The House always wins

Even though GPS speedometers are clearly more accurate than those inside the car, the police aren’t going to accept GSP records as evidence in speeding cases.

Typically, [inbuilt car] speedometers would give a faster reading so drivers were travelling slower than what was shown.

Many comments touched on the accuracy of GPS devices when it came to reading speed.

But yesterday a national police headquarters spokesperson said GPS devices were not a certified method of tracking speed.

“Given that a GPS is not accepted as a reliable means for proving a driver’s speed, police do not accept this as an excuse for speeding.

“GPS systems used for speed or locations can only be an indicator, not a source of absolute true information due to signal loss through buildings, terrain or weather conditions,” the spokesperson said.

Police detection devices, such as speed cameras and speed guns, were checked annually for accuracy, and were calibrated to strict international standards.

GPS devices were not set to the same standards and were unlikely to be recognised as a reliable way to gauge speed in the future.

Yesterday, a Timaru driver said he had recently received a speeding ticket in the mail alleging he was travelling 5kmh over the limit on King St.

He called the Police Infringement Bureau claiming his GPS device showed he was sticking to the speed limit, but his fine was not revoked.

The police accepted speedometers “are designed to over-read”. “This provides an in-built level of tolerance in the driver’s favour,” the spokesperson said.

So, reading between the lines, if your GPS says you’re going 100 km/h, and the police ticket you at 107 km/h, you don’t have a leg to stand on, because your car speedometer would have read at least 110 km/h, and had you used that, you would have known you were speeding.

As far as I can see, the message now is:   There will be no speed limit tolerance applied.  101 km/h will get you a ticket.  On top of that, if you use your GPS to gauge your speed, you are more likely to stray over the limit because you will be closer to the 100 km/h limit then you would be if you used your in-car speedometer that has been built to lie to you.

End result?   To make sure you aren’t ticketed, you better not exceed 90 km/h on your GPS either.   Or 95, if you’re the devil may care type.

Hands up those of you that think this is starting to get ridiculous?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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