10/10/2007UK Police Force Suspends Lidar Use
Mobile laser speed cameras may not be used by police in Kent, UK while a policy review is under way.
Laser speed guns are temporarily idle in the county of Kent, UK after an October 3 court case in Folkestone raised issues regarding the accuracy of the devices. Motorcycle News obtained a leaked email from Roads Policing Officer Phil Sharp that explained all officers in South Kent were to cease issuing speeding tickets pending a review of the agency's speed enforcement policy.
"I hope that this review will be completed within two weeks and I will notify any changes in policy before any further enforcement takes place," Sharp wrote in the email dated October 4.
Although independent media evaluations of laser speed gun technology has shown the devices are prone to "wild errors," Kent Police insist the devices have not been suspended over accuracy concerns.
"The court case revolved around a technical calibration issue which is being resolved," Inspector Geoff Wood said in a statement. "Police in the South Kent area are to recalibrate their laser speed guns."
Safe Speed founder Paul Smith explained that this means the department has been issuing tickets in violation of standing legal requirements. Thousands of motorists who received citations from devices whose accuracy had not been properly verified.
"We demand that Kent Police immediately contact all those wrongfully convicted and refund them and remove points from their driving licenses," Smith said. "Nothing less will do."
Smith emphasized that this incident points to a wider problem with police enforcement throughout the country.
"Far too often speed enforcement is sloppy," Smith said. "It has become a ridiculous game of cat and mouse where the authorities try to trap motorists who in turn are attempting to avoid the traps. The tragedy is that the original objective of safer roads was completely forgotten long ago."