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Speeding, Glasgow, 7 March 2017, Not Guilty

Our client was accused of speeding. An alleged speed of 43mph in a 30mph zone had been recorded by police officers using a Unipar SL700 laser gun.

On review of disclosure it was absolutely clear that any “loophole” defences would not succeed in this case. The Crown and the police had dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s. The Depute in court on the day of the trial expressed his astonishment that we would have the temerity to proceed to trial in those circumstances. However there was one crucial aspect that he had not considered – our client maintained his innocence. As far as our client was concerned, the type-approved Unipar SL700 must have got it wrong. He had his cruise control set to 29mph and, given his 25 years of driving experience, he was adamant he could not have been going at the alleged speed.

We visited the locus of the incident and took a rough measurement from the likely police location to the location of the car at the time the alleged speed was recorded. It was immediately clear to us that the entirety of the car would not be visible to the police officers. At worst, only the windscreen and roof were visible. At absolute best, only the bonnet, windscreen and roof would be visible.

Laser technology is prone to error if a phenomenon called “slip” occurs. This is where the laser beam hits the bonnet or windscreen and, instead of bouncing back to the gun, first “slips” up the bonnet or windscreen. “Slip” will not occur in every case but the circumstances of this case meant it was a real possibility. It can mean erroneous and inflated speeding readings.

Police officers tend to deny any knowledge of “slip” or deny its existence outright. This means that expert evidence is required if the court is to consider the matter. In this case our client felt so strongly about things that he commissioned an expert report and the expert gave evidence at court on his behalf. Our client also gave evidence that he had his cruise control on and was not speeding.

The case was heard in front of a sheriff rather than a Justice of the Peace. Her conclusion was that she was not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Unipar SL700 had returned the correct reading. Our client was found Not Guilty.

This case was prepared and defended by Steven Farmer on 7 March 2017. This level of preparation is one thing that sets us apart from most of our competitors and is one of the reasons that we are consistently the no1 ranked road traffic defence firm on Trustpilot. See some of our reviews below.