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Private speed testing evidence (FOI)

Private speed testing evidence (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 20 October 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Is there any legislation in Jersey that would prevent a resident of a road in Jersey to measure vehicle speeds along the said road?

Would a resident be able to submit evidence of vehicles exceeding 20mph using Undercliffe Road?


Article 21(5) of the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 states the following,

A person prosecuted for driving a motor vehicle of any class or description on a road at a speed exceeding the speed limit imposed by or under this Article or any Order made under this Article in relation to a vehicle of that class or description shall not be liable to be convicted solely on the evidence of one witness to the effect that in the opinion of the witness the person prosecuted was driving the vehicle at a speed exceeding that limit.

The reader will note the reference to “witness” rather than “police officer”. The law does not prevent members of the public from measuring vehicle speeds.

We are aware of “Community Speedwatch UK” which is an initiative whereby trained volunteers record excessive speeds and report them to the police, who then write advisory letters to the offending vehicle owners. This scheme does not operate in Jersey at present.

Regardless of whether the speed device is operated by a police officer or a member of the public, there are a number of evidential standards that must be met before a driver could be successfully prosecuted. These include the following:

  • the device used to measure a vehicle’s speed must be of a type that is approved and recognised as reliable by the courts.

  • the device must be regularly and professionally calibrated.

  • the operator must be able to evidence that he/she tested the device, and that it was working correctly, immediately before and after each use.

  • the operator must be able to evidence that the device was unaffected by nearby phone and radio signals.

  • the operator was trained and qualified to use the device correctly.

  • the operator would be required to provide a statement of evidence and possibly attend court.

  • both the vehicle, and the driver of the vehicle, at the time of the alleged offence would need to be identified.

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