Our opinion on the legal world, and how it could affect you

Motorist acquitted of Speeding Offence using Telematics

04th Oct 2015

A motorist was found Not Guilty of speeding by using Telematics data. The Case is believed to be the first of its kind and could open the floodgates for hundreds of thousands of motorists.

So What is Telematics?

"Telematics" is a general term that refers to any device which combines telecommunications and infomatics. It includes anything from GPS systems to navigation systems and is the basis for many features in vehicles from OnStar to hands free mobile calling.

Telematics enables wireless data communication and opens up a huge range of possibilities. It can enable you to have wireless television and internet on your vehicle.

With Telematics you enjoy many benefits in your vehicle such as roadside assistance and remote unlocking of your vehicle. So, if you forgot the car keys in the vehicle, with Telematics and a quick phone call you could get your car unlocked.

Telematics is also used heavily in fleet tracking and management such as measuring the speed of the vehicle. More and more fleet owners are finding huge savings by adopting Telematics technology.

So what happened here?

Neil Herron was alleged to be driving his vehicle at 40 mph in a 30mph limit on January 13th 2014 at 12.15pm. His vehicle's speed was captured by an LTI 20:20 Ultralyte 1000 Speed Measuring Device operated by a mobile Police Patrol. However, Mr. Herron was testing a driver safety Telematic device at the time, and the data produced by the device indicated that his vehicle's speed was way below the 30mph speed limit.

He therefore decided to contest the charge of speeding and challenge the Police evidence in Court. 

19 months later, Magistrates in Sunderland found in his favour after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence.

As accurate, affordable GPS technology is now being used by more and more motorists it is only a matter of time before more and more Cases of this type come before the Courts.

Frank Rogers, Head of the Driving Offences Team at Brown Turner Ross commented:

"It is well known that laser speed detection devices can produce erroneous results and in this case Mr Herron was clearly convinced he was not speeding as alleged and was able to rely on Telematics data to support that view. It is interesting that rather than challenge his evidence (the existence of which he would have disclosed to the Prosecution) they simply offered no evidence. How many people have been convicted where with this in car device might have been acquitted?

For many years Fleet Managers have recognised the benefits of using technology to monitor and police the behaviour of their drivers primarily to encourage safe and efficient driving. No-one would deny that driving at excessive speed can be dangerous but drivers should be entitled to rely on technology to prove they have complied with a speed limit. This will equalise the positions of the motorist & the Police. I expect more and more calls from Clients seeking to rely on this type of equipment."

For Free initial advice on any Driving offence call Frank & his Team 24/7 on 0800 195 7517