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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Good afternoon. I am Ronan Cheffins-Barnard - *****@******.***. Can

Customer Question

Good afternoon. I am Ronan Cheffins-Barnard - *****@******.***.
Can you please tell me about the legal stipulations regarding the placement of a speed measuring device (speed trap) in relation to a change in speed limit.
I recall that such a device can not be used WITHIN 1 tenth of a statute mile, AFTER a change (reduction) in speed limit.
Is this correct?
With thanks in advance,
Ronan Cheffins-Barnard
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
All that is a complete myth I'm afraid.
GATSOs are always placed in fairly static location by definition.
Laser guns are a little more complicated. The truth is that they could put them almost anywhere and as long as they can satisfy the court that their findings are reliable that will be accepted.
There are ACPO guidelines that govern the use of laser guns but that is advice only. You will find those here
You should bear in mind that is advice only not law but almost certainly that is what you have been reading.
Unfortunately there is nothing that says or even suggests that they cannot put them near a change in speed limit. In fact, that is where they tend to place them and they are perfectly free to do so.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response Jo,

The issue is that I was clocked by a MOBILE camera van, looking towards me. this van was parked in a lay-by, only 220 yards from a change from 50 to 30 mph.

The speed limit sign for 30 mph is on the apex of a bend and was COVERED BY FOLIAGE and I only saw it when less than 50 yards away.

The sign on the other side of the road was obscured by traffic. My understanding of the law came from my father avoiding prosecution in the 70s because the speed trap was too close to the change in limit.

At least for him the signage was not obscured and it was a straight road!


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm afraid that your understanding of the law is incorrect.
In the 1970s we didn't have speed traps. We just used the perception of police officers supported by their own speedometer as they pursued cars.
They are perfectly free to have speed traps upon the change in limit if they choose.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am afraid that your last response has devalued your previous answer.

In the 1970s - as I found to my cost, there were portable speed traps, often disguised as GREEN GPO (telecom) cable junction boxes. These were triggered by the passage of a vehicle over pneumatic cables that were laid across the carriageway.

Speeding excess, captured by mobile traffic offices in a car, was over a measured distance and verified using a specially calibrated ADDITIONAL speedometer in their vehicle.

this continued at least into the 1980s when I worked for the Talbot Motor company, with specific responsibility for the sale of cars to a number of Police Forces.

So, I am now dissatisfied with your earlier answer. You might (as I do not know your age) possible have travelled in a car in the 1970s or 1980s, but your answer shows that you do NOT have adequate knowledge of that period. Therefore I am unconvinced as to your actual knowledge to answer the question in hand.

If the stipulation that I am aware of DID exist in the earlier Road Traffic Acts, it can only cease to exist now, if those acts have been repealed.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Since you are dissatisfied I will not be able to continue.
All the best.