Doubts have been raised over thousands of road fines after a motorist had a £130 penalty quashed because of concerns over the accuracy of the camera system.
The Times reports that Raymond Bruce had his fine for driving in London’s congestion charging zone without paying cancelled when an adjudicator ruled that the camera evidence was unreliable.
It says he was caught by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera while exiting the zone at 7.02am, two minutes after the charge kicked in, and was sent a £130 fine for non-payment. Mr Bryce insisted that he was clear of the zone by 7am and, according to an appeal body, Transport for London failed to confirm that the camera had been synchronised with the atomic clock, meaning that it was unable to prove the timing.
The Times says that the case raises questions over the use of similar technology. ANPR cameras are used to monitor bridge tolls such as the Dartford Crossing on the M25 and the Mersey Gateway in the northwest, as well as thousands of privately run car parks.
It quotes the AA as saying that a time buffer should exist, ensuring motorists cannot be penalised for several minutes either side of the charging system kicking in citing the fact that motorists caught by speed cameras are not usually fined unless they exceed the limit by 10 per cent, plus 2mph, because of concerns over the system’s accuracy.