Speed Trap Rules for location visibility signing

Rules Law for Speed Traps

 

ACPO Guidelines on speeding, and the UK law regarding prosecution.
Vehicle construction and use regulations require a vehicle speedometer accuracy to be in the range of -0->+10%. The implications are that it must never under-read - for obvious reasons - but may over-read. As the cost of manufacturing a speedometer with -0% error would be very costly they all over-read by a few percent without exception. Even if speed is measured correctly the display may not be accurate, so a speedometer error is allowed. Because of this, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have an official formula for calculating a speeding offence. It allows a leeway of 10% plus 2mph. In reality, most speed traps are triggered at higher speeds than this because if they were set bang-on those guidelines, the sheer amount of paperwork generated would overrun the police speeding departments.

from £19.99!
+ Free UK Mainland Delivery
+ Free Ice Scraper
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new page to give advice on how you may avoid your motoring penalty click here.

ACPO Manual bulletpoints.
If you see this little icon next to something it means that the information there is extremely relevant to you if you're about to go to court. It's information from the 1999 ACPO Enforcement Technology National Guidance Manual. When you go to court, this is one of the manuscripts that could be used for reference. I believe that if the authorities wish to give you a fair crack of the whip, then it is only fair that you are well informed about the procedures and guidelines they will be referring to.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

NIP - Notice Of Intended Prosecution.
This is that all important bit that people keep asking me about. It pertains to the 14 day rule that surrounds service of an NIP. As with all traffic offences in the UK, an NIP is required for prosecution to proceed. If you're stopped at the scene however (for example, by a radar-gun-toting traffic policeman), then a verbal NIP is sufficient. Otherwise it must be in writing. So theoretically, if you've not heard anything after 3 weeks, you got away with it. Not, of course, that the police don't get the calculations wrong from time to time - there's no better way to knock the smile off a prosecutors face than to ask if they can prove service of an NIP.
In order to remove some of the mystery from this area - or cast it into a murky grey area depending on your view of things, here are the relevant excerpts from Butterworth's Police Law (Butterworth's Law; ISBN 0406981469). Thanks to Simon Hepworth for help with this information.
Stuff not of interest to the subject of speeding have been omitted, stuff with particular relevance to NIPs and speeding has been underlined. You'll need a stiff cup of coffee and a shedload of concentration to proceed, so go ahead and make a 6-scoop cuppa and then come on back and read on:

We have a new page to give advice on how you may avoid your speeding penalty click here.

In the case of a number of moving traffic offences, the driver, if not stopped and interviewed by the police at the time, may experience considerable difficulty in recalling the circumstances some weeks after the event. For this reason, the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, section 1 states that, in relation to certain named offences, a person shall not be convicted unless:

  • he was warned at the time of the possibility of prosecution for the offence;
    or
  • he was served with a summons for the offence within 14 days of its commission;
    or
  • a notice of intended prosecution specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed was served within 14 days on him or the person, if any, registered as the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the commission of the offence. (In the case of dangerous or careless cycling the notice must be served on the rider.)

The requirements of section 1 are deemed to have been complied with unless and until the contrary is proved.
The following offences require notice of intended prosecution in one of these forms:

  • Road Traffic Act 1988
    Section 2: Dangerous Driving
    Section 3: Careless, and inconsiderate driving
    Section 22: Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position
    Section 28: Dangerous cycling
    Section 29: Careless, and incosiderate cycling
    Section 35: Failing to conform with the indication given by a constable engaged in the regulation of traffic
    Section 36: Failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign
  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
    Section 16: Exceeding temporary speed restrictions imposed under section 14
    Section 17(4): Exceeding speed restrictions on special road
    Section 88(7): Exceeding temporary speed limit imposed by order
    Section 89(1): Speeding offences generally
  • Aiding and abetting any of the above offences

We have a new page to give advice on how you may avoid your speeding penalty click here.


However, such notice need not be given in relation to an offence in respect of which a full or provisional fixed penalty notice has been given or fixed under the provisions of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.


Service of summons or notice of intended prosecution
In circumstances in which an oral notice is not given at the time, then either a summons or a written notice of intended prosecution must be served within 14 days. In reckoning a period of 14 days, the day on which the offence was committed is ignored. A notice sent by post must be despatched so that in the normal time of postal delivery it will arrive within 14 days. If it is so posted but is held up in the post and is delivered outside the 14 day period, it will be deemed to have been served in the 14 day period; consequently the driver can still be convicted.

 

Circumstances where non-compliance is no bar to conviction
The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, section 2(3) states that a failure to comply with the above requirements is no bar to conviction if the court is satisfied that the name and address of the accused or of the vehicle's registered keeper could not with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for service of a summons or notice, or that the accused by his own conduct contributed to the failure.
This last section should be of particular interest. It means that if the police spent a month just trying to find a record of the car's owner, that month doesn't count as part of the 14 days. Similarly, if your dog tore up your mail with the NIP in it, that too is no cause to bar the conviction.
Butterworth's Police Law goes on intricate detail to explain how 'at the time of the offence' means any reasonable time during or after the offence - eg. if the police had to chase you for three hours to serve notice, it's still considered to be 'at the time of the offence'.
It's also a bit of a grey area when it comes to issuing an NIP after a fixed penalty notice has been given. Technically, the police should still do it. So for example, if you've been caught speeding and been served with a fixed penalty notice there and then, it tends to nullify the requirement for an NIP within 14 days. This is based on the simple fact that the police warned you there and then, and that you already have proof that you're going to get fined.

Incidentally, you should also be aware of the 'Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice' which gets round the earlier requirement that a fixed penalty notice could only be issued at the time of the incident. The legislation for this is Section 75 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. This natty piece of legislation allows the police to send out fixed penalty notices for camera-detected offences (ie. GATSOs and the like).

So has that cleared it all up for all you inquisitive types? If not, print it out and read over it again. If your NIP arrived 3 months after the event, by the letter of the law, you're away scott-free.

We have a new page to give advice on how you may avoid your speeding penalty click here.

In case one of those envelopes does flop through your letterbox, to help identification for you, here we have a genuine, bona fide, 100% original NIP with it's associated fixed penalty notice. Thanks to Richard Thomas for being such a terribly nice chap by attracting police attention and then sending me scans of the results Notice the dates on the NIP are only 7 days apart - well within the 14 day guideline. Richard was caught doing 40mph in a 30mph zone, and the very bottom line of the description shows us that he's also on film. The fixed penalty notice shows a £40 fine and 3 point endorsement on his driving license.

 


Low - zero tolerance. The government here in the UK introduced draconian measures to try to curb speeding. It's still possible that the ACPO guidelines will be scrapped completely and be replaced by a flat 5mph limit above posted speed limits. So whether you get caught doing 36 in a 30 zone or 76 on a motorway, you're nicked (as Richard's evidence above now shows.) The police have reeled somewhat at this announcement because, by their own admission, they simply don't have enough time or resources to process all the speeders at the moment. Should the limit be dropped, they'd be inundated. we'll keep you posted.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The rules for speed camera location, visibility and signing

Very helpfully the Department of Transport created and published a document in January 2007 that details this information and it can be downloaded from the link below.

USE OF SPEED AND RED-LIGHT CAMERAS FOR TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE ON DEPLOYMENT VISIBILITY AND SIGNING 31 JAN 2007

The document in the above link also references The ACPO Code of Practice for Operational use of Enforcement Equipment, which was created in 2004. We used a Freedom of Information request to obtain it and it is available on the link below, but were informed that it has now been "decommissioned " and that it will be replaced in April 2011.

ACPO Code of Practice for Operational use of Enforcement Equipment 2004

We are informed by ACPO that "Please note that all documents that are produced are agreed collectively by Chief Constables through ACPO Cabinet and Council before adoption. ACPO guidance and practice advice defines nationally agreed good practice for forces, but accountability as to whether to adhere to such guidance rests with chief constables who are operationally independent."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Loopholes? - as at April 2010

From time to time someone will discover a potential loophole that can assist you with a speeding case. These loopholes are often shaggy dog stories - with no basis in fact. Sometimes a loophole may exist and be useable for a few months until a higher court clarifies the matter and closes the loophole.

Speed cameras have been around for a long time now and all of the old so called loopholes have been closed - probably as we made them all very public on this site and everyone used them.

Hovever if you are innocent then you still have a whole load of options to challenge your potential conviction.

The most popular area at the moment remains the Section 172 legislation and we have numerous special pages just for this area - see below.

 

Loopholes? It wasn't me driving at 173mph ….

Many of you may have read about this case of a driver being stopped on the M25 after being clocked at 173mph in his Porsche Turbo. After clocking the car at 173mph the Police briefly lost sight of it before the car slowed down and they were able to pull over the driver and took his name, address and credit card details to identify him. When it came to court he was found not guilty on a technicality. In summary the Police couldn't prove that he was the driver as they had lost sight of the car briefly and they had not taken any photo identification at the time they stopped him. This is a very technical loophole/defence and you will need excellent legal assistance to try and use it.

 

  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    UK Law, fines and points.
    Known officially in the UK as "EXCEEDING SPEED LIMIT", this table shows baseline penalties you can expect. It's correct as of 10th March 1999. Each case will be looked at individually, to assess factors such as time of day, road type and conditon, weather conditions etc. The fine is now also based upon the financial circumstances of the offender, leading to payment within 12 months.

    Offence Fine Costs Penalty Points
    up to 15mph over the posted limit £44 £30 3
    16mph to 25mph over the posted limit £45-£100 £30 4
    26mph to 35mph over the posted limit £45-£200 £30 5-6
    36mph or more over the posted limit £67-£300 £30 Ban 1 month to 12 months


    Police do have the power to issue a fixed penalty of £ 40 plus 3 penalty points on the spot, but not when it comes to GATSO cameras. For those cases, they must go to court. Each offence on the same day, but at different places is counted separately. This can result in disqualification under the 'totting' procedure:
    Totting Procedure:If the total of penalty points reaches 12 or more within 3 years, you are known as a "Totter". You get a TT99 endorsement on your license, and get disqualified.

If you want to see a list of real world speeds and the penalty people received, then visit our Speed vs Fines pages.

Endorsements remain on your licence for:

    • 11 years from date of conviction for offences relating to drink/drugs and driving, causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink/drugs and causing death by careless driving then failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
    • 4 years from date of conviction for reckless/dangerous driving and offences resulting in disqualification.
    • 4 years from the date of offence in all other cases


At the appropriate time, you can apply to remove your endorsement(s) from your licence by completing a D1 application form available from Post Offices.


This is a quick explanation of the 'SP' codes that will appear on your license.

    SP Code Offence
    SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits
    SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)
    SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road
    SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit
    SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway
    SP60
    Undefined speed limit offence


See the information on the DVLA official website for more info on points and bans.

If you think that speeding in your company car means you get away with it, then you're wrong. The NIP served will ask for an admission of being the driver at the time, of for an identification of the driver at the time. For a company to fail to identify a speeder caught on camera, they can be fined £200 plus costs and 3 penalty points on the company owner/secretary. Given that most companies care less for their employees than a dog does for it's fleas, expect them to 'fess up and name you as the driver.

If you are a visitor from outside the UK, and you think that getting caught has no effect because of that, then again, you're wrong. You will be brought before a court as soon as possible. Any amount of points will be applied to your UK driving record, not to your driving licence. However you may be banned from driving any motor vehicle in the UK as well. Any fine on a foreign visitor must be paid straight away, and the Justices will, in most circumstances keep you in jail until the fine is paid.


Temporary speed limits.
You should note that exceeding a temporary speed limit is a non-endorsable offence. This means that you can only get a fine, but not have any endorsements (points) applied to your license. Of course, like most things in law, there is an exception, and in this case it's national speed limits (ie. motorways and dual carriageways). If you exceed a temporary limit on a motorway, such as in roadworks, or the controlled-speed section of the M25, then it becomes an endorsable offence, ie. points. This information is in some dispute at the moment, but came from a traffic officer undergoing basic traffic training so I have no reason to believe that it's false.

A textbook case, and how it was overturned.
I had a lot of correspondance recently with one of my readers, who was absolutely convinced that the case against him was wrong. For the sake of illustration, and to save me keep having to type "the guy who was caught speeding", we'll call him Michael. All the other details are correct as per the case itself.
Michael has had a clean license for over 20 years, but all that was threatened when he was allegedly caught doing 73mph in a temporary 40mph restriction on the A12 in Essex. The temporary limit was around some roadworks. Firstly, to illustrate what you'll get in the post, take a look at this - it's the original NIP to Michael, all 3 pages of it. Note: I'm sorry the files are kinda large, but if you must know this information, I've compressed them as much as possible.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hopping onto the Internet (and hopping mad), Michael contacted me and asked what could be done about his 'problem'. I pointed him in the direction of various parts of the Road Traffic Act, plus pointed out a couple of problems. The first of which was that the image attached to the NIP appeared to have been cropped from the original. Michael made a booking to go to the camera enforcement unit, and got to see the images taken from the camera, warts and all. Take a look: (note: I've mosaic'd the numberplate out, not the police - duh!)

 

 

Photo 1 The original photo, straight from the negative, as the camera saw it. Notice that the numberplate is unreadable (I've not mosaic'd this one). Believe me, even when you look at the original, it is not possible to make out the numberplate.

 

 

 

 

Photo 2 A cropped, zoomed section of Photo 1, enhanced with Photoshop (or similar) to adjust the light levels. Suddenly, the numberplate is plenty visible, and extremely readable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 3 Apparently a montage of photos 1 and 2, plus the second GATSO photo, and a zoom of the photo details. Here you can see the camera location (A12 roadworks), the point-measured speed (73mph), the time (22:08 and 18 seconds) and the date (27th March 1999).

 

 

 

 

Whilst at the camera unit, Michael counted the number of stripes on the road using a fixed point of reference on the vehicle, between the first and second photos. He counted 9, whilst the original examining officer had counted 11. Blowing the photo up larger confirmed a 9 count was more likely than an 11 count, although he pointed out that because of the lighting conditions and the acute angle of the photo, the secondary image was, at best, difficult to examine. Already, this started to throw doubt on the case. If the camera had truly taken the photos exactly 0.5s apart, then the difference between 11 marks and 9 marks lowered Michael's measured speed from 73mph to around 60mph (the marks are 5ft apart on the road surface). Continuing this line of investigation, Michael queried the calibration of the clock in the camera, noting that if it was even so much as one-tenth of a second out, that could lower the speed again to an altogether more reasonable 50mph - the speed Michael claims he was doing all along.


Michael then read up on GATSO location criteria from my site and latched on to the facts that they had to be placed on a straight section of road, around 400m in length, and that the "site conditions had to be suitable." In this case, the camera on the A12 was placed just on the inside of a bend in the road, and aimed straight at a bridge which contained fast moving traffic on a feeder road to the A12. He discovered that the traffic on the bridge was actually within the radar cone of the GATSO unit, and hence theorised that it was possible the camera's radar had received stray radar echos distorting the speed reading. This could be considered "not suitable" for a site location. Michael went so far as to go back to the site and take his own photographs of it, to make the point. Take a look here. This photo was taken from the bridge with the feeder road, looking back at the site of the stationary camera. I've indicated the positions of his car, and the camera location accordingly.

 


This doesn't look like a 400m stretch of straight road, and remember, Michael was standing on a bridge containing fast-moving traffic to take this photo. The whole picture becomes clear in the following diagram illustrating the complete picture.


 

 

 

Armed with all this knowledge and information, Michael wrote back asking for evidence of calibration certificates, repair and maintenance reports, and assurances about the cameras position with respect to the feeder road. He also touched on the intricacies of stationary cosine error, and radar bounce, and asked to be sent the original negatives from the film so that he could have them independantly examined. He hammered the nail into the case by stating that it was his belief that because the photograph had to be retouched to extract his license plate from it, that was in contravention of the road traffic act pertaining to photographic evidence. It all went quiet for a long while, until finally, he received a letter in return stating that the whole case was being dropped. Michael reckons he was saved a something in the order of a £300 fine and 5 points, plus the financial penalties imposed on his insurance as a result. And all because of the info he gained from the Speedtrap Bible. So thanks very much, Michael, for allowing me to use all the info you sent.

 

 

 

 

 

UK Prosecution Examples
A lot of people email me asking the "what will I get" question. It's all subjective, unfortunately, because each policeman interprets the law in their own way. Here then are some supplied examples from people who've contacted me with information about their various prosecutions for being caught speeding.

 

If you want to see a list of real world speeds and the penalty people received, then visit our Speed vs Fines pages.

Copyright © Paul Gander 1995 - 2011
This site and all contents unless otherwise noted are copyrighted. The author will respond expeditiously to any intellectual property infringement.Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Paul Gander is prohibited.
Click here for full legal and copyright details pertaining to the Speedtrap Bible.
All rights reserved. [http://www.speed-trap.net] [http://www.speed-trap.co.uk]

 

Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.

 Dont Get Caught Speeding Again

Dont get any more points get a Speed Trap detector. You can get a basic one for less than the lowest speeding fine that beeps and warns you in advance or a more advanced one that has a colour screen and gives you more info for more money. Either way Buy one of them and dont get caught again. They are all highly rated and work very well and are completely legal.

This one is very simple and works well.

 

This one has a few more features and is very highly rated my ourselves, in Magazine tests and from users.

 

And finally if you want to be able to prove you were not speeding or prove you were not at fault in an accident then this is the gadget you need. We use one ourselves - its very clever and much cheaper than losing your no claims discount.