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12/9/2006
UK: Speed Camera Evidence Withheld Before Trial
Speed camera operators in the UK are hiding evidence to discourage court challenges.

Bryn Carlyon evidence photo
Several of the partnerships responsible for operating speed cameras in the UK are suppressing evidence of alleged speeding incidents. The move forces motorists to risk expensive court battles even when they are unfairly accused.

"The onus is on the driver of the vehicle to prove their innocence, not on the Partnership to prove guilt," Staffordshire camera partnership spokesman Jeannie Hoddinott told Motorcycle News.

Motorcyclist Bryn Carlyon beat an inaccurate ticket by proving mathematically that the distance he traveled in the pair of speed camera photographs could only have been done at well under the speed limit. Now Staffordshire is withholding the second photo and West Midlands is cropping images to prevent the accused from using pavement markings to perform speed calculations.

Although in the US, camera photos are always issued as a part of automated enforcement tickets, this in not common in the UK. Also, motorists face penalties of up to £2000 ($3900) and six points from UK judges if they challenge a ticket in court.

Source: Speeding: Guilty Until Proven Innocent (Motorcycle News (UK), 12/12/2006)

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