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3/19/2006
UK Official Admits Mobile Speed Camera Inaccuracy
UK Home Office official admits speed cameras can be inaccurate.

UK speed gun
Geoffrey Biddulph, Head of the Road Crime Section in the UK Home Office made the first major admission that speed camera technology is not infallible.In a letter obtained by London's Daily Mail, Biddulph wrote: "We do accept in certain atypical circumstances a device may be capable of producing inaccurate readings."

The same newspaper has thoroughly documented the accuracy problems associated with use of the LTI 20-20 Ultralyte lidar gun, one of the most popular speed measuring tools among police forces in both the United States and Britain. Following the manufacturer's direction, a test of the device documented a wall traveling at 44 MPH, an empty road at 33 MPH, a parked car at 22 MPH, and a slow-moving bicycle at 66 MPH. Testing by BBC and ITV television networks produced similar results.

This week, Stewart Walker, 37, was found not guilty at Stoke magistrates court of driving 106 MPH on the M6 toll road. Walker argued that he was driving the speed limit of 70 MPH and that the LTI speed camera gun had measured a speed reflection produced by the BMW that was overtaking him in an adjacent lane. A police officer testified under oath that Walker's scenario was a possibility.

"This is a huge admission from the Home Office," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "Now the Government has finally confessed that a problem exists, they must withdraw the devices and make arrangements to compensate those convicted or fined on the basis of unreliable evidence."

Source: Speed guns do (Daily Mail (London, UK), 3/18/2006)

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