2/11/2007UK: Half of Speed Camera Tickets Issued by Faulty Cameras
BBC provides documentation that UK speed cameras have mechanical faults that affect accuracy.
BBC news revealed last Sunday that around half of the speed camera tickets in the Eastern region of England were issued by devices that failed an annual accuracy test and required repairs. BBC submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for calibration test result records from camera partnerships in the area. Only two, Essex and Hertfordshire, provided full documentation that showed, for example, invoices for replacement of faulty radar units (view invoice) and circuit boards (view invoice).
Safe Speed road safety campaign founder Paul Smith explained how the findings affect the reliability of photo enforcement convictions.
"This information casts very substantial doubts on the safety of evidence from thousands of cameras used against hundreds of thousands of motorists," Smith said. "Suppose a camera flashed a motorist in June. When that camera is sent for routine annual calibration in December it is discovered that it needs repairs before it can meet calibration requirements. The problem is that we cannot know if the fault was present before June or not, so the conviction of the motorist flashed in June was 'unsafe.'"
The BBC report also provided video evidence of improper use of mobile laser speed cameras. One motorist was convicted and charged £500 (US $975) even though the speed camera had flashed error messages to the operator as it generated the citation.
View the BBC report.