From Lord Howe


Since I believe that I was one of the first to attack the use of the radar speed meter by the Buckinghamshire police and opposed its purchase in the early stages, I was interested to read Mr. N. J. Pugh’s letter in the January issue of Motor Sport. I have received numerous letters supporting my views and a few, very few, in opposition, so it is not unreasonable to suppose that the majority are opposed to the use of radar speed meters. Mr. Pugh in his very sensible letter puts a question to himself as to whether these radar meters are unreliable; my answer is that they certainly can be. From my own personal experience under demonstration by as much as 9 m.p.h. and, on questioning the police operator, the reply was “I cannot understand it, the equipment was carefully tested and proved accurate before demonstration.”

It is obvious to me that it cannot be used satisfactorily, with a lot of traffic passing through the beam in different directions the needle on the meter flicks all over the dial. I am not surprised that it takes at least a sec. to right itself after a reading before another reading can be taken.

My main objection is to the principle involved in all this, as a magistrate I know only too well the time taken by the Court in dealing with these speeding offences, surely it would be far more helpful to all concerned if the police were to show some warning signs that these radar meters were in operation on certain roads, then any motorists or motor-cyclists trapped would only have themselves to blame and the number of cases before the Court would be reduced. Unless a warning notice is put up, it seems as if the police are keen to trap the motorist instead of trying to prevent him or her from committing a speeding offence. The Chief Constable of Buckinghamshire has said that “he will not be difficult and will play the game.” I recommend the above to him. I sympathise with the Editor of Motor Sport when he says “what a racket the thing has become.”

Howe – Gstaad.