A little known section of the Road Traffic Act effectively authorising the Minister for Justice to enter into an agreement “ with any person” for the performance by “……authorised persons of any function…relating to the establishing of……. proof of….. an offence including the provision of maintenance and operation of equipment and the development production and viewing of records produced by that equipment and the production of measurements or other indications …… from which an offence can be inferred”….brought into force the dreaded Speed Camera Vans
This section of the 2010 Act came into force on the 1st June 2011 and hence the contract between the Minster for Justice and the GO Safe Company.
Apparently the “GO Safe” contract with the Minister for Justice started on the 16th November 2010 and ran until the 16th November 2015 with an option of one year extension.
The High Court made the decision in relation to the operation of GO Safe Speed Vans/Cameras in July 2014. That judgement is of great benefit to Defendants who are in Court as a result of speeding. Based on the contents of the judgement in my view there are at least six Defences open to an accused. From being involved in a large number of these speeding prosecutions it seems to me that the evidence in Court of the operator of the camera often falls far short of the level of proofs required by the High Court in these cases. From my experience, a lot of solicitors just take these prosecutions lying down and do not challenge the evidence of the Camera Operators or Gardai. I think if challenged a successful defence can be established and can, more often than not, lead to a dismissal of the Summons by the Court. A blasé approach by the legal profession in defending these charges has led to convictions of members of the public which should never have been convicted.
In defending such prosecutions therefore it is necessary to be armed with the 2010 Act and the High Court judgement of Judge Kearns. The Prosecution must be challenged on every possible facet of their evidence which ultimately I think may lead to a successful Defence and the complete avoidance of any penalty points, either from the Fixed Charge Penalty Notice of otherwise.