Speed camera test case under way

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Speed camera test case under way

Post by Admin on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:04 pm

A motorist bringing a test case on the legality of speed cameras said he did not exceed the limit, a court heard.

Aitken Brotherston, 61, of Lymm, Cheshire, was clocked driving at 52mph in a 40mph zone in Manchester, but claims the reading was inaccurate.

He is also arguing legislation covering laser gun devices is flawed.

Manchester Crown Court was told the devices are passed by the home secretary, which effectively bypasses scrutiny from Parliament.

Mr Brotherston's lawyers argue legislation covering speed cameras introduced in the UK since 1992 is flawed because it has not been prescribed correctly.

A successful appeal on the constitutional principle could lead to thousands of motorists demanding repayment of fines and the annulment of penalty points and bans.

Mr Brotherston was clocked by the laser speed camera on Princess Parkway, near Manchester city centre in November 2006.

I firmly believe I was not exceeding the speed limit but I cannot say what speed I was doing

Aitken Brotherston

He was convicted of the speeding offence at Manchester Magistrates' Court in May 2008 and received three penalty points, a fine of 250 and was ordered to pay 2,800 costs.

Michael Shrimpton, defending, said his client's Mitsubishi Galant could not have been travelling at that speed because a Toyota Landcruiser 25m behind him was clocked at 45mph.

He told the court the LTI 20/20 Speedscope laser gun was also pointed below the Mitsubishi number plate and picked up reflections which contributed to an unreliable reading.

Mr Brotherston, giving evidence, said: "I firmly believe I was not exceeding the speed limit but I cannot say what speed I was doing."

Hearing continues

Cross-examining, Andrew Perry, said a vehicle of his power would not need an extreme amount of pressure on the accelerator pedal to go from 40mph to 52mph.

Mr Perry suggested his concentration lapsed and he did break the limit, but Mr Brotherston said he did not accept that he did.

Judge Jonathan Gibson, hearing the case with two lay magistrates, said: "We have to decide if there is any evidence at all that the defendant committed the offence and secondly if there is such evidence is there sufficient upon which we can properly convict."

The hearing will continue on Tuesday, when the constitutional argument will be put before the court.
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