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SafeTouch
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - July 2010
Date of the NIP: - 8 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 9 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A58 Halifax Road, near to Blackstone Edge Old Road, Littleborough, Rochdale
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? - Partner's car
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 - According to the NIP my recorded speed was 47mph. I know this can't be right because on this particular road it is impossible to drive a (low-slung) Passat at that speed without scraping the bottom of the car on the potholes and uneven road surface.
It is a fairly steep and long downhill road; the first part there is a 50m limit but impossible to do more than 40 because of sheep walking loose on the road and no safety barrier in between the road and the cliff edge.
Coming into Littleborough there is a 30m limit; and cars parked on either side and two-way traffic squeezing in between, trying to avoid the worst of the potholes - impossible to go much over 30. I think I was doing about 32 when I saw the camera van parked at the side of the road.

I remember saying to my partner: "That is a strange place for a camera van; you couldn't speed here if you wanted to!"

As the camera was on a tripod inside the van; could the movement of the van have caused the camera to record a wildly inaccurate speed?

Police refused to send me the video to have it analysed; they did send me the calibration certificate of the camera - calibrated in Sep 09; ten months old... (apparently has to be calibrated once per year).


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)? - No
Is the NIP addressed to you personally? - Yes
Although you are not the Registered Keeper, were you the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - No
As you were not responsible for the vehicle, somebody else has named you as the driver. 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: Mon, 08 Nov 2010 23:09:40 +0000
peterguk
You're not entitled to any evidence until you make a formal not guilty plea.

Had you asked for "photos to assist in identifying the driver", they would probably obliged, but too late for that now.

Offence in July? Have you returned the S.172 yet?

Gan
You're not entitled to any evidence unless you've turned down a COFP and after you plead Not Guilty to the subsequent summons.

Even then, the police will usually be obstructive although you are supposed to receive it at least seven days in advance of your trial.

I assume that your partner received a NIP and named you. Don't reply until as close to the 28 day deadline as possible. Send it back special delivery naming yourself and keep copies of everything.
Durzel
"Impossible" in the context of the law means that a vehicle is incapable of doing the speed alleged, not that sporadic environmental effects such as sheep crossing the road meant on that occasion it was unlikely. Were there actually sheep crossing the road when you got snapped?

On the face of it none of the reasons you've given would make your vehicle mechanically incapable of reaching the speed alleged, so you're unlikely to get very far with this kind of defence to be honest.

What have you actually received from the Safety Camera Partnership on this matter? July was a long time ago, I presume you have already named yourself as the driver to fulfill the S172 requirement? Have you received a summons? Have you entered a plea? (You are not entitled to see any evidence the prosecution intends to rely upon until you have entered a plea)
CuriousOrange
If you're really that sure you were doing closer to 30 mph, you need to plead not guilty and insist on being provided with the relevant part of the video. If they don't provide it by seven days beforehand then I think they end up losing. If they do provide it then you'll need to do your best to get a convincing speed from it by trying to determine the distance your car's shown covering over a given time.

Now that's far from easy and it's unlikely to be that accurate, but the difference between 47 mph and 30 mph is pretty significant so if you could show that the video indicates you're travelling closer to  30 mph than 47 mph (and it looks like you're going at a fairly constant speed without heavy braking, which clearly if you're doing ~30 mph in a 30 mph limit you would have been) then you might have a chance.

What speed you were doing when you saw the van is irrelevant. They have zoom and generally spot you long (hundreds of yards) before you spot them. How sure are you that you wouldn't have been doing 47 mph at any point in the operator's line of sight?

Logician
QUOTE
Coming into Littleborough there is a 30m limit; and cars parked on either side and two-way traffic squeezing in between,


But there is a section just before Blackstone Edge Old Road with double yellows on either side of quite a wide road, are you sure you were not going faster there?

Here
Pete D
OP. I suggest you use Google Maps and street view. The A58 is a trunk road and I can not see that road surface would stop you from doing 47 mph, other than it being a 30 limit. Pete D
SafeTouch
Thank you for all your replies so far.

We did send everything back as requested, and every time replied as close to the end of the 28 days as possible to slow down the process - I asked for a photo (it was a forward facing camera so easy to identify me as the driver) and asked for a copy of the calibration certificate of the camera and received it; then I read somewhere that you need to ask for both pages so I sent them another letter. They sent the second page, and I asked for the video as was suggested elsewhere on this Forum - but have not received a summons.

In their last letter they said I had until the 30th November to choose the fixed penalty option, and that no further correspondence would be entered into.

OK, so it was not 'impossible' to drive at the speed they said - but it would have caused damage to the car (and to my relationship, as it is my partner's car!) if I had scraped the bottom of the car on the road.

I am absolutely certain that all the way downhill my speed never exceeded 40mph.

The camera van was positioned just after a bend in the road, as the picture shows that they've sent me - the distance between the camera and my car at the time was 124 metres.

I have heard of cameras giving inaccurate readings if there is a car going in the opposite direction at the time due to radar 'scatter' - the photo does not show the other side of the road so I cannot check this.

Does an LTI 20-20 UltraLyte 1000 camera work accurately if it is placed inside a van that may be moving due to wind; cars driving past and/or movements of the officer inside the van? If I take a photo with a moving camera, it comes out blurred. How can I check that this camera can actually function correctly if moved?
Pete D
"I am absolutely certain that all the way downhill my speed never exceeded 40mph."
Were you in a 30 or 40 limit. Where exactly do you think the van was parked. Have check the road surface out. Pete D



The LTI 20-20 is a laser device so does not suffer from radar scatter. Pete D
CuriousOrange
QUOTE (SafeTouch @ Tue, 9 Nov 2010 - 12:03) *
I have heard of cameras giving inaccurate readings if there is a car going in the opposite direction at the time due to radar 'scatter' - the photo does not show the other side of the road so I cannot check this. Does an LTI 20-20 UltraLyte 1000 camera work accurately if it is placed inside a van that may be moving due to wind; cars driving past and/or movements of the officer inside the van? If I take a photo with a moving camera, it comes out blurred. How can I check that this camera can actually function correctly if moved?


That's all just flying around trying to come up with situations where a speed gun might not work correctly. Even if you can come up with an accepted situation, that doesn't automatically mean it applies in this case.

Your only hope is to get the video and use it to show that there must be a large error in their reading. You don't need to explain how the error occurred.

That your own estimate of your speed's gone from 32 mph to not more than 40 mph doesn't bode well, mind.
SafeTouch
On the first part down the hill the limit is 50, but even there I did not exceed 40 due to the sheep on the road and the unprotected cliff edge. Further downhill where the van was parked, the limit was 30 - but because I was used to driving slow, even continuing to do 38 would 'feel' fast on that road. I slowed down to around 30.

Driving all the way down a very long hill with my foot on the brake continuously would not be good for the car - or road safety - either; so the momentum of the heavy car may have pushed me slightly over 30 before I braked again - but I would have braked when I got to 32-33; knowing that it is a possible camera site.

Unfortunately there are no lines on the road to double-check the speed camera's accuracy.
Pete D
I think you have the location wrong. The van was by the west end of Blackstone Edge Old Road in the 30 limit. Pete D
The Rookie
Lines on the road are irrelevant for a laser device, suggest you start brushing up!

You either accept the fixed penalty (I assume you have) or don't, if you don't you'll be off to court, you can plead not guilty and try and get the video for analysis, no-where on this forum would it be suggested you ask for the video until the case has progressed to court.

Are you aware the laser in the van can do you at upto 999m? So maybe you were still doing 47 as you entered the 30 limit?

Can you scan, delete identifying details and post the pics you have?

Simon
Logician
Bear in mind that the fixed penalty is the same whether you were doing 47 or 37 and the laser would have to be extraordinarily inaccurate to get a 10mph error.
CuriousOrange
QUOTE (SafeTouch @ Tue, 9 Nov 2010 - 12:26) *
Unfortunately there are no lines on the road to double-check the speed camera's accuracy.
It's nothing to do with lines in the road.


If you get the video, it shows your car travelling along the road, so you use some initiative to try and calculate roughly how far the car in the video travels over a given time given what it shows and what you can go back and measure. If you were really going so much slower than 47 mph then it should be apparent in the video and you ought to be able to show that.

Hell, if you really put your mind to it you could even make your own video showing your car demonstrably doing 30 mph along the same bit of road to match up to theirs. I can certainly think how to.

Of course, it's only worth doing all this if you know that you were doing far closer to 30 mph than 47 mph.

Top Cat
QUOTE (SafeTouch @ Tue, 9 Nov 2010 - 12:26) *
Driving all the way down a very long hill with my foot on the brake continuously would not be good for the car - or road safety - either;


When you are driving , in a right hand drive car , in nearly all of them if you look down and to the left you will find a gearstick , you will notice it has a series of numbers on it and an "R" , in an automatic you will notice a "D" a "P" and an "N" as well.

When going down a steep hill , stay away from the lettered gears and higher numbers , instead choose number "2" or if necessary number "1" then the problem you have experienced above will diminish greatly.
Pete D
Office Dibble needs to take you away TC.

I would appreciate more factual information from the OP.

Pete D
Pete D
Come on OP. Where 'exactly' do you think the van was parked. ? Pete D
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