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

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 25 Apr 2021 | comments*Discuss
Hand Held Speed Gun Radar Gun Radar


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)


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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I was pulled over by the police yesterday. He was holding a radar gun. Then another female was pulled over a couple of cars behind. Why no male drivers? Other cars were going faster.
K. - 25-Apr-21 @ 10:38 PM
Hi i was on a main road doing about 36 or 38 mph in a 30 mph zone and a motorbike park up on the side road and a police officer with a handle held radar gun checking speed there was a car in front and i would say he was speeding and i was behind him would the motorbike police men pull me over if i was speeding or if i was alright let me carry on or will i get a speeding fine in the post
Sinbad12 - 14-Oct-20 @ 2:24 PM
I was driving 50 in a 40 I admit I was in the wrong which I will accept the consistency of However the police that used the gun at a distance of 500-600 yards away from me, the car in front of me was going faster then I was!the police officer walked across 3 lanes of traffic (stopping cars and tried to stop the car in front of me) The car in-front didn’t stop but I did! The police then made me go across 3 lanes of traffic (nearly causing other cars to crash) Then told me I was going 60. I don’t argue with the police officer as I DID have respect for them, however I believe it was possible the reading was for the car infront of me and not mine! The police was very rude towards me which I will be complaining about! However can the police prove it was my car they hit with the car or the car infront! From that distance it can’t be accurate it was my car and not the other!
Phoebe - 16-Sep-20 @ 8:25 PM
Hi, I need some advice, while i was driving on the a12 just before the 40 speed limit becomes 50, a police man caught me on his laser gun and wrote something down. He didn't stop me. I had gone over 40 in anticipation of the approaching 50 limit so i think I was 47 or 48. Should I expect a NIP? Could I contest it as the sign literally 30meters away had 50? Is it likely that i get points or a speed awareness course? Thanks
R - 22-Aug-20 @ 2:02 PM
Was caught on a hand held police gun speeding today doing 40in a 30 it was my own fault I wasn’t paying attention and will accept what ever happens, was just wondering if the hand held gun needs to pull you over as I’ve heard they don’t have a camera. They did not pull me over just looked at back of camera as I drove past
Porky - 5-Jul-20 @ 6:12 PM
How about you just don't speed...NPP - what a stupid organization - defending tossers that speed
Verns - 25-Jun-20 @ 8:05 PM
I got pulled over by the police and was told that I was over the limit.so,the officer asked for my details and told me that it will be a decision to come through post and it did.however the Conditional Offer letter drawn up 21 days later than the offence date. Can you pls advise what should I do next. Many thanks
Reg - 15-Jun-20 @ 11:36 PM
Hi I was doing around about maybe 35-40. in a 30, i clocked the police with a speed gun and he was definitately taking speed checks. he did not stop me. what im wanting to know is does that mean i havent been given or ticket and that's it or does that mean something will come in the post?
dean - 5-May-20 @ 11:10 AM
Why do all these people start moaning when they get caught for speeding. I was caught driving my Porsche 911 SC some 50yrs ago. They blocked the whole road off to stop me, and I always remember getting banged up for the night and 3months ban. But I learnt a valuable lesson and since then I have always kept to the speed limit, DON'T MOAN WHEN YOU'RE CAUGHT, AND REMEMBER IF YOUR KID WAS KNOCKED DOWN BY A SPEEDING/DRUNK DRIVER HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?? SO STOP BEING A PRAT & SLOW DOWN. REMEMBER GETTING HOME 10sec EARLIER ISN'T GOING TO SATISFY YOUR PARTNER/ WIFE OR ARE YOU A 10sec MAN/WOMEN. MJMedia7
MJMedia7 - 3-May-20 @ 3:15 PM
I was caught with a speed gun yesterday (31-01-2020) in the works van doing 77mph on a 60mph bypass. There are no signs on the road saying that there’s speed cameras been used (as you see on a lot of places). The policeman and his speeding gun were hiding on top of a bridge in the rain and it was at the last minute he was visible.
Ard - 1-Feb-20 @ 8:00 AM
Hi, i had a hand held gun pointed when I was doing 31mph-32mph in a 30mph zone. Usually I wouldn't be worried, but officer next to guy with speed gun wrote down something on paper and clipboard. What's chances that I've been caught?
Joeking - 29-Oct-19 @ 5:41 PM
Hi just a question, I was travelling behind a van Through a 30 zone not a built up area and the van in front of me was caught by a hand held speed gun he was pulled over and so was I We were both given tickets for 45 mph He argued that because I was holding a continuous distance behind I was doing the same speed, I don’t believe the officer has Got me on his gun but gave me a ticket Surely this is not right, I am waiting for confirmation through post !!!
SB - 15-Aug-19 @ 7:35 AM
I was driving 35 in a 30 and got caught by speed radar gun, will anything happen as it will be my 2nd time??
mo - 3-Aug-19 @ 9:17 AM
Hello I was caught speeding by radar gun and pulled over on the motorway and didn’t receive an on the spot fine but it has taken 6 months for the paperwork to come through can I fight this as its well after the 14 days please help???
Spike - 9-May-19 @ 3:28 PM
I was traveling on the A1M in lane 3 and a BMW M3 over took me next thing I was pulled over and issued a ticket for apparently doing 96mph which I dispute. That was in November but I have received a court summons on 12 April, I've read about the 14 day rule, would this also apply in thus case as it has taken 4.5 months. My details and address have not changed in years. The office did say at the time that if I didn't hear anything within 14 days no further action would be taken. Please advise. Many thanks.
dobbles - 16-Apr-19 @ 2:05 PM
I was travelling through a dark villagelate at night and saw a man with a hiviz on my left then 2 seconds later a flash from behind - does this mean im nicked?
MC - 17-Feb-19 @ 9:59 AM
I was sent a NIP dated 20/12/2018 it said i was doing 38 in a 30 I have looked at the photos in the first photo my speed is shown at 38 in the second photo I was doing 31 just 1second after the first photo was taken. In the first photo I can see my car and the back end of another car traveling in the other direction. This car has just passed between my car and the speed camera. Is it possible the speed would be wrong due to this car passing between me and the camera at the time the speed was recorded?
AD65 - 14-Feb-19 @ 11:05 PM
I got pulled and issued a ticket back onthe 1.4.2018 . It has hit my doorstep today is it still valid after all this time??
Dingo - 22-Oct-18 @ 7:26 PM
Hi I wos driving on A11 today towards London And I actually wos about 79/80M an hour And I sow a police car between two trailers parked on the hard shoulder, with an camera on his hand, if it wos a speed camera I’m sure he have got me , but the point is that the , camera he wos holding didn’t flash or anything,and when I checked on google that sort of camera showes there that the them cameras get used to measure average speed , idk if someone have any idea what is going to help
Kristi - 16-Oct-18 @ 5:20 PM
I have received Nip saying 42 in a 30 area, but the notice says 42 recorded at 0 seconds. How can a speed van/ camera record a speed when no time has elapsed ?
Daz - 30-Sep-18 @ 11:02 AM
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
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