My main concern with Gatsos is the erosion of basic British civil rights.  I have no problem with speed cameras per se, nor reducing average speeds nor electronic crime detection.  The problem with Gatsos is that they rely on citizens providing the last and vital piece of evidence to make a prosecution.  

I understand that the European Court has ruled that this does not contravene our rights not to incriminate ourselves as it extracts only one piece of evidence and other evidence (the photograph of the number plate) is also required.  However the vital evidence is the identification of the actual driver at the time and this is forced from us by threats of an inconvenient, intimidating and expensive court summons.  It also creates a huge dilemma if you can't quite remember who was at the wheel at the time.  Do we go to court (expensive, inconvenient, intimidating) or risk perverting the course of justice?  An unpleasant dilemma for many law abiding citizens and one to which we should not be subjected.

I also believe Gatso technology legislation tramples over our right to remain silent and the presumption of innocence.  The registered owner of the vehicle can be prosecuted for remaining silent and is assumed guilty unless proven innocent – all on the basis of a photograph of a car number plate.

I also note that many European countries do not have the presumption of innocence nor trial by jury.  This legislation may be very European but it is definitely un-British.

In any case all this can be avoided by turning the camera around and getting a photograph of the driver.   That way the police have all the evidence they need.  There would be no need to bully citizens into providing vital evidence. Such  technology exists as they use it effectively in Japan.  Why don't we do this?  

Why is this idea important?

Restores 3 basic principles of British justice:

  • Right to remain silent
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Right not to incriminate yourself

One Reply to “The right not to incriminate yourself”

  1. An absolute disgrace that one is forced to incriminate oneself for the sake of a fine or get a worse one for not doing so
    The law in this situation stinks
    It should be for the police to prove who is guilty,that is their job and if they cannot do so then the charge should be dropped for lack of evidence.
    It a question of peoples rights being taken away from them with the influence of uniform carriers and weak magistrates not standing up for the public

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