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Speeding fines cancelled after radar gun dispute

By Cameron Kirby, 30 Nov 2018 News

Speeding fines cancelled after radar gun dispute

South Australian police have withdrawn handheld speed detection laser guns over accuracy complaints

SOUTH Australian police have been forced to abandon 125 prosecutions, and stopped using handheld speed detection laser guns following legal challenges from a number of drivers.

The state’s police force has said that any South Australian that has an unpaid speeding infringement issued by an officer they believe was using a Lidar device can apply to have the fine reviewed.

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Despite having to abandon the speed detection method, and throwing out 125 outstanding fines, South Australia police said in a statement they had "no reason to question the accuracy of the laser devices".

The dramatic move follows legal challenges from three drivers, each represented by barrister Karen Stanley’s law firm. In one case a motorcyclist was detected travelling at 126km/h in a 60km/h zone.

Each of the challenges the court determined a “five-step test” conducted by police failed to prove the speed gun was accurate at the time of the test.

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South Australia police minister Corey Wingard told state parliament that the government would introduce amendments to the current laws to bring them in line with those in other states.

Superintendent Stuart McLean told the ABC a number of Lidar devices from across the state have been removed from service.

"Motorists would be unwise to think this decision creates any gap in our attention to road safety, or shortfall in enforcement," he said.

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"Until today there have been a number of Lidar devices in operation at any one time across the state which will be temporarily removed from service.

"However we will continue to use other well-established speed detection options — handheld radar devices, plus fixed and mobile speed cameras.

"SAPOL has chosen this course of action after very carefully considering a range of options to ensure transparency around this issue."

Speeding fines issued by static speed cameras, red light cameras, and handheld radar devices are not impacted.