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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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As a member of the public, 1. can I legally use a privately-owned

Resolved Question:

As a member of the public,
1. can I legally use a privately-owned (calibration-checked by Lab-certified Tuning Fork before use) Bushnell radar gun to check traffic speeds in order to provide a Town/parish Council with proof of speeding in order to ask the Police to enforce in that location if a speeding problem is revealed by the figures.
Note: No registration numbers of vehicles would being taken, just a non-aggressive quick check of the speed of vehicles by a quick flick 3s of the radar gun (not laser that needs ages to aim and fire - the Bushnell does it in 3 seconds max).
2. If so, would I need to display a sign?
3. If so what should the sign's wording be and
4. does it need to be ahead of the check location or will being at it suffice?
5. What Liability Insurance would I need, if any?
6. What objections might the Police have to such an activity, if legal, and how do I respond to any such challenges/objections?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

So you want to gather evidence to lobby for better protection for the local residents. As long as you do this discretely and in a way that does not distract the drivers I can't see any reason not to do so. You should absolutely not display any signs and I don't think you would need insurance if you were doing this in a way that was not noticeable to passing motorists.

Customer:

We would NOT be covert, we need to be near but not on the kerb (like Police have to be with laser guns) and we would be wearing hi-vis tabards for H&S reasons. Does your advice still hold.

Customer:

Would we need the permission of the local parish council before carrying out such checks in their town/parish or would a mere notification suffice? yes it's to lobby for enforcement.

Customer:

Would I also be entitled to discretely video the session that would be on the public highway.

Customer:

By the way, most impressed with your service..

LondonlawyerJ :

I don't see why you couldn't video what you were doing. Being covert would be the safer way to do this. I think with the way you are proposing to do this you shod definitely involve the local council and the police. You should let both know what you propose to do and seek their permission and advice, may be invite their participation as well.

Customer:

So, that brings be back to my original question (where the operation was not very well define for you - sorry). I do not have the specific permission of the Council nor the Police who do not believe I have a speeding problem and I wish to prove them wrong. Does that make a difference to your initial responses?

Customer:

I have no problem in letter the Council and Police know what I intend to do where and when but seeking their permission or needing it before undertaking it is ok. Thus, my question: How do I meet any challenges or objections when I am within my rights (or am I) to undertake overt Speed Checks.

LondonlawyerJ :

As ar as your original questins go

LondonlawyerJ :

1 You can carry out speed checks. You can do anything that is not specifically illegal and as long as you do not obstruct the highway or act in a way that might be dangerous you are dong nothing wrong.

Customer:

Sorry that came out wrong and should read: "I have no problem in letter the Council and Police know what I intend to do where and when but seeking their permission or needing it before undertaking my speed check is not an option"

LondonlawyerJ :

2 I don't think you need to display a sign.

LondonlawyerJ :

5 I wuld be amazed if you could get insurance cover for this.

Customer:

It was to be an informative sign to explain our presence

Customer:

words like "Speed Monitoring in Progress"

LondonlawyerJ :

6 If the police have objection you would need to see what they are before responding.

Customer:

Rather than 'Speed Check' that sounds as if some retribution might result

LondonlawyerJ :

Wouldn't a sign like that risk damaging the validity of your data?

Customer:

Can I not just go out and do it and then see if there is a resultant objection from the Police or Council ... I may be anticipating too much in theory that may not result in practice but I need to know on what grounds either might object please

Customer:

The sign would be visible at our location seconds agter we had registwered the speed with the gun that is accurate up to nearly half a mile away

LondonlawyerJ :

I very much doubt that either would object. I simply don't see why you would want to put a sign up why not just do it in as unobtrusive a way as possible?

Customer:

ok, so if we do it unobtrusively and unaggressively and unconfrontationally could the Council or Police have any legal grounds to object to my doing this with a couple of others (as witnesses)... and no signs but we will be in hi-vis near the kerb to avoid too much Cosine Error in the speeds..

Customer:

What if a driver slams on the brakes on seeing a hi-vis jacket .. as they actually do with dog-walkers.. do we have any liability for the bump he.she gets from the car behind?

LondonlawyerJ :

I can't think of any as you will be engaged in a perfectly legal activity in a public place. I will be away from this site for a few hours now but will look again later.

Customer:

What if a driver slams on the brakes on seeing a hi-vis jacket .. as they actually do with dog-walkers.. do we have any liability for the bump he.she gets from the car behind?

LondonlawyerJ :

I think you need to be careful to make sure you are acting in a way that does not lead to over reaction by drivers. The sight of a person in a hi vis jacket wielding a speed camera might lead to brake slamming but I owd tin this is primarily the driver's fault. I have already suggested dropping the hi vis jackets.

Customer:

Yes, we have decided to take your sound advice and NOT display notices and not wear hi-vis and indeed not aim the gun (as per the Police method) but rather hold the Bushnell radar gun (that does not need aiming via a 'gunsight' like the laser gun does) in a non-alarming, non- confrontational manner. We will also carry out the checks casually rather than portray any official stance and use cover (even a car) wherever possible so the checks are discrete if not covert. Will that keep us on the right side of the Law and Liability?

LondonlawyerJ :

That sounds sensible. You should be aware that I am not giving legal advice here but giving answers to the questions you have asked me and there is no relationship of client solicitor between us. I hope that didn't sound rude but it is important to remember the limits of this service.

LondonlawyerJ :

I would be grateful if you would please rate my service as if you do not do so will not be paid for the answers I have given you.

LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience: Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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