THE man who had a speed detector device seized from his vehicle by police officers in Fermanagh, despite the item being legal to use is none other than well-known healing celebrity Danny Gallagher.
The issue came to light last Thursday when Danny was a guest on the Stephen Nolan BBC radio show. The healer from Maghera told the Herald that on Monday August 18 he had been on his way to visit a sick child in Cavan when he was stopped by police before Newtownbutler.
“I was outside Newtownbutler, I was just coming in and behind a slow moving tractor.
“I’m driving 50 years, not a scratch, not a parking ticket, not a speeding ticket and just when I pulled out to pass the tractor it was a single line, I couldn’t pass the tractor, because of the oncoming traffic, but when I saw the road was clear I pulled out past the tractor, I wasn’t doing anything more than about 20mph, but two police officers jumped out in front of me; one on each side with their hands up.”
They spoke to Danny and then seized his speed detection device.
“The police officer came to the window, he didn’t give me a reason or anything why he stopped me.
“I had the window screwed down to let him to speak to me and he saw the detector and he says to me ‘what’s that?
“That’s a very, very serious offence to have that detector in the car.
“The other thing he said to me was that ‘the reason why you have that in the car is because you’re speeding every day’ and I have never had a speeding ticket in my life,” he claimed.
The device was returned to Danny on Thursday and the matter is currently the subject of a police ombudsman enquiry.
In response to the legalities surrounding the matter PSNI Inspector Rosemary Leech, Road Policing confirmed that following a High Court ruling in 1998, it is not illegal to have these devices.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland considers the use of these devices as potentially dangerous.
“They could distract drivers and we would remind people that driving without due care and attention is against the law.”
A spokesman from the Department of Justice however confirmed that the Northern Ireland Office made provision for a ban on these speed assessment equipment detection devices on motor vehicles in Article 54 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008.
“That provision has not however been commenced. We understand that similar provision in England and Wales (in the Road Safety Act 2006) has also not been commenced.
“Before making any decision to commence the provision the Department of Justice would seek the advice of the Department of the Environment, which has responsibility for road safety policy.”
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