RSS expert proved driver overtook
cyclist at more than 90mph in a
A Road Safety Support expert (RSS) helped to ensure the conviction of a motorist who was caught on a cycle-cam overtaking a cyclist at more than 90mph in a 30mph zone.
Steve Callaghan, a forensic engineer with expert knowledge of speed measurements, examined footage from the cyclist’s camera and calculated that Denzel Masawi overtook him at a minimum of 91.5mph on the A502 in Rushden, Northamptonshire, in September.
Masawi was convicted at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday December 16, after pleading not guilty to driving in excess of a 30mph speed limit.
He was disqualified from driving for six months and fined £592 by magistrates and was ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £59, and costs of £620.
As members of Road Safety Support, Northamptonshire Police approached Mr Callaghan for assistance and he provided a 40-page expert report.
Masawi has become the first person to be convicted at court as part of Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Snap.
PC Dave Lee of the Safer Roads Team said: “Operation Snap was launched to allow members of the public who capture bad driving on camera to easily submit it to Northamptonshire Police. This new process makes it easier for both those with cameras capturing the bad driving and for us to be able to process it.
“At first Masawli was issued with a notice of intended prosecution for careless driving and any other offences, however, after the video had been analysed and his minimum speed was calculated at being in excess of 90mph, the offence was changed to driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit.
“This was our first submission under Operation Snap and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with the driver positively. This speed was three times the legal limit and could have very easily ended in disaster.
“Operation Snap lets the public help us keep our county's roads safer by enabling us to take action on driving offences we otherwise wouldn’t see.
“When people see a marked police car they tend to drive carefully and behave, but we know members of the public see bad and dangerous driving all the time.
“This service allows people to share evidence of that with us quickly and easily so we can take prompt and appropriate action.”
Operation Snap was rolled out by the Force in October, and enables people to report driving offences by uploading video evidence via a simple online portal on the Northamptonshire Police website.
Drivers making a report upload their dash-cam or phone video footage and fill out a form which automatically creates a witness statement to provide a full account of the incident.
More information about Road Safety Support’s forensic video analysis service can be found here.