Speeding Warning Letter FAQs
How did the equipment detect me?
There are multiple methods of detection for speeders. Certain equipment, as noted below, has been used prior to March 31, 2011.
- Gatsometer (GATSO) unmanned fixed cameras and roadside red light cameras
Both of these are static and they provide photo evidence of speeding by means of a radar beam for the GATSO or sensor loops embedded in the road surface for the red light device. The latter are located before and after the stop line so that passing cars will be monitored upon activation of a red traffic light. A test is conducted by trained police staff on the equipment to ensure functioning. (Test shots are recorded.)
- LTI 20-20 manned Speed Scope roadside camera
These UltraLyte 1000 speed cameras are mobile and operated by police staff with special training. Video evidence is recorded onto DVDs by a Concept 2 system using a series of laser light pulses. The changing distance between the speed gun and the vehicle is thus tracked and the unit successfully calculates speed. Upon activation, the cameras are self-tested for proper functioning every day, both diagnostically as well as a distance and beam alignment check.
- SPECS digital camera (speed over distance)
To detect a static average speed, this camera system recoreds digital images automatically onto WORM discs. In other words, it clocks the measurement between entry and exit cameras. The license plate is then captured by an ANPR system which compares the entry time of each vehicle in the area and establishes the average speed, taking into consideration the exact distance between these cameras.
- RedSpeed Digital unmanned fixed roadside cameras
There are a number of static cameras that send digital images to the Speed Enforcement Unit office as evidence for recording onto DVDs: RedSpeed, RedGuard and SpeedCurb cameras. A set of piezoelectric sensors are embedded in the road surface for the RedSpeed and SpeedCurb systems. They will detect the speed of passing vehicles while the ResSpeed and RedGuard camers detect those passing over the stop line at a red light (with sensor loops before and after the line).
Equipment used since April of 2011
- LTI 20-20 Speed Scope manned roadside cameras
Trained police members learn to operate the LTI 20-20 UltraLyte 1000 speed cameras, used to record video evidence (on DVD or Compact Flash card) with a Concept 2 system. The changing distance between the speed gun and the passing vehicle is detected with a series of regular laser light pulses, and thus speed is determined. Equipment is self-diagnostic upon activation. Furthermore, distance checks are conoducted each working day by an operator along with a beam alignment and speed check.
If those recreiving letters wish copies of photographic evidence applicable to their case, you may write to:
Speed Enforcement Unit
PO Box 3110
Bristol BS1 9FZ
In essence, equipment used by the Speed Enforcement Unit is regularly and repeatedly checked, tested, and certified by the Home Office. Each camera has its own approval document. Cameras are also calibrated on an annual basis by the manufacturer before issuing certification of proper functioning.
Two separate checks are necessary by law for each speeding or trarffic light violation allegation. The Speed Enforcement Unit is careful to adhere to rules and regulations in this regard. Camera systems are scrutinized by trained police staff: evidence for any offence must be verified, having passed both inspections. Only upon completion can a Notice of Intended Prosecution be issued to a driver.
Queries can be made upon receipt of a Notice of Intended Prosecution from The Speed Enforcement Unit. Between 8am and 5pm Mon-Fri, you may access the following.:
General – 0117 9454761 Prosecutions – 0117 9454796
Police have a duty to you
Within 14 days of the alleged offence, a Notice of Intended Prosecution is required to be sent to the registered owner at the last known address. It must outline the nature of the offence, and the time and place of occurance. Any factual mistakes will nulligy the notice. Objections may be addressed in a court hearing. A verbal form of the notice can be given at the time the speeding driver is stopped and reported, thus eliminating the need for a written one.
There is a legal obligation on the part of those receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution. A response is expected within 28 days. Several types include.
- acceptance of a fixed penalty conditional offer, as applicable.
- Informing that another party was the new or previous vehicle owner at the time of the alleged offence.
- Nomination of a different party.
If prosecuted, when will I find out?
A Notice of Intended Prosecution will be forewarded to the registered vehicle owner within 14 days of the alleged offence. Court action is likely to ensue unless otherwise indicated. When the owner/driver receives this notice, he or she is legally obligated to respond with details of the alleged offence, including passengers in the vehicle.
What if the driver is unknown?
It is possible that the registered owner not know the driver at the time of the alleged offence. However, if this said owner is the keeper, hirer, or nominated driver of the vehicle, he or she is legally bound to provide details, including another driver involved on that date. Prosecution cna result from noncompliance according to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. It is applicable to corporate bodies and individual alike. If the driver is unknown, a court of law will decide if sufficient and reasonalb dilligence has been utilized in an attempt to locate the person.______________________________________________________
What if it wasn’t my vehicle?
Refer to the issued ticket if your vehicle, operated by another party, was involved in an alleged offence. Even if you think it was an error, a timely inquiry will help clarify the situation and mandate scrutiny of report details. Upon finding discrepanies, action will be initiated. However, if the details match, further written evidence may be required to confirm your vehicle whereabouts on the alleged date. This applies to stolen vehciles, which should have been reported immediately. Consult the notice for the relevant address.
The driver is out of the country
Written evidence of the overseas location of the driver during the alleged offence must be provided, including a full contactable address.
I have a defence for my actions
Perpetrators of alleged offences may have reasons to provide. A court hearing can be requested upon completion of part one of the notice (located on page two). However, it is not in the jurisdiction of the Speed Enforcement Unit to mediate defences or even mitigating circumstances. A court of law must weigh the evidence.
Convention of Human Rights
Human rights issue can emerge in the legal consideration of alleged offences. As a result, one can look to the Human Rights Act for numerous relevant reports. A pertinent portion, Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, discusses how the vehicle keeper is mandated to supply the police with information about the driver at the time of the offence. Not complying is unlawful unless it is clear that the owner did not know (with reasonable dilligence) who was at the wheel. In such cases, speed camera evidence is instrumental. They are marked with controversy, however.
For example, a court in Birmingham was said to have ruled that Secton 172 pertaining to cameras is in breach of the Convention on Human Rights. The case may involve administrative errors and it ended up that cameras were not deemed in violation of the convention. It does, however, bring up some issues. Can the courts decide on the application of Section 172? If it is law, can it be ignored? The Human Rights Act (adopted in October of 2000) remains a powerful force, limiting the validity of certain legislation to some degree.
In the long run, the goverment is the decisive authority. In the interim, according this section of the Road Traffic Act of 1988, keepers/drivers of vehicles are obliged to pen a reply.