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

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 9 Sep 2018 | 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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Was caught doing 37 in a 30 just as the 40mph turns to 30 police officer was hidden behind a gatepost of a property at side of Rd , so I have any chance of not receiving points ?
Joebloggs - 9-Sep-18 @ 3:54 PM
hi could you help me with my question please,,,. I was driving on motorway M62 which is 70mph. Traffic warden stopped me saying that I was driving at104mph. He showed me a hand gun with 104 reading on it,,,, I truly believe I was doing this speed limit at all,,,,,, He then issued me summons saying that I will receive a letter within 28days. When he stopped me he asked me produce my driving licence which I did, My question is can they issue me penalty points or fine with this hand gun evidence? or I can refuse that I was not doing 104 miles. Will they be able to prove that
kash - 8-Sep-18 @ 11:08 AM
I was caught doing 61 in a 50 on a dual carriageway by a police officer with a hand held speed gun. I was under the impression that they had to stop you to issue you with a ticket but as I now have an NIP with photos I guess that was incorrect. I have two points on this: 1) According to document PSDB18/98 which is the home office police policy directorate guidance on the requirements for calibration of traffic enforcement equipment it says the calibration certificate must hold the information required by clause 2.4 as well as the information in clause 4.2.2 or 5.2.2 depending on the equipment used. The calibration certificate provided to me only holds the information from clause 2.4. 2) Whilst I was caught speeding by GMP in GMP's force area the police officer with the speed gun was standing in the Cheshire Constabulary force area. Are either of these two points cause to have the NIP invalidated? thanks
Sunny - 24-Aug-18 @ 5:05 PM
Hi. I was driving from Thetford to Watton. just as I was approaching sharp 90 deg bend on entry to Watton town3 men with hi viz yellow jackets were standing there near new housing development with hand held device. I was slowing down to 30 (road was 50 prior to that bend) so was probably at 40 on the actual bend (I looked at my dash and it did show 40. .The men did not appear to be wearing police uniforms, did not look like police and I saw no police cars or official vehicles nearby. I am sure they wrote my registration down.Question is, were they official police officers and, if not, what are they up to gunning people that day. This was Friday 17th August about 7pm.
Njay - 19-Aug-18 @ 5:28 PM
Hello. I was stopped doing 40 in a 30mph zone the other day. I was caught by an officer using a handheld device. He pulled me over and I had to sign something on a tablet but didn't recieve any sort of ticket off him at the side of the road. Is this normal? And how long do they have to issue me with a notice if it is?
Sean - 17-Aug-18 @ 5:06 PM
Hi I have received a NIP where I was recorded doing 36 in a 30 by manned equipment. The man was on his own holding a hand held device, stood in front of a lamppost with just a hi-vis jacket on, it didn’t even have police on it. The NIP says they have photographic evidence. There was no police car present and no speed camera signs on the stretch of road. Should I challenge the NIP? Thanks Mike
MB83 - 29-Jul-18 @ 3:49 PM
Hello, I received an NIP today from Staffordshire police saying I've been caught doing 69mph in a 50mph zone, on the A500 at the Shelton New Road bridge this past Saturday 30th June. Now, the stretch of the A500 I was driving on changes from 70mph dual carriageway to 50mph quite quickly. I was just keeping up with the traffic in front of me, and unfortunately did not spot the chap on the bridge in time enough to slow down. It's my first offence, in over 12 years of driving. Can you please tell me what to expect after sending back my NIP with acceptance of the offence? Thank you.
david6195 - 5-Jul-18 @ 11:06 PM
Hi, i have recieved a NIP today stating i was doing 37mph in a 30mph zone, this was captured by either an officer or civilian speed detector (couldnt tell you which). The day in question i knew he was there as i was warned prior to leaving work. When coming near to site i was matching the spped of the car in front of me (28mph) when in site and while he was taking a reading, a white merc came speeding up behind me, once he seen the hi viz he backed off. I believe it was the driver he caught. I have been driving for 16 years and have never had any nips/convictions etc. Can i challenge this keeping in mind i have no evidence, or am i best just to bow down and take the hit? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
Falselyaccused - 24-May-18 @ 7:59 PM
Big g - Your Question:
Hi the document I refer to is “Code of practice for operational use of enforcement equipment”; In section 9.1 it states:Hand-held radar devices must not be used indoors.In operational use the operator and the device must be outside any vehicle. The vehicle must not be used as a power source.Could this be an infringement on their part as he was sat in a car on a slip road, not any form of parking area, between two carriageways

Our Response:
We can't find any up to date police guidelines that refer to this. Can you give the date of the document you refer to? The guidance we've seen allows the use of laser devices from within a vehicle :
"Laser or optical hand-held devices may be used from within a vehicle provided there are no radio transmissions during the measurement. Any GSM phones must be turned off and any TETRA radios turned off unless they have a transmission inhibit switch, which is activated." (ACPO Code, section 14.2)
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-May-18 @ 2:37 PM
Hi the document I refer to is “Code of practice for operational use of enforcement equipment”;In section 9.1 it states: Hand-held radar devices must not be used indoors. In operational use the operator and the device must be outside any vehicle. The vehicle must not be used as a power source. Could this be an infringement on their part as he was sat in a car on a slip road, not any form of parking area, between two carriageways
Big g - 30-Apr-18 @ 7:54 PM
Big G - Your Question:
I was stopped by an unmarked car on the a140 in a 50 limit, he produced a hand held detection devise and gave me a ticket for 68 in a 50, I have looked through the acop guidance for using such a devise and is states in section 9 that such devises should only be used on foot and never in a car, as well as this there are minor details wrong on the ticket, reg no, car colour and type of insurance use.I am still awaiting nip in the post, dose anyone know if I have a sufficient case through technicalities to contest this?Many thanks

Our Response:
You won't receive an NIP as you were stopped at the time of the offence. As long as the officer that stopped you was in uniform you probaby don't really have a defence. We are not aware of any guidance stating that hand held devices should only be used on foot.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Apr-18 @ 12:24 PM
I was stopped by an unmarked car on the a140 in a 50 limit, he produced a hand held detection devise and gave me a ticket for 68 in a 50,I have looked through the acop guidance for using such a devise and is states in section 9 that such devises should only be used on foot and never in a car, as well as this there are minor details wrong on the ticket, reg no, car colour and type of insurance use. I am still awaiting nip in the post, dose anyone know if I have a sufficient case through technicalities to contest this? Many thanks
Big G - 28-Apr-18 @ 3:38 PM
Big mal - Your Question:
I was driving down On the A406 about 50mph on a 40 stretch when I saw a police car with 3 other officers in it, driving on a slip road there were a few cars on the A406 at the time. I started slowing down when they started driving behind me then after 40 secs later they pulled me over and said they their speed gun clocked me at 61 mph which I don’t believe, I was given a notice, 30 days later I received a NIP, can I fight this? Can they accurately register my speed with a speed whiles in motion?

Our Response:
There's every chance the police will have sufficient evidence of your speed and their in-car equipmentcan be used to capture speed whilst on the move. If you want to contest it you should be willing to appear in court and it might be worth contacting a motoring lawyer for advice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Apr-18 @ 11:07 AM
I was caught doing 96 in a 70mph stretch of highway. The officer used a hand held device and got me at a range of 608.9 meters, i know i wasnt going that fast and even when he caught up i was doing 70. He was stood on an overpass measuring my car moving away from him. is it possible for a 26mph discrepancy at that distance and angle?
Dr R - 11-Apr-18 @ 9:44 AM
Mike - Your Question:
Hi NPP - I was caught by a Thames Valley Police handheld speed gun doing 36 in a 30 mph, pulled over, I gave my details to officers at the scene (though I actually didn’t have my licence on me), and signed/received a Traffic Offence Report, however:1) They did not tick the “NIP offence verbal” box on the TOR (I have a copy)2) And the letter I have just received (which just says “we have sufficient evidence to begin proceedings. you have 3 options etc.respond in 21 days”) arrived 18 days after the offence, and the letter is actually dated 16 days after the offence. 3) I’m not sure of that letter constitutes a NIP, and I’ve not been asked to produce any further documents (the radio’d in a check in my details at the scene, plus I signed the TOR anyway). I have the option to do the speed awareness course, so it’s a gamble if I challenge it based on an empty tick-box and the missed time limit surely? Any help hugely appreciated. Cheers. Mike.

Our Response:
The empty tick box won't be accepted as a reason to reject this unfortunately for you. The fact that you were stopped and the police verified your details as the driver of the vehicle is sufficient evidence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Apr-18 @ 2:51 PM
Hi NPP - I was caught by a Thames Valley Police handheld speed gun doing 36 in a 30 mph, pulled over, I gave my details to officers at the scene (though I actually didn’t have my licence on me), and signed/received a Traffic Offence Report, however: 1) They did not tick the “NIP offence verbal” box on the TOR (I have a copy) 2) And the letter I have just received (which just says “we have sufficient evidence to begin proceedings... you have 3 options etc...respond in 21 days”) arrived 18 days after the offence, and the letter is actually dated 16 days after the offence. 3) I’m not sure of that letter constitutes a NIP, and I’ve not been asked to produce any further documents (the radio’d in a check in my details at the scene, plus I signed the TOR anyway). I have the option to do the speed awareness course, so it’s a gamble if I challenge it based on an empty tick-box and the missed time limit surely? Any help hugely appreciated. Cheers. Mike.
Mike - 9-Apr-18 @ 9:06 PM
I was driving down On the A406 about 50mph on a 40 stretch when I saw a police car with 3 other officers in it, driving on a slip road there were a few cars on the A406 at the time. I started slowing down when they started driving behind me then after 40 secs later they pulled me over and said they their speed gun clocked me at 61 mph which I don’t believe, I was given a notice, 30 days later I received a NIP, can I fight this? Can they accurately register my speed with a speed whiles in motion?
Big mal - 8-Apr-18 @ 9:36 PM
Was doing 44mph in a 30mph road slowed down when see to about 39mph surely this will just get thrown out ..... or not as all the authority’s are out for is simply easy money to pay there wages ...... in our area crime is very low so have nothing better to do .....
Micky Mouse (Dirty ? - 11-Mar-18 @ 6:34 PM
John - Your Question:
I rented a van to move house at the weekend and I finished quick so my mate told me to borrow it to move his mate house too so he showed me he had fully com insurance so I borrowed him the rental van. He told me he was driving on m6 and he was doing 80-81mph and on the side of the road it was a non police marked car with an officer pointing the speeding gun at the 3or 4 lanes motorway and my mate said he didn’t get followed or pulled over. Can somebody tell me what will happend? I worry about me because I rented the van on that day and I wasent the driver of the car if my mate gets a speeding ticket?

Our Response:
The NIP will be sent to the registered keeper (the hire company) who will then send it on to you as the person who was hiring it the time. You can't "lend" a hire vehicle to someone else and expect them to be insured. Fully comprehensive insurance only covers you for driving someone else's vehicle with their permission - the owner (the hire company) didn't give their permission, so it's likely there was no valid insurance.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Feb-18 @ 3:24 PM
I rented a van to move house at the weekend and I finished quick so my mate told me to borrow it to move his mate house too so he showed me he had fully com insurance so I borrowed him the rental van. He told me he was driving on m6 and he was doing 80-81mph and on the side of the road it was a non police marked car with an officer pointing the speeding gun at the 3or 4 lanes motorway and my mate said he didn’t get followed or pulled over. Can somebody tell me what will happend? I worry about me because I rented the van on that day and i wasent the driver of the car if my mate gets a speeding ticket?
John - 26-Feb-18 @ 1:04 AM
Aaron - Your Question:
I was driving my boss car towards him, he called me and he asked me to be quick, just for less than a minute I drove fast, suddenly I saw police car with handheld speed camera in the car, I imidietley reduce my speed and indicate to the left and stopped in a safe area and they came behind me. The officer told me I was 67 in 40 and he did alcohol test that I was not drunk. He checked my license and was clear. He asked why did I speeding and I was shocked and couldn't explain it. One of them didn't came out the car at all. I had been told I might receive £100 fine and penalties or letter for court. I just asked him to issue a ticket and penalties because if I go to the court I will loose my job. Two weeks passed and still have not received anything. I'm under very bad stress since it happens. I do not know what gonna happen to me as that was the first time in whole my life.Please let me know what is going happen to me?

Our Response:
We don't know what the police will have decided in this case but the usual/recommended action for a speed of 67mph in a 40mph would be a court summons.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Feb-18 @ 12:57 PM
I was driving my boss car towards him, he called me and he asked me to be quick, just for less than a minute I drove fast, suddenly I saw police car with handheld speed camera in the car, I imidietley reduce my speed and indicate to the left and stopped in a safe area and they came behind me. The officer told me I was 67 in 40 and he did alcohol test that I was not drunk. He checked my license and was clear. He asked why did I speeding and I was shocked and couldn't explain it. One of them didn't came out the car at all. I had been told I might receive £100 fine and penalties or letter for court. I just asked him to issue a ticket and penalties because if I go to the court I will loose my job. Two weeks passed and still have not received anything. I'm under very bad stress since it happens. I do not know what gonna happen to me as that was the first time in whole my life. Please let me know what is going happen to me?
Aaron - 10-Feb-18 @ 8:08 PM
Matey mate - Your Question:
I saw a police car parked up with all its windows closed. I believe the Police officer inside was holding a hand held speed gun. The fact that his windows were closed would any speeding convictions be valid?

Our Response:
In general the advice to police officers is that spped guns should not be operated through glass. Seek professional legal advice on this though.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Feb-18 @ 2:47 PM
I saw a police car parked up with all its windows closed. I believe the Police officer inside was holding a hand held speed gun. The fact that his windows were closed would any speeding convictions be valid?
Matey mate - 8-Feb-18 @ 8:42 PM
I was caught speeding on the first of January. I was pulled over on the motorway but I am yet to have received any documentation of any kind. How long am I likely to be waiting, or is there someone I should contact?
Ukdriver200 - 17-Jan-18 @ 10:01 PM
Dipz - Your Question:
Hi. I am pretty sure I was caught speeding using a speed gun. Was stupidly doing over 70 on a 40 dual carriageway. I did see them an reduced the speed. All they did was look over at me and point. Didnt ask me to pull over and wasnt pulled over further down by another car. Will I get a letter in the post as I have heard they can only issue you a ticket if they pull you over. There were no camera’s held by another officer.

Our Response:
This will depend on the type of camera in use - if it was recording speed and registration numbers, you'll receive an NIP within 14 days (longer if you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle). You can expect a court summons for travelling at 70mph in a 40 zone.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Jan-18 @ 12:58 PM
Hi. I am pretty sure I was caught speeding using a speed gun. Was stupidly doing over 70 on a 40 dual carriageway. I did see them an reduced the speed. All they did was look over at me and point. Didnt ask me to pull over and wasnt pulled over further down by another car. Will I get a letter in the post as I have heard they can only issue you a ticket if they pull you over. There were no camera’s held by another officer.
Dipz - 13-Jan-18 @ 3:01 PM
Hi , I was sent a NIP on 22/Nov for exceeding 30mph on North Orbital way Denham. my speed is 49. as I didn't see any police with speed gun on the way, I am not sure exactly the point then checked. but I assumed it may be after the traffic lights and after the Denham bridgh (railway). but before the traffic light there is a speed camera, I am pretti sure I was under 30mph. so after the signal there is no sign of 30limits post or on the road. only sign is 50mph. so as per the NIP I send my details, becuase there is a option for awareness course too. but now I received a fixed penalty there is no course. I assumed They had checked the speed just before the 50mph sign post. is there any point to challange this? becuase there is no sign of 30 mph other than 50mph ?
Galu - 20-Dec-17 @ 12:24 PM
I did an awareness course yesterday. Takingthe numberthere,and the number of courses,The venue must be making near £20k a week!! A lot of revenue to be had ! And they say it's not for the money?! Anyway,I learned that the Police canadopt a 'no tolerance ' limit,by the way they set the cameras up??
Mark - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:21 PM
Rob - Your Question:
Hi I was driving home from Dorset on the a31 it's a 70 speed limit I pulled out to over take someone and was probably doing 75ish, when under a bridge with a police car parked up on it. All its windows looked closed but think I sore a flash. Should I expect a ticket?

Our Response:
We don't know! If it was a speed camera maybe...
If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle and have not changed address or vehicle in the past few months, you'll know within 14 days.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Nov-17 @ 11:03 AM
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