1/18/2005David Edgar's Legal Argument Against UK Speed Cameras
An excerpt from engineer David Edgar's court statement regarding the accuracy of UK speed cameras.
Retired UK electronics engineer David Edgar continues his legal battle over the accuracy of speed cameras. Because some have misunderstood his legal strategy, Mr Edgar has provided an excerpt from his formal statement to the court.
To correct the obvious legal misunderstanding with respect to my case please see an extract from my formal defence statement:
The police served an NIP stating that pursuant to Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988 I had allegedly exceeded the speed limit, this being 41mph in a 30mph zone [The allegation]. They then stated on the same NIP that pursuant to Section 81 RTRA 1984 they had photographic evidence in support. [The material evidence] in addition pursuant Section 172 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 I was obliged to identify the driver. Since it is well know that "he who alleges must prove" I then continued....
I then responded to the NIP by stating on the form that the driver was unknown to me and in a covering letter I had no recollection of the alleged incident and make no admission of guilt, I then asked for sight of the photographic evidence the police claimed they had in their possession thus complying with the statutory defence of using reasonable diligence as in Section 172 (3) to identify the driver.
Having received the photographic evidence from the police I then responded by letter and stated that inter alia, the photographic evidence failed to identify the driver and it was my contention that the evidence was inconclusive and therefore would not support a successful conviction, furthermore I was not the driver of the vehicle at the material time of the alleged offence and could not reasonably identify the driver as their identity was unknown to me.
The police then sent another identical NIP to complete however I returned the same stating that I was not aware of any requirement in the RTA 1988 which compels me to duplicate the same statement of facts which I had previously made, I therefore returned the form and asked the officer to identify which section of which Act requires me to do so, strangely enough he never did!
I then stated that should the police commence a prosecution I would defend the same and apply for a Defendant's Costs Order I also stated that I would be relying upon material evidence in support including the case: Regina v Detective Superintendent Adrian Roberts, Head Middlesborough CID 2001 whereby he was not charged following an alleged speeding charge because he couldn't remember who was driving his car due to the photographic evidence conveniently being "inconclusive".
The police then commenced the prosecution and I received a Magistrates' Summons which was subsequently dealt with by entering a plea of NOT GUILTY. I would point out that at this time I was not aware of the serious inaccuracies of the Gatsometers.
Whilst I am reasonably confident that I can defeat the Section 172 (3) charge I am also confident that I can rely upon the Crown's documentary evidence which they have already filed and served, this being a witness statement by a member of the West Midlands Police Camera Enforcement Unit who has stated that pursuant to Section 20 of the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 the Gatsometer BV Type 24 AUS was Type Approved and was working correctly at the material time since I am of course permitted under Human Rights law to question any Witnesses the prosecution bring against me therefore I will be exploiting the failures of that particular Gatsometer to comply with the PSDB Speedmeter Handbook the likes of which I now have in my possession and the same being relied upon when the Calibration Certificate is signed, this also being disclosed as evidence for the Crown.
Allow me to quote from the PSDB Speedmeter Handbook, in particular section 3.4 under "Terminology" A speedmeter will be considered to fail a type approval test if it displays an incorrect reading of speed outside the tolerance range of error" The "Measuring Accuracy" being a positive error no larger than 3mph (or +3% above 100mph) and since my evidence will prove a wapping 26% error I rest my case!
There are also a number of other serious matters which the PSBD Speedmeter Handbook has identified.
I would also agree with Paul Smith's (Safe Speed) argument that this case is very much in the public interest with regards to speedmeter accuracy so I will be inviting the Crown to reintroduce the speeding charge in order that I can deal with it legally and technically.