Speed Cameras and Liberty

I’m not against using technology to catch criminals and provide evidence that will result in their conviction.

My problem with UK speed cameras is that they do this by trampling over the 3 hard-fought-for legal pillars of our legal justice system (which is immoral):

1. Presumption of innocence. We are expected to prove we were not driving to prevent prosecution, whereas it is normal for the police to provide evidence in other cases.

2. Right not to incriminate ourselves. The Notice of intended Prosecution bullies citizens in giving information, which would lead directly to the prosecution of themselves or their loved ones.

3. Right to remain silent. Remaining silent results in an inconvenient and expensive court summons.

The problem with Gatsos is that they rely on citizens providing the last and vital piece of evidence to make a prosecution. I understand that the European Court has ruled that this does not contravene our rights not to incriminate ourselves as it extracts only one piece of evidence.  Other evidence (the photograph of the car) is also required. However, the vital evidence is the identification of the actual driver at the time and this is forced from us by threats of an inconvenient, intimidating and expensive court summons. It also creates a huge dilemma if we can’t quite remember who was at the wheel at the time. Do we go to court (expensive, inconvenient, intimidating) or risk perverting the course of justice (possibly resulting in a prison sentence)?  An unpleasant dilemma for many law abiding citizens and one to which we should not be subjected.

I also note that many European countries do not have the presumption of innocence nor trial by jury. This legislation may be very European but it is definitely un-British.

In any case all this can be avoided by turning the camera around and getting a photograph of the driver. Such technology exists as they use it very effectively in Japan. That way the police have all the evidence they need. There would be no need to bully citizens into providing vital evidence and it would maintain the integrity of the three pillars of the British legal justice system.


One thought on “Speed Cameras and Liberty

  1. Tibert says:

    Comment: Gatsos could be the thin end of the wedge. The Government may feel they don’t have to provide evidence in other cases and rely on bullying its citizens to get evidence to make a conviction.

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