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1/11/2005
Engineer Challenges UK Camera Accuracy
A UK engineer finds a significant flaw in the calibration of speed cameras.

Camera testing
David Edgar, a retired electronics engineer, will present a case in a Birmingham, England courtroom this Thursday that 80 percent of the speed cameras in use are not accurate. His claims are based on a digital timer he devised that uses a laser to measure the time lapse between speedcam photos within 1/100th of a second. Inaccurate calibration of this timing produces a significant error in the speed reading, according to his news release.

Gatsometer, which manufactures the cameras has joined with the UK government in refusing all requests for information about how the devices are calibrated -- an odd move for anyone believing the devices are evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Article Excerpt:
Press Release: TAKING A STAND

A Walsall motorist who holds a 35 year unblemished driving record is being prosecuted by West Midlands police for allegedly driving 41 mph in a 30 mph zone. David Edgar who has pleaded not guilty to the driving offence will be defending himself in the Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday 13th January 2005.

Mr. Edgar (52) who is a retired Consultant Electronics Engineer and a former Professional Inventor has come up with a laser aligned, optically triggered digital timer that is capable of measuring the time lapse between the two flashes which are produced by a Gatsometer speed camera to within 1/100th of a second.

Mr Edgar first became concerned about the accuracy of the Gatso speed camera when his requests for disclosure of how the speed cameras were calibrated for accuracy were ignored by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service in addition to Gatsometer in the Netherlands and UK, so too was his formal Application to the Birmingham Magistrates' Court to force disclosure. Mr Edgar said, "I really felt they had something to hide so I decided to investigate the critical timing accuracy.

NOTSO ACCURATE

Having tested the opto digital timer on a number of Gatso speed camera sites including Newtown Birmingham, Walsall and Cannock area Mr Edgar soon discovered that well over 80% of them are inaccurate, in particular there are serious timing errors between the two flashes which are supposed to flash at exactly half a second apart (500 milli seconds) thus the recorded distance a vehicle has travelled relative to the parallel road markings are inaccurate. In the tests which Mr Edgar has conducted the timings are anything but accurate, typically 0.63 seconds, needless to say this inaccuracy then reflects on the distance a vehicle has travelled thus creating the illusion (for the benefit of the prosecution) that a vehicle has travelled much faster than it actually did, for instance a vehicle travelling at 35 mph would have travelled an extra 2.03 metres when the timing between the two flashes is 0.63 seconds and that puts the vehicle in the next set of parallel line markings which are spaced 2 metres apart.

BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT

Since these serious inaccuracies clearly affect the reliability of the actual recorded speed of a vehicle the photographic evidence cannot be relied on by the prosecution as there is reasonable doubt concerning the accuracy of the photographic evidence.


OTHER CONCERNS

Having now investigated and researched the Gatso method of speed camera entrapment the police and CPS are relying on Mr Edgar said " I have also discovered some other disturbing facts that affect the accuracy and reliability of the entire measuring system, these will be brought to the attention of the Birmingham Magistrates Court on Thursday 13th January 2005, come along it should be an interesting day in Court"
Source: NOTSO Accurate? (Press Release, 1/5/2005)

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