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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 14:17 GMT
Arrest over speed trap 'jammer'
Speed camera sign
The device stopped the camera taking speed readings
A south Wales motorist has become the first person in Britain to be arrested for using an electronic jammer to confuse speed traps.

The driver was found with a laser diffuser device in the vehicle by police in south Wales under a drive called the Safety Camera Partnership.

The partnership will not tolerate the use of such diffuser devices

Sergeant Gary Smart, South Wales Police

The gadget, which is also known as a jammer, works by alerting the driver to laser speed detectors and temporarily stopping it from taking a speed reading.

The car had been recorded speeding on six different occasions around Cardiff and the south Wales valleys.

However, a reading of how fast it was travelling could not be obtained because the jammer device interfered with the detectors.

"The motorist in question has since been arrested for perverting the course of justice and has admitted the offence," said Sergeant Gary Smart from South Wales Police.

"The partnership will not tolerate the use of such diffuser devices.

Speed camera
Speed camera are used throughout the force area

"Clearly people using devices of this sort have the inclination to drive without due regard for speed limits, and are obstructing officers in the course of their duty," he added.

In the South Wales Police force area there are 33 static speed camera sites and 41 traffic signal sites.

An additional 103 mobile sites with 11 mobile units are also used to catch speeding motorists.

Sophisticated devices to stop the cameras from taking speed readings can be bought from specialist websites.

They work by flashing a strong laser signal to the speed detector which causes a temporary error in the equipment and prevents a speed reading being taken.

The use of such devices is extremely dangerous

John Rowling, Safety Camera Partnership

"While the legislation has been passed making it illegal to use radar diffusers, there is currently no legislation in place regarding the laser devices," said John Rowling from the Safety Camera Partnership.

"Although the government are looking at this important issue.

"The use of such devices is extremely dangerous as it gives the motorist licence to drive at inappropriate speeds, putting the safety of other road users at risk.

"I hope this arrest acts as a clear warning to those using such devices to enable them to drive in excess of the legal speed limit," he added.


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