10/24/2006UK: Case Could Overturn Private Speed Camera Operators
A defendant is mounting a court challenge in the hopes of overturning thousands of speed camera tickets issued by civilians.
Community speedwatch programs throughout the UK could find themselves in jeopardy as a pending court case threatens to overturn millions worth of speed camera tickets. The "speedwatch" programs allow meter maids and retirees to run mobile speed cameras ticketing operations, allowing local jurisdictions to save on operational costs. The practice is common in about a quarter of the country.
Mike Morgan, who runs the PepiPoo motorist forum, will speak before the Devizes Magistrates' Court in Wiltshire in a bid to help a local businessman overturn a speeding citation. Morgan's argument is based on a number of prior court decisions that show a civilian's observation is not recognized as sufficient primary evidence of whether a vehicle is speeding, and that only a police officer is authorized to provide such an opinion in combination with a speed camera photo to obtain a conviction (dpp v Welton 2004).