Table of Contents
Have you ever faced a speeding fine while feeling confident that you followed the speed limit? Fortunately, the National Road Traffic Act provides guidelines to promote fairness in traffic law enforcement. However, authorities must adhere to these guidelines; otherwise, they risk invalidating a speeding fine. In this article, we will explore various situations that can make a speeding fine illegal and explain the equipment, operator qualifications, and additional requirements that law enforcement must meet to enforce a fine.
Traffic enforcement officers rely on an array of devices, including speed-measuring, distance-measuring, and time interval-measuring equipment. To ensure accuracy, an accredited laboratory must calibrate these devices every 12 months. Consequently, officers cannot use any equipment for prosecution purposes if its calibration is outdated.
As a motorist, you can ask to see the calibration certificate, which should always accompany the equipment. This certificate displays the serial number of the device, the date of calibration, and the accredited laboratory’s details. Additionally, the device should show this information, often on a sticker. If the serial number or calibration date mismatches the certificate or is outdated, the speeding fine may become invalid.
When it comes to using speed-measuring equipment, a traffic officer needs to complete and pass a course on speed measurement, and if necessary, traffic light monitoring. The officer should possess a certificate as proof of their qualifications. Therefore, drivers can request this certificate to verify the officer’s qualifications. If the officer lacks the appropriate certificate or license, the fine may become invalid.
Moreover, the officer recording the infringement must hold the correct paperwork. The fine may become invalid if the speeding camera’s operator does not have the necessary certificate. Importantly, the National Road Traffic Act grants motorists the legal right to request the certificate or license, and officers must not withhold this information.
The distance between the speed measurement and the beginning of a speed limit zone impacts a speeding fine’s validity. An officer can start measuring speed only after 300 meters from a speed limit sign that indicates a change in speed zones, allowing motorists enough time to adjust their speed. However, officers must not take measurements beyond 500 meters from the sign.
Furthermore, the speeding camera should indicate the distance, and officers cannot prosecute if the measurement exceeds 500 meters. The officer also needs to maintain a clear, uninterrupted view of the vehicle during the entire measurement. If an officer takes a measurement while vehicles are changing positions, the fine may become invalid.
Fixed Camera Requirements
For a prosecutable fine, photographs of infringements resulting from fixed cameras must include the following details:
- Date of offense
- Time of offense
- Location code
- Speed measured
- Absence of obstructions
- A view of the entire width of the traffic lane covered by sensor lines, if installed
- At least two photographs showing the offender’s vehicle, including a clear image of the license plate
If a fine lacks an accompanying image, the alleged offender or vehicle owner can request a copy of the relevant photograph at no cost.
In summary, understanding the legality of speeding fines is crucial for motorists. By ensuring authorities calibrate equipment properly, verifying that officers have adequate qualifications, and checking that distance requirements are met, drivers can avoid unjust fines. Stay aware of your rights and remain informed to protect yourself from invalid speeding fines.