Speeding, Aberdeen, 8th February 2018, Not Guilty
This was a speeding case in Aberdeen involving a GATSO fixed camera. The stretch of road was a very small stretch when the speed limit drops from 70mph to 50mph. To add insult to injury the day of the alleged offence was Christmas Day. Speed cameras don’t do public holidays!
Our client had recently only kept his licence by winning an exceptional hardship proof. He had used a local firm for that proof and had paid them handsomely for the trouble. The offence to which he had been advised by them to plead Guilty to was very similar to the current matter. When he contacted them again, they told him there was no chance of winning the case and, as he could not argue exceptional hardship again, he should resign himself to a ban.
Our client then contacted us. We quickly advised him that we believed there was a good chance of winning the case and that it was worth fighting. After all, he had little to lose. We had identified three main defences. One of these was quickly stymied by proper Crown case preparation. Strike one.The second, as we discovered to our horror mid-trial, was not going to work either due to one of the police witnesses being able to give a certain piece of evidence that we did not think she would be able to do. Strike two.
Fortunately we had one final card to play. Any case of speeding in Scotland requires there to be corroborative evidence of the accuracy of the device used to detect the speed. In the case of speeding in Scotland involving a GATSO camera, the corroboration comes from the “secondary check”.
This is a series of lines in the road, purportedly 2 yards (or 2 metres) apart. The GATSO takes an initial speed reading and then takes a second photo 0.5 seconds later. BY measuring he amount of lines (the distance) and dividing by 0.5 seconds (the time), the speed of the vehicle can be calculated using speed equals distance/time. The speed of this secondary check has to be within 10% of the GATSO speed to corroborate the accuracy of the GATSO.
In this case the photos were very poor quality. The police witness claimed they were good enough to carry out the necessary calculation but her evidence did not hold up under cross-examination and our client was found Not Guilty.
This case was defended by Steven Farmer at Aberdeen Justice of the Peace Court on 8th February 2018