I have received 2 separate notices of intended prosecution relating to two separate offences of exceeding the speed limit as per manual detection in both cases. Both were in 30 mph speed limits, with speeds of 37 and 36 recorded respectively. I wonder if it is worth challenging the reliability of these hand held devices.
Not unless you feel that you were not speeding. If you feel that you were not speeding then you should take the matter to court and fight the case.
The court accepts that these matters are very reliable and what you read on line is not a fair account. You have to cast a doubt on the prosecution evidence to win and you won’t be able to do that if you are not able to show that the device was not used properly.
Have you got any penalty points already? If so, how many?
Thank you for your helpful reply, although I suspect you have omitted the word “not” in your second sentence. At the moment I have a clean licence, and as I understand it, with 2 notices of intended prosecution, I can opt for the speed programme to abate only one, leaving me with 3 pp for the second.
As to the gravamen of the case, I am only likely to succeed on one, or both, if I can throw doubt on the hand held device. The only way to do so would be to throw doubt on its calibration, and the police will have their stock reply which, without expert evidence on my part, cannot be challenged. As you know, these notices put the recipient in a catch 22 situation. If I fight and lose, the MC is not limited to 3 pp and £60 fine, and the last time I challenged the prosecution evidence, and lost, I ended up with 4 pp and £200 fine.
Finally, I cannot put my hand on my heart and state unequivocally that I was not traveling at the speeds alleged, the more so as the speeds were only marginally over the limit. It looks as if I must bite the bullet, attend the course on one and take the 3pp and £60 on the other. Do you agree?
Yes I did miss the word not in the second sentence but made up for it in the third! The double negatives became quite complicated.
You can cast a doubt in a variety of ways, but mainly by showing the officer did not use the device properly (you have to take it to court to get to see the officer’s statement), or by showing that the device was not properly calibrated, or that the officer omitted to do pre and post tour of duty checks. Sometimes you can cast doubt on the suggestion that the officer zapped your car, but not if there is a photo and the cross hairs are on your car.
Its designed to be a catch 22 so that it focuses the mind on the risks. Take it to court and win and you get no fines and costs, take it to court and lose and you get heavier penalties. If there was no risk most people would take it to court and try their luck.
I agree you should bite the bullet if you cannot stand up on oath and state that you were not speeding. Other lawyers might suggest differently but the day of the tactical approach – without a rock solid argument – is long dead.
Many thanks for your reply and helpful advice. Very much appreciated