Last night I was driving through the northern outskirts of Perth heading for the Friarton Bridge and the motorway home to Edinburgh.
Nothing unusual in that, nor was the sight in a 30mph zone of a Police speed camera detection van similar to the one pictured above!
They are a pretty common sight these days and in many ways they have overtaken the fixed GATSO cameras that everyone sees by the side of roads and whose location is known to most good GPS units in cars. For people who regularly drive the roads where the fixed cameras are it seems easy enough to check your speed as you pass them and its not uncommon to see cars or other vehicles speed up and slow down in accordance with where the fixed cameras are.
Anyway, that’s a given in life and not my reason for mentioning this van I passed last night.
The reason I mention this particular van I passed in Perth last night is that it was parked at the side of the road on double yellow lines. And it got me thinking…..given that as far as I am aware the Police are meant to observe the no parking aspect of double yellow lines except in an emergency, and a bloke sitting in a speed van, probably having a cuppa and reading the paper as the camera works away on its own is hardly responding to an emergency, then is there not a legal aspect to this?
Surely anyone caught on film by this particular camera van could argue that it was situated in an area that was clearly breaking the law and therefore anything it registered should be found to have been gathered illegally!….Its just a thought, but I would love to know the answer to that, especially as some smart arse lawyers make a living out of getting people off speeding tickets on ‘technicalities’.
Of course people shouldn’t speed and genuine detection of those seriously exceeding the limits is fine by me, common sense should rule everyone on the roads, but I can’t help thinking the Police should be a bit smarter when it comes to where they use these vans!
A handheld speed gun in the same area would pose no issues, but to obstruct a double yellow line with a camera vehicle just seems sloppy to me!!
I guess I just have too much time on my hands to think of these things but if I had been caught out by it I would be having a chat to my ‘smart arse lawyer’ and asking for some assistance….anyway, there you go….end of today’s thought!!