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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70118
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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how often does a police traffic car have to be calibrated

Customer Question

how often does a police traffic car have to be calibrated
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

To supply you with a reply tailored to your circumstances I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Do you mean a VASCAR device or a laser gun?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

a police vehicle fitted with cleartone video device which incorporates a PUMA detection devise

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, you mean a VASCAR device.

The ACPO guidelines demand that calibration is carried out on initial installation, following any removal and reinstatement, the fitting of new tyres and at weekly intervals. This is because these devices rely very heavily on the components of the vehicle which are subject to wear and tear.

However, you should note that those are the ACPO guidelines not law. The law is rather more complicated.

A device that is not calibrated may not be an 'approved' device by the Home Office. There have been a series of recent cases that have suggested that even if unapproved by reason of lack of calibration or any other reason, if the court finds it a reliable device it can still lead to a conviction.

The most similar case is Iaciofano v DPP [2010] in which the Administrative Court held that a Police Pilot Provida in-car speed detection device is not an approved device. The court further ruled that it had not been open to the court below to find that it was approved based on evidence that it had been installed in several police cars. The Administrative Court quashed the motorist's conviction for speeding but did remit the matter back to the court below for reconsideration.

The practical reality is that its not likely that the Crown would raise these arguments if this were uncalibrated.

Also, if this is an uncalibrated device then a Court might well find it unreliable because it depends on the components of the vehicle.

Hope this helps.

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