Speedsters may have received a ‘get out of jail for free’ ticket following a successful legal challenge to a laser speed monitoring device used throughout the country, according to Rapport.

The Free State – where high speed cases were declared priority crimes in January with an instruction from the DPP not to divert any of those cases – became the first province to withdraw all speeding prosecutions involving the ProLaser4 device.

NPA spokesperson in the Free State, Phaladi Shuping, confirmed that all cases have been withdrawn following damning judgments. He couldn’t confirm how many cases were withdrawn as some are withdrawn ‘as they come in’, and the NPA was unable to say how long it would take to address the legal issues with the device.

The Villiers Magistrate’s Court first raised the alarm in the prosecution of Zaheer Khan, who was accused of speeding at 171km/h on the N3. The presiding magistrate found non-compliance with the testing and calibration requirements stipulated in the Legal Metrology Act.

The ProLaser 4 is manufactured in the US by Kustom Signals and distributed locally by Truvelo.

The Free State High Court has since overturned another conviction for speeding involving a ProLaser 4. The Western Cape Traffic Department confirmed that it is also using the ProLaser 4 in that province, but claims the equipment in use there is fully compliant. Municipalities in North West, Limpopo and KZN have obtained quotations for the device.

Criminal law attorney Robert van Wyk, from Pretoria, says he expects more legal challenges, appeals and review applications following the development.

Another lawyer, Peter Jay, says the NPA should appeal the judgments to get a precedent that is applicable nationally.

Full report in Rapport (subscription needed)