Think Insurance, UK, Walsall
Judges Gavel

Lawyer Proves Van Clocked At 85mph Was Only Doing 29mph

Speed Camera Reading Proved Inaccurate By Lawyer

A white van was clocked by a speed camera doing 85mph in a 30mph zone, despite actually being 1mph under the speed limit.

I wasn't speeding but the camera flashed

Delivery driver Thomas Baird was summoned to court, having been accused of speeding on the A6011 Linley Road in Talke, a village in Staffordshire. His van was caught supposedly speeding at 11:59am on 1st December. However, lawyers have proven that the van was travelling at a speed of 29mph and not the 85mph Baird was originally accused of doing. After receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution, the delivery driver immediately contested it with the police Safer Roads team, but Baird was told he must wait for the case to go to court and was issued with a court summons in March.

The Lawyer Said

Bobby Bell, Director of Congleton-based BB Law, which represented Mr Baird, said: "The most concerning fact about this case is that the police apparently still have no idea as to how or why this device managed to over-calculate my client's speed by a whopping 56mph. This case undermines confidence in this camera and possibly even the reliability of this model of camera. The police should switch it off until they can provide an explanation for the error. They should test the reliability of this camera and get to the bottom of why it has produced an inaccurate reading, so they can determine whether this is a one-off or a wider problem. Gatso cameras take two photos which are 0.5 seconds apart. We calculated the true speed of the vehicle by making an application to Staffordshire Police for a copy of the second photograph. Once the police disclosed this we were able to calculate the speed by reference to the physical markings on the carriageway, proving he had been travelling at a maximum of 29.08mph.”


Staffordshire Police have withdrawn the prosecution and paid out £2,000 to cover the defendant’s legal costs, but Bobby Bell has said: “If the suggested reading had not been so high Mr Baird probably would have just paid the fine. There aren't many people who can spend the time, effort and money fighting something they think the police are likely to win. This case is a stark reminder that these supposedly infallible devices can produce inaccurate and unreliable evidence." According to the Stoke Sentinel, police acknowledged speed cameras can give inaccurate readings, with Superintendent Simon Tweats saying: "This is the only time this type of error, to the best of our knowledge, has not been picked up prior to going to court. This was a one-off individual error."