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HFHR’s intervention concerning discrepancies in speed measurement

Krzysztof Hołowczyc was stopped for driving 114 km/h over the speed limit outside a built-up area. The driver refused to take a ticket.

The District Court that ruled on a motion for his punishment found him guilty of committing a petty offence. However, at the same time the court established that the actual speed of the defendant’s car at the moment of committing the act was by 71 km/h higher than the speed limit of 90 km/h. This finding differed from the measurement made by police officers who stated that the car speed had been 114 km/h higher than the speed limit. The HFHR asked the Chief Commissioner of the Police, Chief Superintendent Krzysztof Gajewski to investigate the cause of such disparities.

Such significant discrepancies regarding the measurement of the actual speed of a vehicle raise special concerns as far as the amendment to the Highway Code is concerned. The new provisions stipulate that police officers should confiscate driving licences of drivers who exceed the speed limit -by 50 km/h in a built-up area.

“In a situation where measurements of a court and the police differ by as many as 43 km/h, driving licences of persons who actually did not exceed the speed limit by 50 km/h may be confiscated. That is why the case of Krzysztof Hołowczyc raised our concerns”, explains Piotr Kładoczny PhD, an HFHR lawyer.

It is worth mentioning that the HFHR has already addressed in detail the issue of possible doubts regarding the constitutionality of the above regulation in its letter to the Human Rights Defender. For more information about the letter, use this link.

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