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October 1957

11 drivers fined at Wigan
   Lancashire County Police experts explained their new speedster-catching radar device when the first victims on the Wigan area appeared at Wigan today.
   Eleven drivers were fined a total of 22 for speeding after it had been stated that they were detected by the machine used by police in the Wigan area.
   Mr. H. D. Mace, prosecuting, said that the system used was for a patrol car to be concealed some way from the road, with a radar machine in the car boot. It recorded the speeds of passing vehicles on a meter and if the vehicles exceeded the speed limit information was sent to a patrol car further down the road and the offending vehicle was stopped.
   Only one of the defendants denied the offence. He was John Hardman, of Kings Abbott, Penwortham, who was stopped in Wigan-road, Standish, after he had passed PCs Edgar Farnell and Percy Grierson in the radar car. He was stated to have been travelling towards Wigan at 40 m.p.h.
   Mr. F. C. Roscoe for the Automobile Association said that Hardman was following a heavy lorry about 10 yards behind. He said that machine could not accurately detect the speed of Hardman's car while it was following so close to the lorry.
   PC Farnell said that he had been trained in the use of the machine. When Hardman's car passed there was no lorry in the beam of the radar, and the needle on the meter showed that Hardman's vehicle was travelling at 40 m.p.h.
   County Police radio expert Inspector Keith Eve said that outside influences could affect the apparatus, but when vehicles passed, that interference would stop. He denied that ordinary fluorescent street lamps had any effect on the machine.
   After a 10 minute adjournment, the bench fined Hardman 2. "We realise the seriousness of this issue," said the chairman, Miss E. Hazelhurst, "but we find the prosecution case proved."
   Other defendants were fined 2 for the offence. They were: Woolf Collins, of Stone Grove Park, Edgeware, Middlesex; Davis Eaves, of Coniston-road, Blackpool; Morris Sumner, of Oak Tree-avenue, Ingol, Preston; John Stone, of North Albert-street, Fleetwood; Norman Lithgow, of Victoria-street, Wallgate, Wigan; William Clarke, of Hart-street, Hart Common, Westhoughton; William Yarwood, of Cowglen Military Hospital, Glasgow; Harold Raynor, of St. Chadis-road, Blackpool; Norman Gleave, of Church-lane, Lowton, and Jack Rutter, of The Green, Eccleston, near Chorley.

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