Speeding, Paisley, 25 January 2018, Case Not Called
This case involved a fixed camera called a GATSO. Many people simply accept fixed penalties in these cases as it is assumed the camera doesn’t lie. This is incorrect. GATSO cameras are not infallible. They use dated radar technology and they are not unbeatable. They tend to be used in quite built-up areas and catch those drivers marginally over the speed limit (typically low to mid 40s in a 30mph limit).
In this case, we quickly identified a number of potential defences to the charge. In fact the Crown case was initially such a disaster that the hardest thing was choosing which failing(s) to focus on. It can be a strategic error to “cast the net too wide” in cases with multiple errors. It is sometimes better to focus on your strongest point or points. A many-pronged approach can actually end up diluting the effect of your strongest point.
In this case the Crown managed to resolve this particular dilemma for us by sorting myriad problems themselves prior to trial. All, that is, except the biggest problem. In this case we decided to bring the problem to the attention of the prosecutor in an attempt to persuade them to drop the case. This is not something we do lightly. Showing your hand in this manner can backfire badly. It is a matter of knowing your prosecutor. In this case it turned out to be the correct decision and the prosecutor dropped the case against our client without the risk of a trial/
This case was defended by Steven Farmer at Paisley Justice of the Peace Court om 25 January 2018. Speeding in Scotland recorded on GATSO cameras remain commonplace. We are always pleased to see them as, contrary to what seems to be the popular perception, they are extremely difficult cases for the Crown to prove. As was the case here.