The case is believed to be the first of its kind and could open the floodgates for hundreds of thousands of motorists.
Neil Herron was alleged to be driving his vehicle at 40 mph in a 30mph limit on 13th January 2014 at 12.15pm. His vehicle’s speed was captured by an LTI 20:20 Ultralyte 1000 Speed Measuring Device operated by a mobile patrol. However, Herron was trialling a driver safety telematic device at the time, and the data produced by the device indicated that the vehicle speed was way below the 30mph speed limit.
Herron therefore decided to challenge the police evidence in court.
19 months later, the Sunderland Magistrates Court found in his favour after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence.
As accurate, affordable GPS technology is now being used by more and more motorists it is only a matter of time before more and more cases of this type come before the courts.
Herron said: “I would not have had any grounds on which to challenge the allegation if I had not had the data from the device. Many drivers have faced similar allegations and believed that they were not speeding but no way of proving it. Now we have the affordable technology which motorists can use to create driving peace of mind.”
Philip Somarakis, partner at law and professional services firm Gordon Dadds, said: “Based on previous experience in other cases, laser speed detection devices can produce erroneous results and in this case Mr Herron was convinced he was not speeding as alleged and stated he had telematics data to support that view. When confronted with failings in court the prosecution determined to offer no evidence.”
He added: “For many years fleet managers have recognised the potential benefits of using technology to monitor driver behaviour. The principal objective of telematics is to encourage safe and efficient driving. We are all in favour of reducing excessive driver speed on our roads; that said, being able to rely on technology to prove compliance with a speed limit should not be underestimated.”