Courts rule speed cameras inaccurate

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Dozens of speeding charges have been thrown out of court because cameras used in convictions have been proved inaccurate. 
Now the man who has helped bikers prove the devices don’t work as they should, plans to submit a report to the Home Office demanding approval be withdrawn and fines refunded.
Dr Michael Clark, who has given expert witness testimony in dozens of cases, said that, despite numerous victories, courts still require each case to be proved separately.
He said two types of laser detectors, an 
LTI 20.20 and a Pro-Laser II, had both been ruled “deficient” but that action by the Home Office was needed to stop their continued use. 
The LTI 20.20 is the laser speed measuring device used in camera vans alongside a video camera. It’s also used as a handheld device by police, along with the Pro-Laser II.  
During tests carried out in March, MCN proved both of the devices could give inaccurate readings for bikes when we clocked a stationary Honda Fireblade at 40mph.  
Clark said: “We’ve been winning an awful lot of cases, even on appeal in Crown Court. I won a beautiful one in Sheffield the week before last. That was on the Pro Laser II.  It got the reading wrong.”
 The court accepted there was a possibility the device had measured the speed of an object reflected in the target vehicle rather than the target vehicle itself, according to Clark. He said: “We were arguing there was a possibility of reflection. The appeal was upheld, and it was a nice, clear judgement. So there you have a case of a device being found to be deficient in some way but nothing much is going to happen. It’s really the Home Office which has to suspend its approval or remove its approval before the floodgates open and everybody gets their money back.” 
He continued: “I’ve got tens of cases I have won where the thing has been shown to be wrong. I’ve got to make a submission to the Home Office. I just want to get everything together and get it right. The Government is going to lose a billion pounds or more if they have to pay it back.”

The news comes as a solicitor and two motorcyclists embarked on a challenge of LTI 20.20 speeding charges based on MCN’s findings that no speed detection equipment was ever tested on bikes before being granted Type Approval.
A pre-trial hearing for the two cases was heard at Southampton Magistrates’ Court last week. A trial date of January 22 was set. 
Solicitor Edward Jackson said there was potential for a judge to rule that LTI 20.20s should not be used on motorcycles – rather than that they had simply been inaccurate in this case. He said it would take defeat in magistrates’ court and an appeal to High Court for such a ruling to set a precedent.  
He said: “I think ultimately that’s what we’d be looking to achieve.” 
MCN reader Roger Iles, one of Jackson’s clients, said: “I certainly wasn’t doing the speed they are suggesting.”
We will be backing Clark in his efforts to force the Home Office to act. We’ll bring you an update after he submits his report.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell