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Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

This morning, whilst driving a "normal route" along the main A3 London to Portsmouth road, the road has a 30mph speed limit for about 15 miles into Portsmouth.... It used to be 30 and 40 mph, and was reasonably well sign posted... However, the council, in its wisdom decided to implement a partial bus route, where the road was wide enough (the old 40 mph section)
Being a careful driver, I observe the limit as best as possible... I may do 32 mph if I feel daring ! !... but I noticed a yellow safety jacket in the distance, talking to a pedestrian.  As I passed these two figures, I noticed the one in the yellow safety jacket, was a policeman.... on my return journey past the same position, I noticed same figure using a hand held speed gun, and also two high speed police cars, hidden away in a concealed driveway....
the legal point I want to know is....
A should there have been warning signs, i,e. a picture of a speed camera, dispayed before reaching this position.
(All so called "safety partnership" vehicles with concealed cameras have one of these displayed on the back of the vehicle when in use)
B.  what was the purpose of  the high speed police vehicles hiding in the driveway, except to do just that .... HIDE their activity...
I am not  saying that we should only drive at the speed limit when we see adequate warning signs that a speed camera is in operation.... only the fact that this seemed to be an "illegal" use of the camera, without the warning signs in position.
any offers ?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure that speed cameras are legal - I've seen them used many times, and even I serviced for them for the police many, many moons ago when our company had a contract with Essex police - and I was one of the radar techies.
The "hidden" traffic cars would be to pursue anyone who didn't stop
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/speedmanagement/safetycamerasfrequentlyasked4603?page=1
Quote
The law does not require drivers to be warned about the presence of safety cameras. However, the Government wants drivers to know both the speed limit on any given stretch of road, and also that camera enforcement is taking place.
Drivers sometimes think that a speeding penalty is not valid if the route is not signed correctly with safety camera warning signs. This is not the case. The only signing that is required in law for a speeding offence to be valid is that the speed limit of the road must be properly signed. The placing or visibility of speed camera warning signs has no bearing on the enforcement of offences detected by safety cameras and does not provide any mitigation of or defence for an alleged speeding offence.

Of course, the POINT of speed cameras is to slow traffic down (allegedly).  It's hardly going to work if the first they know about it is a letter 14 days later..  Roll eyes
B.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
Thanks: 191
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Hand held speed traps Ilegal point)

Here in Essex the police use various portable devices including hand held devices. They are legal so long as they are operated by a fully trained authorised operator and the unit is tested prior to use.  
Also, driving around the county I often see civilians in yellow jackets using portable devices.  These are meant as a deterrent but you cannot be prosecuted if caught by one.  However, if you are repeatedly caught by these the Police will send you a warning.    
Finally, near to me we have a road which is known for speeding and it is regularly patrolled by the Police helicopter.  Signs on the road warn drivers of the helicopter.