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Cheers - AE

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Guilty until proven innocent

Also in the Telegraph, a minor win for the little guy. Another driver has demolished the case against him for speeding by proving that the car isn't capable of the speed that he was supposedly caught at (and if memory serves this isn't the first time someone's shown that Mr Plod's speed gun technology is nowhere near as reliable as it's claimed). But it's not all good news (my emphasis):
Dale Lyle, 21, said he was surprised when he was told a mobile speed camera had clocked him at nearly 100mph in his 1.3 litre Honda Civic.
He contested the case and magistrates told him to provide evidence to support his claim.
The problem is, still, that for motoring offences the burden of proof is reversed. I admire Mr Lyle for not being the pushover that most motorists are when given a ticket*. He'd sold the car but bought it back and had it tested to prove that it wasn't capable of the 98mph he'd been accused of, but that cost him twenty times what rolling over and paying the fine would have been. And now he's got to try and recoup that from somewhere - court, police, CPS, camera partnership... who should pay him back? And what are the odds that they'll blame each other and generally wriggle like hell to avoid any of them compensating Mr Lyle for having to waste money defending himself against a false accusation. Fairly fucking high I reckon:
A CPS spokesman said: "...Any recompense is a matter between the defendant and the court."

*Okay, Dale Lyle was fortunate in being accused of a speed he knew damn well his car was unable to achieve, and since that probably doesn't happen too often most people getting a speeding ticket have absolutely no way of proving themselves innocent and are therefore fucked. This would have a Thank Fuck I Left The UK label but for the fact that it's more or less the same here.
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