LONDON, England – A speeding driver has been found guilty by London’s Old Bailey court of killing a 21-year-old woman student thanks to evidence of dangerous driving provided by vehicle telematics.
Farid Reza, 36, killed the woman in Kingston, south-west London, and has been sentenced to 63 months’ jail.
The judge described his crime as “a mindless act” which resulted in the death of a young student. He was also found guilty of causing serious injury – five children in his car were injured.
Closed-circuit surveillance TV evidence seized by police investigators showed Reza was racing his BMW 330d M Sport against an identical, but rented, car driven by William Spicer, 28, but the video could prove the speed of neither car.
In what is becoming a common – at least in the UK – example of how technology and connected cars are changing the way vehicle accidents are investigated the police recognised a key piece of supporting evidence was available from the telematics device fitted by the rental company to Spicer’s car.
Motor insurance and road traffic collision investigators, were asked to analyse the telematics data and provided the Metropolitan (London) Police with a precise time line of events through vehicle events captured immediately before and during the crash.
PEDESTRIAN HIT AT 111km/h
CCTV evidence gathered from multiple building locations showed both cars driving at speed towards the incident area but with a constant distance between them. A telematics expert examined Spicer’s car and concluded that Reza’s car must have been doing at least 111km/h, the same speed as Spicer’s, moments before Reza hit pedestrian Hina Shamim.
The expert technical witness was also able to refute an allegation by Reza that Spicer had collided with his vehicle, causing him to lose control.
Neil Thomas, director of investigative services, said: “We recognise how devastating this incident has been to everybody involved and send our condolences to Shamim’s family and friends.
“Accurate analysis of telematics data can be complex but our expert witness was able to present his testimony in a way which helped the court and the jury to understand fully the incontrovertible and unchallenged evidence from the telematics device.”
‘ONLY DRIVER WAS RESPONSIBLE’
Judge Richard Leon Marks said: “The evidence provided in the case was essential to assessing the speed of the driver – far over the speed limit – when he hit Shamim. The consequences to Shamim’s family are devastating and no sentence I could give would begin to address or consolidate their feelings.
“I accept that Reza’s remorse is genuine but only he was responsible for putting his foot down on the accelerator that day.”
Telematics and anti-fraud experts are increasingly being used by police and insurance companies across Britain to interrogate telematics data and package it into usable evidence in court.