Police Drop 125 Speeding Prosecutions After Speed Guns Pulled From Service

Legislation issues


30 November 2018

Article heading image for Police Drop 125 Speeding Prosecutions After Speed Guns Pulled From Service

South Australian police have pulled nearly 200 Lidar hand-held speed guns from service because of legal issues over their use.

The force will also drop 125 prosecutions currently before the courts related to the devices and has invited anyone who has received a laser-issued expiation notice to notify police.

The decision follows issues surrounding the evidentiary certificates which are used in court to show the guns are working accurately.

"Legislation in South Australia has not kept pace with changes in technology," Superintendent Stuart McLean said on Thursday.

"The legislation that we have been relying upon was written at a time for speedometers and stopwatches and, until recently, we have been confident this satisfied the requirement."

He said the 191 devices in operation are tested twice daily, and police are confident of their accuracy.

But the use of the certificates was successfully challenged in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, where a man charged with driving at 102 km/h in a 50 km/h zone had his case dismissed.

The magistrate's decision also held up in three Supreme Court judgments, delivered in mid-2018.

Police said the decision to pull the guns was the result of widespread consultation on how best to proceed in the interests of road safety.

They will remain out of action until legislation can be amended to resolve the legal issues, which Police Minister Corey Wingard said could happen as soon as next week.

"This amendment will bring South Australia into line with interstate jurisdictions," he told the parliament on Thursday.

"The focus now, for all of us, is to ensure that these devices are back out in use as soon as possible."

Supt McLean said police would still be pursuing speeding drivers.

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

"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."

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