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Hand Held Speed Gun: Should Ticket be Issued On the Spot?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 13 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Hand Held Speed Gun Radar Gun Radar

Q.

If the police are using a hand held gun, do they need to pull you over at the time to issue you a ticket, or can they do it subsequently?

(D.U, 12 July 2009)

A.

Over the last few years, hand-held speed guns have received a pretty bad reputation for giving false readings and for being generally inaccurate and easily subverted with different tactics - each with a varying degree of success. There are so many different things that are alleged to interfere with the hand-held radar guns that there are whole internet sites devoted to them and whether they actually work or not falls into the category of urban myth.

However despite all the bad press often aimed at hand-held speed radars, they remain very popular with some local police forces who are keen to be seen using the 'hairdryer' device while standing at the side of the road.

With an average range of 600 meters, the police officers using the radar device will need to be pretty close to any passing car to take a reading - and the further away they are, the more the reading can be interfered with by different elements such as the wind speeds and road conditions. The optimum distance is thought to be around 300 meters away, so the officers will stand as close to the road they are monitoring that it is safe to do so. Generally this means that unlike some traffic cameras, if you are measured by a police radar gun it is likely that you will know it has happened.

As part of the reason for using these radar guns is to show motorists on that stretch of road that their speed is being monitored, if it is safe to stop someone who has been caught speeding and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice on the spot, then the police will usually choose this option. However it is always possible that if it is dangerous to other road users or police officers to stop an offending vehicle at the roadside, than a summons can be issued to the address of the registered keeper after the event. Because the preference is a fixed penalty, in most cases, if you aren't stopped on the spot then you're probably okay. It's not a certainty though, so if you think you might have been speeding, you'll just have to wait it out.

If you do receive a summons it will be party to the usual time restraints, and if the registered keeper or driver (if different) wish to contend the ticket or any of the details on it, then they can do so following the usual route detailed on the back of the NIP.

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Ad - Your Question:
Hi I have received a NIP for doing 47 in a 40 zone. I can recall the moment and there was a car in front of me that was travelling at a similar speed. Can the mobile held camera issue two tickets? I.e. Both cars get a NIP? Thanks

Our Response:
Yes it's possible to have captured both vehicles on camera.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Aug-17 @ 2:01 PM
Hi I have received a NIP for doing 47 in a 40 zone.I can recall the moment and there was a car in front of me that was travelling at a similar speed.Can the mobile held camera issue two tickets? I.e. Both cars get a NIP?Thanks
Ad - 13-Aug-17 @ 9:46 PM
Hi my partner received a letter from Essex plod asking the identity of who was driving as manned equipment recorded 37mph in a 33mph limit. It is not a court summons. Thank you in advance if any info helps me understand as I can't find a relative answer!
rae86 - 22-Jul-17 @ 2:03 AM
Pulled over by police after having a speed gun pointed at me, was told I was doing 72 in a 50 (I had been overtaking at the time). Was told it cannot be dealt with at the roadside due to the speed and a court summons would be sent out. They said that would be with me within 4 weeks, is there a time limit on that? I'm not familiar with this or the terminology with NIPs etc... Is it 14 days for one thing and not for others?
M1ke - 21-Jul-17 @ 1:20 PM
Hi, I was overtaking a lorry with hay on it as I was overtaking it a police officer was pointing a speed gun in my direction. It was only pointed for a second and I didn't pass it as he had turned away before I passed him. I wasn't sure of you had to pass the speed gun for it to take a reading or how long it has to be pointed to get a reading. There was also other traffic around me. I was doing about 35 In A 30
Harry - 15-Jul-17 @ 5:19 PM
Tonykel38 - Your Question:
Hi was doin 35mph coming into a 30mph I slowed down under 30mph when I noticed a policeman standing on the side with a speed gun,think the van next to me was goin faster than me,can they post a fine or if it's a speed gun game they got to stop you and issue a fine thank you

Our Response:
This depends what kind of camera was being used. Some camera can record a speed, facilitating a subsequent NIP.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jul-17 @ 11:40 AM
Hi was doin 35mph coming into a 30mph i slowed down under 30mph when I noticed a policeman standing on the side with a speed gun,think the van next to me was goin faster than me,can they post a fine or if it's a speed gun game they got to stop you and issue a fine thank you
Tonykel38 - 5-Jul-17 @ 1:04 PM
Ali - Your Question:
Hi today I was doing about 40 on a 30mph road & I saw man with hivis & a black cap most likely an officer cap with a gun in hand & I think he was capturing my speed but he didn't stop me & I see a black car parked behind him with another man with same clothes who was sitting down in the car. I am not sure or they were police or if they were police why didn't they stop me ? Or is it possible to get a penalty thro post ??? I heard that police with hand gun must stop you on the scene to give penalty. just confused as I was above 40 I gues.

Our Response:
It may have been a community speedwatch. The police can and do however, capture/record speeding offenders and follow through with an NIP.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Jul-17 @ 11:40 AM
Hi today I was doing about 40 on a 30mph road & I saw man with hivis & a black cap most likely an officer cap with a gun in hand & I think he was capturing my speed but he didn't stop me & I see a black car parked behind him with another man with same clothes who was sitting down in the car . I am not sure or they were police or if they were police why didn't they stop me ? Or is it possible to get a penalty thro post ??? I heard that police with hand gun must stop you on the scene to give penalty ... just confused as I was above 40 I gues ...
Ali - 1-Jul-17 @ 12:48 AM
Cl - Your Question:
Hi, was traveling ona dual carridge way going into the national speed limit and started speeding up before I got into national speed, noticed a police car parked on the opposite side of the carridge way, not sure if it was parked up or with a speed gun but the car did have brake lights on, do you think ill get a fine or points or just a fine?

Our Response:
We don't know as we don't know what speed you were travelling at. If you are the registered keeper you will hear within 14 days of the incident.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jun-17 @ 1:51 PM
Hi, was traveling ona dual carridge way going into the national speed limit and started speeding up before i got into national speed, noticed a police car parked on the opposite side of the carridge way, not sure if it was parked up or with a speed gun but the car did have brake lights on, do you think ill get a fine or points or just a fine?
Cl - 29-Jun-17 @ 10:09 PM
Rob - Your Question:
Was travelling at about 35 after just entering 30 mph zone. By chance notice a policeman with a handheld speed camera on the opposite side of the road. He partly concealed by a tree.Is it possible to be caught speeding by such a method, when the officer is on the other side of the road.

Our Response:
It depends on the kind of camera being used. It's not common for handheld cameras to be used on the opposite side of the road so it's unlikely your speed will have been captured at this time.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Jun-17 @ 10:52 AM
Was travelling at about 35 after just entering 30 mph zone. By chance notice a policeman with a handheld speed camera on the opposite side of the road. He partly concealed by a tree. Is it possible to be caught speeding by such a method, when the officer is on the other side of the road.
Rob - 26-Jun-17 @ 4:09 PM
drum - Your Question:
Can a hand held police speed gun be used anywhere or does it have to be used on a designated speed camera site. I have just been issued a ticket 300yds on the A84 and the designated site is the A85?Hopeful or clutching at straws?I look forward to the answer.

Our Response:
No a mobile camera can be operated from any location chosen by the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-May-17 @ 10:14 AM
Can a hand held police speed gun be used anywhere or does it have to be used on a designated speed camera site. I have just been issued a ticket 300yds on the A84 and the designated site is the A85? Hopeful or clutching at straws? I look forward to the answer.
drum - 28-May-17 @ 7:53 PM
Hi, I was coming to a set of traffic lights today when the alarm on my mobile ( on the centre console)went off. After I had pulled up at the red light and put the car in park I looked down and touched the dismiss to turn off the alarm. As I looked back up the lights were still on red but there was a traffic officer in a 4x4 pulled along side me who come across from the lh set of traffic lights. He shouted at me "get off your phone", and "I'll ticket you" , I didn't have time to tell him I wasnt on the phone, and that probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyway, and i just quickly muttered ok. I am now left wondering if he had taken my reg and whether I can expect a ticket in the post?? He didn't pull me over or take any details?
jj - 25-May-17 @ 3:17 PM
TG - Your Question:
Hello. I was driving along a country road and a speed sign flashed up that I was doing 36 (in green) so knew I was ok. As I proceeded along the road a man - dressed in black- stepped out from between parked cars and pointed a speed gun at me. It took me back a bit as I wasn't expecting it. There were no signs to say speedwatch and he didn't have a high vis top on so was quite dangerous. I had accelerated to over take the parked cars so guess I may have been doing 45 in a 40 speed area. There was a lady sitting at the side of the road - in civilian clothes - writing something down. I wasn't stopped and I didn't see any police cars or signs. Do you think I will receive a Letter and fine in the post? Really upset as it was in the evening and overcast and he just stepped out from between parked cars. ??

Our Response:
We can't really say. It sounds like a community speed watch operation in which case you can't be prosecuted etc. Sometimes the police will send warning notes to any drivers whose details are passed on to them. We can't say for sure though.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-May-17 @ 12:57 PM
Hello.I was driving along a country road and a speed sign flashed up that I was doing 36 (in green) so knew I was ok. As I proceeded along the road a man - dressed in black- stepped out from between parked cars and pointed a speed gun at me. It took me back a bit as I wasn't expecting it. There were no signs to say speedwatch and he didn't have a high vis top on so was quite dangerous. I had accelerated to over take the parked cars so guess I may have been doing 45 in a 40 speed area. There was a lady sitting at the side of the road - in civilian clothes - writing something down. I wasn't stopped and I didn't see any police cars or signs. Do you think I will receive a Letter and fine in the post? Really upset as it was in the evening and overcast and he just stepped out from between parked cars. ??
TG - 17-May-17 @ 3:14 PM
Do the police have to show you the radar gun at the side of the road to show you what speed they claim you were doing?
Mcv2875 - 24-Apr-17 @ 8:55 AM
hi i was following a car on a 30 mph speed limit road that went into a 40 mph road as the car in front sped up so did i but then he hit his breaks so i slowed down only just seeing a police officer pull the car in front over ,then waved for me to follow, they had clocked him at 48 issued him a ticket and sent himon his way the police then said i was speeding at 48 ? how can they know this as the car in front had been pull with this reading not me ? do the hand held divice clock more than one reading at once ???
joney - 20-Apr-17 @ 8:57 PM
JD91 - Your Question:
Hi, I was working in London a few weeks ago and was clocked going 58mph in a 30mph! :( the horrible thing was I just came off a national speed limit duel carriageway over a roundabout onto another dual carriageway where the speed limit dropped to 30mph. The police officer clocked me at that speed and walked into the middle of the road to pull me over. the officer did not issue me with any paperwork at all, told me that he caught me, showed me his radar gun with the speed, took my license to take details and sent me on my way. It's been 4 weeks to the day now and haven't received a letter through the post. I was expecting a letter within a couple of weeks requestin me to attend court. Not heard anything yet, not sure where I stand, also as the officer didn't give me any paper work.thanks in advance.

Our Response:
The police have up to 6 mothns in which to initiate further action after stopping you for an offence like this. Looks like you may have to wait a while longer before assuming you may not be subject to further action.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:14 PM
Hi, i was working in London a few weeks ago and was clocked going 58mph in a 30mph! :( the horrible thing was i just came off a national speed limit duel carriageway over a roundabout onto another dual carriageway where the speed limit dropped to 30mph. The police officer clocked me at that speed and walked into the middle of the road to pull me over. the officer did not issue me with any paperwork at all, told me that he caught me, showed me his radar gun with the speed, took my license to take details and sent me on my way. It's been 4 weeks to the day now and haven't received a letter through the post. I was expecting a letter within a couple of weeks requestin me to attend court. Not heard anything yet, not sure where i stand, also as the officer didn't give me any paper work. thanks in advance..
JD91 - 14-Mar-17 @ 3:26 PM
I was issues with a nip dated 21/10/16 but the only notice I received was a final notice dated 15/12/16. Nothing else prior to this. Can I contest it? Also the junction they said I was speeding on changes from 30mph to 40mph. They said I was in a 30 zone doing 47 so I can't request to do a speed awareness course. The speed camera is in fact in the 40 zone but they wouldn't hear me out when I called to question it. I sent an email regarding this over 2 weeks ago and I have had no response. Just been told to Waite for a response although they haven't even acknowledged receiving my email. What is the best course of action for me to take? If In fact they used a hand held device would I be entitled to know exactly where they were standing? And could it be proved if I had to take the matter to court?
Trixi - 23-Jan-17 @ 6:20 PM
I was issued with a ticket on the 16/07/2016 for speeding. I have heard nothing from the police until now, after nearly six months. My question is that is there a time limit in which they need to contact me ?
Sanna - 16-Jan-17 @ 6:53 PM
I was caught speeding at the end of August 2016 by a ANPR with a speed gun I was doing 72 in a 50 once he pulled me over he asked for my licence so I provided it. After he returned I told him I had recently changed address and I work in the transport industry and was waiting on a driver course relevant to work where I need to provide my pink license (which I'd already paid for the course)I told him I'd moved in the last week and that I was going to change address as soon as I had done my course he noted my new address down and I have proof of this.I asked the officer what I should do in the meantime with the green ticket he provided to me and he replied. To wait for a letter in the post. At the beginning of January 2017 I received a court summons for the speeding offence and the next day a plea letter both dated sent on 30th December 2016 so I called the court before I had received a plea and asked why I'd been summoned they said they sent a plea letter which I had not received.They then said the letter was sent to my old address do I stand any chance of winning if I contest?
Chris - 13-Jan-17 @ 3:47 PM
Shakeel - Your Question:
Hi,I just want to know if I'm driving on the road where is not speed limit signs at all and a policeman with hand-held gun stopped me as he told me that I was driving at 44mph as speed limit was 30mph.He said do you know what's the speed limit I said may be 40mph then he said it's 30.and shows me him with 44mph with range 444.There was two cars and me and other,as signal got green,we were driving parallel and after few yards this road became single lane road,so that's why I drove faster to over take car on my left side.And one more thing he didn't give me any notice and said I will receive in post.why he didn't give me at spot?I have 2-3 reasons to contest this notice if they gonna issue me this.1-what's the lagality I can use if there was no any speed limit signs at all throughout the road?2-if I overtook car on my left just because it there was emerging 2 roads to 1.can I overtake and exceed my limit in this case?3-when he took my speed I believe there were 2 cars myself and my left side car were parallel.and policeman was standing on left side towards other side of other car not my side

Our Response:
These are all things that you should know from studying the highway code when you took your driving test. A road with a regular street lamp system is 30 mph and does not need to display speed limit signs. You cannot speed up to overtake where two lanes merge... you should slow down if it's a clear that another car is in the lane. The police do not have to offer a fixed penalty on the spot.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:15 PM
Hi,I just want to know if I'm driving on the road where is not speed limit signs at all and a policeman with hand-held gun stopped me as he told me that I was driving at 44mph as speed limit was 30mph. He said do you know what's the speed limit I said may be 40mph then he said it's 30.and shows me him with 44mph with range 444. There was two cars and me and other,as signal got green,we were driving parallel and after few yards this road became single lane road,so that's why I drove faster to over take car on my left side. And one more thing he didn't give me any notice and said I will receive in post.why he didn't give me at spot? I have 2-3 reasons to contest this notice if they gonna issue me this. 1-what's the lagality I can use if there was no any speed limit signs at all throughout the road? 2-if I overtook car on my left just because it there was emerging 2 roads to 1.can I overtake and exceed my limit in this case? 3-when he took my speed I believe there were 2 cars myself and my left side car were parallel.and policeman was standingon left side towards other side of other car not my side
Shakeel - 8-Jan-17 @ 4:56 AM
Hi,I just want to know if I'm driving on the road where is not speed limit signs at all and a policeman with hand-held gun stopped me as he told me that I was driving at 44mph as speed limit was 30mph. He said do you know what's the speed limit I said may be 40mph then he said it's 30.and shows me him with 44mph with range 444. There was two cars and me and other,as signal got green,we were driving parallel and after few yards this road became single lane road,so that's why I drove faster to over take car on my left side. And one more thing he didn't give me any notice and said I will receive in post.why he didn't give me at spot? I have 2-3 reasons to contest this notice if they gonna issue me this. 1-what's the lagality I can use if there was no any speed limit signs at all throughout the road? 2-if I overtook car on my left just because it there was emerging 2 roads to 1.can I overtake and exceed my limit in this case? 3-when he took my speed I believe there were 2 cars myself and my left side car were parallel.and policeman was standingon left side towards other side of other car not my side
Shakeel - 7-Jan-17 @ 11:33 PM
Hi,I just want to know if I'm driving on the road where is not speed limit signs at all and a policeman with hand-held gun stopped me as he told me that I was driving at 44mph as speed limit was 30mph. He said do you know what's the speed limit I said may be 40mph then he said it's 30.and shows me him with 44mph with range 444. There was two cars and me and other,as signal got green,we were driving parallel and after few yards this road became single lane road,so that's why I drove faster to over take car on my left side. And one more thing he didn't give me any notice and said I will receive in post.why he didn't give me at spot? I have 2-3 reasons to contest this notice if they gonna issue me this. 1-what's the lagality I can use if there was no any speed limit signs at all throughout the road? 2-if I overtook car on my left just because it there was emerging 2 roads to 1.can I overtake and exceed my limit in this case? 3-when he took my speed I believe there were 2 cars myself and my left side car were parallel.and policeman was standingon left side towards other side of other car not my side
Shakeel - 7-Jan-17 @ 5:56 PM
chris.t - Your Question:
Got caught doin 37 in a 30 zone but there was no cameras or anybody in view with a speed gun, this was on the 4/11/16 only just got ticket through post at work 1/12/16 as it was work van of which they have owned since april 2016do I need to pay the fine / get the points when it comes back to me at my home address as it was out of the 14days when work got it plus who ever had the gun was not in site at the roadside

Our Response:
No the 14 day rule does not apply as you are not the registered keeper. You can still be prosecuted for speeding even if you did not spot the camera, or it was hidden from you view. The likely penalty will be 3 points plus £100 or the offer of a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Dec-16 @ 10:11 AM
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