12/31/2007Norway: Supreme Court to Hear Speed Camera Case
The Supreme Court of Norway is expected to rule on whether the accuracy of a speed camera can be questioned.
A dispute about the accuracy of a speed camera citation is to be heard by Norway's supreme court. The case revolves around a ticket issued on May 14, 2006 by an "Automatic Traffic Control" (ATK) system accusing a BMW driver of traveling at 199km/h (124 MPH) in Troms Fisk. Under examination, police admitted that the system was not designed to measure higher velocities and that they had greater confidence that the speed was "at least" 187km/h (116 MPH). The motorist testified that he was driving no more than 100km/h (62 MPH).
The BMW driver also offered a technical explanation why the embedded pavement sensors could not have measured his speed at the velocity claimed by the ticket camera operators. Both the trial and appeals courts agreed that the testimony raised significant doubts, but accepted the prosecution had shown the vehicle was traveling at least 140km/h (87 MPH). The courts agreed that the offense merited a lighter sentence of just twenty-one days in prison and a two-year license ban.
To prevent any doubt about the cameras' accuracy being set by the court precedent, prosecutors appealed the lenient sentence to the high court. If it agrees that the machine's judgment should not be questioned, the court could impose much more significant jail time.