5/29/2006UK: Retired Engineer Beats Speed Camera Ticket
Retired computer engineer proved West Yorkshire, UK speed camera trapped people driving 20 MPH under the true speed limit.
Retired computer engineer Trevor Faulkner, 64, successfully proved in a six-month court battle that the West Yorkshire, UK Police have been illegally trapping motorists by using a speed camera to ticket motorists driving over 30 MPH in a location where the speed limit is actually 50 MPH. West Yorkshire speed cameras have generated £6.8 million (US $12.6 million) in annual revenue.
Faulkner had been accused of driving his Vauxhall Vectra at 43 MPH on the A58 Wetherby Road near Scarcroft. The retired engineer used photographs of the road to prove a pattern of continuously changing and confusing speed limit signs. He then proved that the 30 MPH speed limit sign in use on the road was illegal according to definitions in the Highway Code.
"Because I saw one of the police officers grinning when I passed their car, I assume that they regarded the exercise as a game or as a joke, rather than as evidence of a serious offense," Faulkner told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "One of the officers said that they never catch local drivers, who are aware of the speed trap. This behavior appears to me to come close to entrapment."
Leeds magistrates found Faulkner not guilty and ordered his court costs to be paid by the state.
"It is all too common for drivers to be convicted despite the fact that speed enforcement procedures are faulty," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "This is one of a long history of such cases. It is unacceptable for the Police to make such mistakes because people's livelihoods depend on their driving licenses."