London, 12 Jan 2003.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release 388

Speed Camera Accuracy in Doubt Following Successful Appeal
The ABD expressed grave concern today over the case of Kris Haskins, the deputy Mayor of Portland Town Council, who was sent a speeding ticket for 51 mph when he was actually travelling at 14 mph. He subsequently proved that the "camera had indeed lied" and the case was dropped.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said
"There is potential for widespread injustice here. We are told that the camera was affected by a ‘reflected image’ and gave a wrong reading, and that this is an ‘extremely rare occurrence’. However this didn't stop the ticket from being sent out. Had the driver just paid up, as millions do each year, no one would have been any the wiser.
This sits very uneasily with the fact that many camera partnerships refuse to produce the photographs of the alleged ‘offence’ unless the accused takes the case to court. This, of course, puts most people off trying to defend their cases, or even establishing whether the camera partnership has got its figures right.
But it doesn't stop there. We need to remember that the people who are glibly saying that this sort of thing is ‘extremely rare’ are the camera partnership concerned, whose jobs depend on the camera money. This is rather like the fox telling the chickens that it really is quite safe to leave the hen house door open at night. Who on earth do they think they are fooling?
The public will understandably connect this in their minds with the recent scandal in which a Welsh camera partnership owned up to ‘accidentally’ fining thousands of motorists with a wrongly placed camera - but then refused to contact the drivers to tell them that they had been unjustly convicted. That debacle has left people with unjust fines, penalty points, and possibly disqualification and job loss. How many people have been similarly mistreated over the years by ‘reflected images?’
To help those who have been sent speeding tickets, the ABD has issued the following advice:
This advice applies only to the fixed Gatso type cameras, which photograph your car from behind emitting two quick flashes as they do so. These cameras take two photographs to cover just this sort of well known and understood radar anomaly. Everyone has assumed that the camera partnerships were doing their job properly and verifying the speed by checking the photos. Clearly this is not done, and it is essential that anyone who receives a speeding ticket should apply for their photographs and check them. We strongly advise that any driver who receives a ticket should check the ABD website where an easy to follow guide will be produced.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said
"No doubt people will draw their own conclusions. The emerging malpractices and general chicanery of these cash-driven outfits defy belief. It cannot go on."


Notes for Editors