Practice (which is ignored and/or dismissed as "just guidelines" whenever it turns out the code has not been followed) says not to prosecute if there are two vehicles in the shot.

The GATSO, frankly can lock onto almost anything. It should lock on to the strongest signal, which is normally the closest, but may mean the biggest vehicle or the vehicle with the largest flat panel of steel that happens to be at the correct angle to give a perfect reflection.

We pretty much need to see the pics.

Dr.S
Pete D
I believe Kustom Falcon and Speedar are type approved hand held devices, old school but still around. The ACPO code of practice only refers to multiple vehicles in section 9 which is specifically for hand held devices. There is reference in other sections regarding mobile manually operated Gatso's but not Automatic Gatso's. Pete D
bargepole
Section 16, on page 77 of the ACPO RPET guidelines, clearly states that "Where there is a suggestion in the image that two or more vehicles are, or may be, in the measurement field, the reading must be disregarded". This refers to any type of wet film processing, including unattended GATSOs.

Note that it says "must be disregarded", not may be or should be.

To the OP: as I stated on the MSE forum, you will need to post up the scanned and depersonalised images, so that we can advise you further.
Pete D
Yes you are spot on Bargepole but depending on the postion of the other vehicle is important, for instance if the other veicle is much further up the markings then they seem to deem that to be out of range and proceed regardless. There have been hundreds of these images on here with two cars in the frame, even a car and a faster bike. Pete D
The Rookie
QUOTE (Pete D @ Wed, 3 Jun 2009 - 07:56) *
I believe Kustom Falcon and Speedar are type approved hand held devices,

I agree
QUOTE (Pete D @ Wed, 3 Jun 2009 - 07:56) *
There is reference in other sections regarding mobile manually operated Gatso's but not Automatic Gatso's.

Sort of, section 10 for roadside rader also says
QUOTE (ACPO RPET CoP @ Wed, 3 Jun 2009 - 07:56) *
Readings should only be considered valid if the operator(s) are sure that only one vehicle passed through the beam. It is therefore important that the operators have a clear view of both the area of road covered by the beam and of the speed display.

While this refers to 'operators' as if they are active, its for roadside radar and as such should therefore apply to Gatso, even though in that case the 'operator' is back in the office looking at film, which obviously provides "a clear view of both the area of road covered by the beam".

Simon
Pete D
Hi Simon, Section 10 as you say is road side radar, these do not require secondary road markings and rely on prior opinion of the 'operator' who then arms the tripod mounted gatso and if the speed limit is exceeded it flashes once. That is not an automatic unmanned Gatso. Pete D
howiem
QUOTE (Dr Science @ Wed, 3 Jun 2009 - 02:05) *
...There are no hand-held radars approved for prosecution use in the UK (or if there are, they are very rare). ...
Dr.S

Have a look at the list in ACPO Code App B; there are 7 of them.
The Rookie
QUOTE (Pete D @ Wed, 3 Jun 2009 - 10:12) *
Hi Simon, Section 10 as you say is road side radar, these do not require secondary road markings and rely on prior opinion of the 'operator' who then arms the tripod mounted gatso and if the speed limit is exceeded it flashes once. That is not an automatic unmanned Gatso.

That may be your interpretation (and even its intent) but that is NOT what it says, and the description of layout etc matches a static unmanned Gatso. Besides unmanned Gatso require no road markings (they are merely there for the conveniance of the scammers to check the photo's, even though they don't bother!) so that's an acedemic argument.

Simon
Blond1e



Hi guys,

Sorry for the delay - hope the images help work this out for me. Mine's the blue car.
Pete D
The markings imply a speed of at least 40.26 mph. However other have suggested that two cars in the field of view would invalidate this, but do not hold your breath. The car on your inside was doing a touch under 30 mph. Pete D
Blond1e
Hi guys,

So, what do I do next?

Do I fill in the form and return with my details and attach a letter stating what the ACPO guidelines say and hope they don't send a fine?

I'm tring to find the ACPO guidelines but there are so many websites - hasanyone got a link please?



Pete D
http://www.pepipoo.com/files/ACPO/ACPO_full.htm I note that link goes to an old version of the guidelines
Section 29.3 is where it mentions two or more vehicles, and the measurement field.
Yes you should complete the NIP and include a covering letter stating your case stabled to the NIP and send via special delivery around day 26. Pete D
Fredd
One of the FAQs has links to legislation and other information. It includes this link to a copy of the ACPO Code of Practice.
desktop_demon
There seems to be some presumption going on in this thread. Are the markings at the standard 2 metre separation or are they 5 feet apart? Is there any way to check that without OP going to measure?

For a vehicle to be travelling at 40mph it must be travelling at 17.88metres per second or 8.94 metres in half a second.

If the markers are 2m then the vehicle must cover 4.47 road markers
if the markers are 5 ft then the vehicle must cover 5.86 road markers

Therefore I presume that the markers are 2m apart.

Looking at the photos I am not sure the car has covered 4.5 markers. Applying the 10% error rule the car must be shown to be doing at least 36mph (if not faster) from examining the photos. 36mph = 16.09m/s = 8.04 metres in half a second. So a whisker over 4 markers. Hmmm.....

It might just be that although it might just be not. My best estimate is that the vehicle in question has moved 4.25-4.3 markers (8.5 - 8.62m). Which puts the photos about 5% out from the radar. Would need better photos to do accurate estimate. So there would seem to be no viable type approval error condition defence in this case.

The manufacturers manual also gives a method of determining which car triggered the gatso. It involves a plastic template with a triangle drawn on it. Instructions in the user manual - but it does require a full width photo - not a cropped image as often supplied by the ticket unit.

Did anyone notice the different scales of the two pictures? Top one zoomed slightly so you can't easily do an overlay! How helpful some people are....
Blond1e
Hi desktop demon,

I didn't notice the scale being different between the two pictures - it looks like they did this because they wouldn't have both fitted on one page because the info in the middle between the pictures takes up quite a bit of space.

Your reply seems to say that you think my car was driving at less than 40mph. Sorry if I'm being thick here but can you explain what you mean by "there would seem to be no viable type approval error condition defence in this case".
Tancred
QUOTE (Blond1e @ Fri, 5 Jun 2009 - 20:49) *
Hi desktop demon,

I didn't notice the scale being different between the two pictures - it looks like they did this because they wouldn't have both fitted on one page because the info in the middle between the pictures takes up quite a bit of space.

Your reply seems to say that you think my car was driving at less than 40mph. Sorry if I'm being thick here but can you explain what you mean by "there would seem to be no viable type approval error condition defence in this case".


I'm guessing here but I think this is in reference to the secondary check having to be within 10% of the speed the Gatso recorded otherwise it is not valid. There is a very, very long case here a motorcyclist was shown as doing around 36mph I think it was but measuring using the lines put him outwith 10% of that although still over 30mph. Eventually he successfully won the case on the basis the reading was over 10% out and therefore the camera evidence could not be used.
Blond1e
Pete,

I was looking at the 2004 version of the guidelines.

I can't find a date on the link you've sent - can you tell me where the date is please?

Thanks!

Blond1e
desktop_demon
The conditions of type approval specify that the speed accurately estimated from the photographs must be within 10% of the radar reading of the alleged speed. So if the radar says 40 the photos must support a speed of at least 36mph or greater. if the speed estimated from the photos is less than 36 mph then the photos could be ruled inadmissible at trial.

Unfortunately my personal estimate is a speed of 38mph. That is indeed less than 40mph but not enough less to collapse a charge. That is what I mean by there no being a type approval error condition. As alluded by other posters there have been successful defences based on such reasoning.

I have just recently seen another set of photos that seem to provide a defence based on the 10% error condition. So it may be more common that originally thought.
Pete D
There is no change in scale between the two photographs. You eye may think so becuase the cars got smaller but loot at the ledge on the building on the Top RHS of the shots. Identical. Pete D
desktop_demon
When I "cut out" the photos above in a paint package I was unable to "superimpose" the images as supplied. I had to magnify the lower image by 110% to get them to register properly. That is why I say there is a change in image size/scale in the photos supplied. It is not significant to the evidence but it makes comparison a very slightly more difficult task.

On the subject of defences I am not sure if the ACPO guidelines are "enforcible" but if the current "best estimate" of the speed of the car is 38mph then there is no actualy proof of which car is doing the 40mph alleged. it might seem obvious that the blue car may be travelling faster than the red car - so one might deduce that the blue car was the alleged offender. But there is no actual proof of that in this case.

As we are often told (and it was repeated ad nauseam by the prosecution in my case) it is quite possible for a car to slam on its brakes and slow down relatively quickly. The half second flash on the gatso is usually too quick for any real reaction in respect of braking. But it is not impossible especially if the driver was about to brake before passing the gatso itself.

If one does a quick manufacturers test (see gatso user manual) with the "template and triangle" it could even be suggested that the red car was the alleged offender. It is nearer a trigger position as defined by gatso procedures. Unfortunately these procedures are not legally binding in the UK and for them to be performed correctly we would need a full frame photo not the cropped images supplied. The police technicians often seem to crop the photos to make them easier to print.

So while it might be argued that the car nearest to 40mph speed is the offender (and 38mph is an excess speed) it might also be argued that there is no clear indication which car triggered the camera in the first place. The photos are not the primary speed reading mechanism of the gatso - the radar is. The photos are only for checking the speed reported - the prescribed device is the radar device not the camera device, so in theory the photos can not be used in evidence of speeding by themselves. This is a tricky argument but it has some substance and might be argued in a more artful way. Having two vehicles so close together in a picture must make it more difficult to establish beyond reasonable doubt who set the camera off.

good luck!
Pete D
If you study the bottom LH corner of the each photo you will see they are exactly the same location, if you then look at the corner of the roof line on the red brick building above the RH traffic light, you will see that both pictures are again identical. However if you are seeing an error for what ever reason it does not alter the distance travelled by the cars as measured by the markers. Pete D
Blond1e
Yes Pete you are right - they aren't scaled down but I was misled by the fact that the pictures were different sizes.

Any ideas anyone as to the date of the most recent ACPO guigelines and the actual link to them (I don't want to quote the section if they aren't the latest ones). I keep trawling through the ACPO stuff but a lot is the November 2004 version or even earlier.

Or can anyone see a date on the ones pete provided? perhaps I have overlooked it?
Fredd
I don't know how either you or Pete_D can maintain that those images are not at different scales - their field of view is the same but as DD says the upper image is 10% larger than the lower one.
Pete D
Fredd gave you a link to the latest edition 2004.

Desktop_Demon, yes the photos presented are different sizes but the captures image size as I previuosly details is fixes, but I see why you had to correct the image. Pete D
bargepole
Hi again Toots - the 2004 version 2.3 is the latest, see link here.

On the West Midlands Casualty Reduction Partnership website, under FOI requests, in the section titled "Guidance and Best Practice", they have reproduced the DfT circular, which states in para 37: "... enforcement is undertaken in accordance with the ACPO Code of Practice for Operational Use of Road Policing Enforcement Technology (ACPO, 2004)".

So there you have it - they are blatantly trying to scam your OH out of money and points contrary to their own stated practices.
howiem
Blue Car Secondary Check = 40mph
Red Car Secondary Check = 31mph

Blue car is 3m behind the red car in first picture
Blue Car is 1m behind the red car in the second picture

Blue car travels 2m further in 0.5s so is 4m/s faster than the red car.

4m/s = 9mph

The Blue car is doing 9mph faster that the red car which is doing 31mph

The radar reads 40mph

The red car at 31mph is too far up the secondary check grid to have set the radar off (I reckon)

Which car do you think set the radar off?

There doesn't seem to be a doubt that is reasonable IMHO.
Blond1e
Fredd - I think the scale is the same but that it is the size of the photo that is different and probably just adjusted to get onto one page.

Bargepole - thanks for your reply - you've been very jhelpful and it is much appreciated.

howiem - I think the blue car set it off but that isn't the point really. If ACPO guidelines are supposed to be followed and they state that the readings should be disregarded if two vehicles are or may be in the measurement field then an NIP should not have been sent. As bargepole has said W Mids police state that enforcement is undertaken in line with the ACPO guidelines which clearly isn't the case.
howiem
QUOTE (Blond1e @ Sat, 6 Jun 2009 - 11:28) *
Fredd - I think the scale is the same but that it is the size of the photo that is different and probably just adjusted to get onto one page.

Bargepole - thanks for your reply - you've been very jhelpful and it is much appreciated.

howiem - I think the blue car set it off but that isn't the point really. If ACPO guidelines are supposed to be followed and they state that the readings should be disregarded if two vehicles are or may be in the measurement field then an NIP should not have been sent. As bargepole has said W Mids police state that enforcement is undertaken in line with the ACPO guidelines which clearly isn't the case.

It doesn't look like 2 cars have been in the "measurement field" which is quite narrow about 400mm to 500mm.

The view of the camera, as opposed to the radar measuring field, are not the same thing.

You ave made a common mistake made by many.

Hope that helps.
Pete D
Yes the operator who views the photo's particularly if it is questioned uses a graticule provided by GATSO that is specifically for use when there are two vehicles in the measurement field and it identifies which one triggered the camera. I quote from the Gatso manual "If more than one approaching vehicle are shown on the photo, a template can be placed over the photo ( if a negative is used, always take the complete negative and not a partial enlargement of it ). The '0' point of the scale is in the middle of the photo." For approaching read receding as this is a Dutch piece of kit and front and rear facing Gatso's are permitted.
THE ACPO code details "Clear and unambiguous evidence of the offence" in section 16 and the graticule does just that. The reason for " Where there is a suggestion in the image that two or more vehicles are, or may, be in the measurement field, the reading must be disregarded." I believe refers to if two cars both fall inside the measurement field as denoted by the graticule. Iknow this does not help your case but that is how it is. Don't let it stop you writting a letter when you return the NIP pointing out the ACPO code of practice but do not hold your breath. Pete D
ict_guy
QUOTE (Pete D @ Sat, 6 Jun 2009 - 10:30) *
If you study the bottom LH corner of the each photo you will see they are exactly the same location, if you then look at the corner of the roof line on the red brick building above the RH traffic light, you will see that both pictures are again identical. However if you are seeing an error for what ever reason it does not alter the distance travelled by the cars as measured by the markers. Pete D


Invasion of privacy comes to mind here! Fancy having a GATSO taking pictures of your bedroom window!!!!

Certainly no zooming between the pics though.
howiem
QUOTE (desktop_demon @ Sat, 6 Jun 2009 - 09:54) *
As we are often told (and it was repeated ad nauseam by the prosecution in my case) it is quite possible for a car to slam on its brakes and slow down relatively quickly. The half second flash on the gatso is usually too quick for any real reaction in respect of braking. But it is not impossible especially if the driver was about to brake before passing the gatso itself.

The deceleration would be more pronounced if the driver of a vehicle has braked before the camera and continues braking through the secondary check marks; the secondary check would therefore have a greater chance of showing a slower speed and approach or even pass the -10% allowed.


QUOTE (bargepole @ Sat, 6 Jun 2009 - 10:59) *
Hi again Toots - the 2004 version 2.3 is the latest, see link here.

On the West Midlands Casualty Reduction Partnership website, under FOI requests, in the section titled "Guidance and Best Practice", they have reproduced the DfT circular, which states in para 37: "... enforcement is undertaken in accordance with the ACPO Code of Practice for Operational Use of Road Policing Enforcement Technology (ACPO, 2004)".

So there you have it - they are blatantly trying to scam your OH out of money and points contrary to their own stated practices.

That would only be the opinion of those who don't know enough about it.
desktop_demon
QUOTE (howiem @ Sat, 6 Jun 2009 - 14:17) *
The deceleration would be more pronounced if the driver of a vehicle has braked before the camera and continues braking through the secondary check marks; the secondary check would therefore have a greater chance of showing a slower speed and approach or even pass the -10% allowed.


Hopefully you are not advocating that actually drivers try this....

The received wisdom is that the " speed/time histogram" produced and the analysis algorithm used by the gatso while collecting the speed measurements will detect and prevent any "error" situations. According to a well known Gatsometer BV expert both hard braking and hard acceleration are detected and such results eliminated from any evidence produced by the machine.

So for anyone who actually believes it, there is the proof that hard braking would not cause the system to exceed a 10% error margin allowed in the conditions of type approval. If a vehicle were to brake hard enough to significantly "distort" the speed reading that reading would be rejected by the camera controller. It says here in the small print.... mellow.gif
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