As most police forces across the country abandon proper road policing and allow themselves to be coerced into enforcing the government's anti-car policies, the fanatical obsession with 'speeding' into to which most of them have been well and truly brainwashed is leading to a growing number of cases of serious errors related to speed camera prosecutions.
 
We're keeping a tally of every occasion that the police and safety camera partnerships (aka the Talivan) demonstrate their incompetence:
 

CockUpIllegal prosecutionsIllegal fines
2004–2007 — Dorset — Incorrect traffic order24,889£1,493,340
2007 Feb–Sep — Lancs — Speed cameras incorrectly calibrated300£18,000
2006 — Devon — A30 Illegal speed limit170£10,200
2006 Jul — Cleveland — Illegal form240,000£9M
2005 Jun — London — Mis-placed SPECS5,600£335,800
2005 Jun — Lincolnshire — Street lighting2,637£158,220
2005 Jun — Dorset — Illegal form<=135,000*<=£8,000,000*
2005 May — North Wales — A483 Wrexham Bypass1,136£ 68,000
2005 Feb — Wiltshire — A3035,600£ 336,000
2004 Nov — North Wales — Printed signatures6,500£ 390,000
2003 Oct — South Wales — M4 Newport2,500£ 150,000
Total (Not including cases pending*) 310,668 £ 11,959,560
If you stole £10M from the public you'd end up in jail.
Note: Some dates refer to when the cockup first came to notice in the courts or the press, the illegal acts are often many months or even years earlier.

 
Bungling ineptitude?
Over-enthusiasm?
Deliberately malpractice?
Or sympomatic of the attitude of the police towards drivers?
You decide...
 
 
2004–2007 — A35 Chideock, Dorset
A staggering 24,889 drivers are to have their points removed and fines refunded after it was discovered that a legal order relating to a speed camera stated a different road to that upon which the speed camera was actually located! Drivers who have suffered additional loss may be entitled to further compenstation. Total illegal fines: £1,493,340.
 
 
2007 Feb–Sep — Lancashire
300 drivers had their speed prosecutions torn up after it was discovered some clown had incorrectly calibrated a number of mobile speed cameras over a 7 month period. 59 of these drivers had already been on a day-long brainwashing course thatcost them £80 plus a day off work. They are said to be having the cost of the course refunded. Total illegal fines: £18,000.
 
 
2007 February 8 — Devon
170 drivers. £10,200.
170 drivers prosecuted for exceeding a temporary 40mph speed limit on the A30 at Whiddon Down between January 2006 and January 2007 are to have their points cancelled and fines refunded after a court ruled that the speed limit was not legal.
 
 
2006 July 4 — Cleveland
240,000 drivers. £9,000,000.
A court overturned the prior prosecution of Dr Will Dehany for speeding after it was shown that the form had been signed by a clerk who had not been authorised to sign forms on behalf of the Chief Constable. The decision has implications for anyone prosecuted for speeding in Cleveland since 2000.
In 2000 40,000 drivers were fined a total of £1.5M (Evening Gazette), so we estimate the total illegal prosecutions at over 240,000, and illegal fines at over £9M not excluding compensation due to those who have suffered loss of employment or other knock on effects.
 
 
2005 June — City of London
5,600 drivers. £335,800.
The London Safety Camera pratnership will have to refund points and fines to some 5,600 drivers after some imbecile put either the SPECS camera or the speed limit signs in the wrong place on Lower Thames Street. The SPECS camera was taking registration numbers outside of the absurd 20mph zone it was supposed to be enforcing.
The cameras record the vehicle registration before it enters the absurd 20mph zone.
 
 
2005 June — Lincolnshire
2,637 drivers. £158,220.
A speed camera had been placed on the A153 in the village of Anwick. Motorist Phil Walker was napped at an alledged 38mph. The speed camera was set to 30mph, yet there are no 30mph signs upon entering the village. The police alledged that the presence of street lighting indicated a 30mph limit, yet the lighting was proved in court to be footpath lighting, not street lighting, so the speed limit is actually 60mph. Despite Mr Walker showing the police evidence of their mistake in January 2003, they continued to carry out illegal prosecutions for some 18 months.
 
2005 June — Dorset
Up to about 135,000 drivers. Up to around £38 million.
"Standard Dorset police notices have been used since the 1991 Road Traffic Act. It may mean prosecutions have been wrongfully commenced and fines and points wrongfully imposed against Dorset motorists for a number of years.
The potential cost to the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership is pretty staggering."
David McCreath, Solicitor, Bournemouth.
A solicitor has discovered that every speed camera prosecution in Dorset since 1991 may have been illegal. When the police tried to prosecute him, he found that the form they were using did not comply with legal requirements, and his case was thrown out by a judge. The case may have ramifications for every other driver prosecuted for 'speeding' since 1991 by Dorset Police, who could be facing a massive compensation bill.
If you have been so prosecuted, we advise you to contact a solicitor. See the SafeSpeed press release for details of the solicitors dealing with the original case.
 
2005 May — North Wales — A483 Wrexham Bypass
1,136 drivers. £68,000 in fines.
The speed limit was cut from 70mph to just 40mph during roadworks, but “temporary speed limit warning signs had been put in the wrong place”, More likely the talivan was operating in the wrong place. £68,000 in illegal fines had to be refunded to 1,136 drivers.
 
2005 February — Wiltshire — A303
5,600 drivers. £336,000 in fines.
Gross incompetence by the Highways Agency and the Wiltshire & Swindon ‘Road Safety’ Partnership which led to the unlawful conviction of 5600 motorists has been exposed.
In 2003, roadworks lasting 16 months took place on the A303 at Folly Bottom and a temporary 40mph speed limit was put in place enforced by speed cameras.
Following advice from the ABD, Clair Allison and 27 other drivers took their cases to court after finding numerous illegalities with their prosecutions
Not only were the speed limit signs deficient, but the highway authority had made elementary mistakes in making the temporary traffic regulation orders: one piece of road did not have an order on it at all, and the order on the A303 itself was made under the section that applies to motorways, while the A303 is an all-purpose road.
However, the cases against Miss Allison and others were deliberately dropped so that the speed camera partnership would not have to automatically refund the £336,000 in fines extorted from 5600 other drivers. This dishonest and corrupt practice has been observed before in other police forces.
If you were prosecuted for exceeding the temporary 40mph speed limit on the A303 in 2003/4, your conviction may well have been illegal, as no such speed limit existed in law.
 
Barry Culshaw, the defence solicitor in the cases, gave this advice to motorists fined or convicted at the site:
* If you pled guilty or paid a fixed penalty: apply to the magistrates court to have the conviction set aside.
* If you were found guilty after a trial: apply for leave to appeal against conviction out of time to the Crown Court.
 
Wiltshire Road 'Safety' Partnership are now asking drivers to contact them. If you have suffered additional cost (e.g. insurance premiums) or hardship (e.g. disqualification, loss of job or business) as a result of their illegal action, be sure to speak to a solicitor about claiming compensation.
 
Copies of SafeSpeed press releases:
 
2004 Nov — North Wales — Printed Signature
6,500 Drivers. £390,000.
North Wales police had to refund thousands of fines after a judge discovered they'd been printing a signature on forms rather than getting an officer to check and sign each one as the law requires. Judge Derek Halbert slammed North Wales Police for automating speeding prosecutions. Demonstrating once again their contempt for due legal process when dealing with drivers, the police had submitted numerous items of evidence supposedly witnessed and signed by a police officer, yet it was revealed in court that the signature had in fact been scanned and added by computer. The judge described the police procedure as "utterly inappropriate". Once their little game had been uncovered, the police promised to change the procedure. The question is why they introduced it in the first place.
"North Wales police are reaping the consequences of their heavy-handed conveyor belt approach to highway policing for which they were rightly criticised by Judge Derek Halbert."
David Jones, Solicitor, Llandudno.
The police wrote to 6500 affected drivers to state that their convictions may be flawed.
 
2003 October — South Wales — M4 Newport
2,500 Drivers. £150,000 in fines.
In a tale of staggering ineptitude or deliberate malpractice, a speed camera van targetted part of the M4 outside of a temporary 50mph speed limit due to roadworks. Thousands of drivers on the M4 at Coldra near Newport were wrongly fined.
Despite admitting their 'mistake', the arrogant prats refused to allow a blanket amnesty and insisted drivers would have to apply individually to have their points returned and fines refunded.
 
Our Advice
If you are caught by a speed camera always check that the speed limit was legal, that the speed limit signs were in accordance with the law, that the legal authorization for the speed camera was correct, and that the speed camera van was actually situated within the speed limit. Ask for a copy of all the traffic orders related to the speed limit, and the speed camera, especially for temporary speed limits.
Above all, don't assume that the police and safety camera partnership know what they are doing, because the opposite is clearly true all too often.
Directory of Solicitors
 

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