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Peter Bennett
Routine breaches of law and ACPO guidelines are sanctioned by Courts, CPS and Police in Dorset to conspire against drivers and deter complaints and not guilty pleas. Big bright new signs are being erected all over Dorset threatening motorists and creating further distraction and fear. What is more worrying is the official spin and twist to English legal principles whereby you are guilty because they say so and it doesn't matter if they have breached the rules. My case: A35 Westbound Chideock at 11pm in November 2009. I entered at 30mph (28 actual, speedo reads 2 below). I was pointing out the camera to a passenger and the flash was a big surprise and clearly a malfunction. FPN stated I was doing 38mph. I informed SCP and they stated the secondary line markings were set at 5 feet apart and could be checked to verify the speed. I checked the site and found they were not uniformly 5 feet apart - varying from 4'3" to 5'. I pleaded not guilty and informed CPS and requested a police survey and disclosures. They just sent a SCP witness statement and enhanced photograph on which it calculated the distance alleged to have travelled in 0.5 sec and came up with a raised speed of 39mph. I rejected the statement so there was a court adjournment to allow the SCP witness to attend. Correspondence with CPS disclosed my defence in full and made it clear I was challenging the accuracy and operation of the Gatso as well as the corroborating secondary markings. Nine months later, yesterday 31st August, I attend Weymouth Magistrates Court with my witness, photographs and measuring device ready to defend myself. Stupidly participated in a discussion with the CPS and Mags Clerk who both claimed that the secondary markings were not necessary in law and corroboration of speeding was not required! They admitted that the markings were wrong, quote: "The DfT in their infinite wisdom painted the first line 4 foot something so we just cut off that line in the photographs. The other lines are all within 2 or 3 inches of five foot." This discussion took place over nearly two hours and in effect was a rehearsal which disclosed other errors and points and I rejected the obvious pressure to give up. CPS also said it was MY responsibility to tell them what evidence they should call and I had raised new questions for which they would have to call other witnesses who have measured the lines (since repainted!). Magistrates assembled and CPS applied for an adjournment to call additional witnesses. I objected and said they had known all the points and had 9 months to assemble their case. Magistrates granted the adjournment to January 2011. That's another 4 months making it 14 months after the alleged offence which was not provable yesterday and will not be provable next year! Can I apply to a Judge to direct the magistrates to hear the case as of yesterday or dismiss the charge?
andy_foster
And breathe...
Pete D
Very unusual for a speedo to under read unless you have caused this with a combination or rims and tyre sizes that do not comply with the original rolling circumference. However as you have measured the actual distance between the lines and you have the images what speed does it indicate. You appear to be questioning three aspects here. The functioning of the doppler sensor, the 0.5 second accuracy, and the line spacing. Was the revised 39 mph calculated from the assumed 5 ft spacing or from the result of the survey of the lines. Pete D
Bluedart
QUOTE (Pete D @ Wed, 1 Sep 2010 - 07:37) *
Very unusual for a speedo to under read unless you have caused this with a combination or rims and tyre sizes that do not comply with the original rolling circumference. However as you have measured the actual distance between the lines and you have the images what speed does it indicate. You appear to be questioning three aspects here. The functioning of the doppler sensor, the 0.5 second accuracy, and the line spacing. Was the revised 39 mph calculated from the assumed 5 ft spacing or from the result of the survey of the lines. Pete D


And were the flashes exactly 0.5 secs apart? Calibration can be so,so wrong!
nemo
They are correct when they say that the secondary check for Gatso Type 24 units can be carried out without any timing marks painted on the road surface.

Have you considered having the photos inspected by others ?
Logician
If you have measured the actual distances between the lines, you should be able to calculate your speed. You do not need them to be a uniform distance apart, although that obviously makes it easier.
Pete D
To measure your speed the second time I suspect they have used photogrammetry. This does not require any road markings and uses the change in size of the vehicle in the 0.5 seconds between the pictures they have. The assumption here is that the 0.5 seconds is accurate. Pete D
roythebus
All assumptions. Science depends on FACTS. Never assume anything.
Gan
It sounds like you should have an independent inspection of the photos.

Have you done a rough check yourself using the known dimensions of your car ? At the speed alleged, a normal sized car will move about two car-lengths in 0.5 seconds

desktop_demon
QUOTE
This does not require any road markings and uses the change in size of the vehicle in the 0.5 seconds between the pictures they have.


I put this statement on my rose bed and the roses are now twice as big! The authors "expertise" (or lack of it) in the subject of photogrammetry is well known both personally and from the experience of others.

To be usefully accurate, photogrammetry must have a accurate reference measurement in the photograph. It is true the measurement can be taken form any suitable points (lamp posts, walls, even drain covers) but in the main the reference distance used is based on the spacing of the road markers. However even the use of the road markers is not that straight forward unless well defined edges or corners are available. The other major problem with Gatso photogrammetry is the rectification of the images. If one scans the images provided as evidence they usually do not "line up" or cannot be "superimposed" exactly. Hence direct measurements on the two pictures are usually difficult to compare without further adjustment.

Actually I have it on good authority that the whole secondary check process is fraught with metric uncertainty. Several well respected photogrammetrists I have approached have said they would not be willing to base ANY accurate calculation of speed/distance on the pictures produced by a gatsometer. The best that can really be done (as in "beyond reasonable doubt") is to divide the secondary checks into "certain" or "uncertain" groups and let those falling in to the uncertain category off with a warning.

Of course Mr Perry would disagree! laugh.gif
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