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Radar Traps

Volume 24: debated on Wednesday 26 May 1982

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asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he will state the number of prosecutions through the use of police radar traps during each of the past three years.

No figures are separately kept of the means used to detect motorists committing speeding offences. However, I can advise my hon. Friend of the total number of persons prosecuted for speeding offences in Scotland and cases proved during the last three years for which statistics are available. The figures are as follows:

Persons Proceeded AgainstPersons Against Whom Charges Proved

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware of the widespread disquiet in the national and local press about the accuracy of the radar gun? Can he give an assurance that it is completely accurate and that no motorists are unfairly prosecuted?

Following a case in England, considerable public concern was expressed about hand-held radar guns. The traffic committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers examined the subject as a matter of urgency and concluded that the hand-held radar devices were accurate if used in accordance with the operating instructions and by officers who were properly trained. However, the association has accepted the additional suggestion made by the judge in that case that the equipment should be tested against a car travelling at a known speed. That practice will be followed throughout the United Kingdom.

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that although many motorists do not like getting pinched for speeding, the actions of selfish motorists can make life a misery for residents of small villages on major roads? Will he and his colleagues look at the problem again to see whether more can be done to help those living in small communities on major roads?

I recognise the problems caused by motorists speeding through small villages. I hope that it will be appreciated from the figures that I have just given to the House that in the past two or three years there has been a considerable increase in police activity to ensure that those who speed and break the law are brought to court.