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Do Police take accuracy of their speed testing equipment in to account when issuing tickets?

Alex Wills made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

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From: Alex Wills

Dear New Zealand Police,

Please can you advise whether the Police take the accuracy of their speed testing equipment to account when issuing tickets?

For example, it is my understanding from the manufacturers' documents that a perfectly calibrated Police radar of the most common type found in your vehicles is accurate to slightly less than +/- 3km/h.

Therefore to ensure that no one is accidentally being ticketed for say 3 km/h over and above their true speed readings taken by the radar gun would have to have the margin of accuracy for that piece of equipment subtracted from the speed shown.

I have asked Police directly in past (not via the official information act) whether this is taken in to account and the response I have always recieved is "our equpment is regularly calibrated". However that does not necessarily mean that the margin of error is being taken in to account. Only that the Guns are being tested and are accurate within the manufacturers standard.

Please can you clarify very specifically whether it is or not taken in to account either by the officer or when the speed equipment is calibrated ie the guns are deliberatly set to read 4km/h slow.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Wills

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Wills

 

I refer to your request logged on the FYI website on 18 December 2018 in
which you asked for advice on whether the Police take the accuracy of
their speed testing equipment to account when issuing tickets.

I am very sorry that Police has not responded to your request as yet. We
are trying to understand why your request was not entered on our
information request system at the time.

We have in the meantime entered the request and we will get a response to
you as soon as possible.

We appreciate your bringing this to our attention through the Ombudsman
complaint process.

Yours sincerely

Teresa McMahon
Ministerial Services | New Zealand Police
Police National Headquarters, 180 Molesworth St, Thorndon, PO Box 3017,
Wellington 6140

 

 

===============================================================

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New Zealand Police

Mr Wills,

Your correspondence requesting information received on the 09/08/18 is
acknowledged.

 

Your request was considered within the provisions of the Official
Information Act 1982.

 

If any of the information herewith enclosed is incorrect you are entitled
pursuant to Section 26 of the Official Information Act 1982  to request it
to be corrected.

 

 

 

Please can you advise whether the Police take the accuracy of their speed
testing equipment to account when issuing tickets?

Yes – all speed detection equipment operated by Police, and all the
calibration test equipment used to test the accuracy of such devices, is
taken into account before a certificate of accuracy is issued.

For example, it is my understanding from the manufacturers' documents that
a perfectly calibrated Police radar of the most common type found in your
vehicles is accurate to slightly less than +/- 3km/h.

All radars used by NZ Police are accurate to 0.6 km/h.   The measurement
uncertainty of 0.6 km/h quoted in every radar the certificate of accuracy
applies to the use of the radar unit to measure any unknown applied speed.
The value of 0.6 km/h was calculated by IRLNZ (now Measurement Standards
Limited of New Zealand) in accordance with the “ Guide to the Expression
of Uncertainty in Measurement” (GUM) published by the International
Standards Organisation. This guide is regarded internationally as best
practice for the calculation of uncertainties in measurements.

 

The calculated uncertainty is intended to cover use in the field. The
uncertainty of +/- 0.6 km/h is largely determined by the fact that the
Stalker display only displays in steps of 1kph. The accuracy of the radar
unit is estimated by IRL to be better than +/-0.03 kmh. This is in
agreement with measurements made at the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (the US standards laboratory).   The Certificates of
Accuracy issued by the Police Calibration Service report the results of
accurate measurements traceable to the New Zealand standards of
measurement. The measurement uncertainty quoted indicates that the speed
measurement devices are fit for the purpose of road speed measurement.  
The underlying accuracy of the radar is significantly better than 0.6 km/h
.

 

There are different uncertainty budgets calculated for each piece of speed
detection equipment, but you mention it is radars that you are interested
in.

 

Therefore to ensure that no one is accidentally being ticketed for say 3
km/h over and above their true speed readings taken by the radar gun would
have to have the margin of accuracy for that piece of equipment subtracted
from the speed shown.

I have asked Police directly in past (not via the official information
act) whether this is taken in to account and the response I have always
received is "our equipment is regularly calibrated". However that does not
necessarily mean that the margin of error is being taken in to account.
Only that the Guns are being tested and are accurate within the
manufacturers standard.

Please can you clarify very specifically whether it is or not taken in to
account either by the officer or when the speed equipment is calibrated ie
the guns are deliberately set to read 4km/h slow .

 

 

You have the right, under Section 19 of the Official Information Act 1982
, to ask the Ombudsman and/or the Privacy Commissioner to investigate and
review my decision.

 

Kind regards.

 

Sgt Boyd

Police Infringement Bureau | National Road Policing Centre | New Zealand
Police

Email: ticket [1]@police.govt.nz 

Road Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: FOXWELL, Holly
New Zealand Police


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Dear Alex

 

I have been asked to send this attached response.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Holly Foxwell

Ministerial Services Officer

Ministerial Services

 

E [1][email address]

 

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