Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Sat Dec 15, 2018 06:36

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 16:49 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 15:00
Posts: 2
On the 7th of January I was caught speeding by a speed camera. I was doing 36mph in a 30mph zone.

However I contested this due to the special circumstances of my wife actually being in labour in the car at the time. This was not expected as she was not due for another 3-4 weeks.

I was sent the usual 'pay within x days and we'll only charge you this much' letters, which I ignored because I thought I would have a good case in court.

Eventually, in July, I recieved my court date. Even though it had taken them 6 months to sort out, they gave me only 6 days notice. I couldn't make this due to work commitments, but saw that there was an option on the form where you could plead guilty yet add in mitigating circumstances, so I thought I would do that.

I sent this in, along with my daughters birth certificate (she was born that night) and the discharge letter from the hospital.

I was surprised to recieve a letter a couple of days later telling me I owed £120 and would have 3 points on my licence.

My wife was really pissed off at this and phoned the local paper - we were featured about a week later. The reporter contacted the court and was told that if I had turned up I would have been let off. If this is the case why the f**k do they bother with the part of the form that lets you add mitigating circumstances? :banghead:

I decided to appeal. This where in my eyes it really turned into a farce. After waiting for four hours I had my less that 5 minutes in court. The first question they asked me was why I hadn't paid yet. I replied that I was appealling, and had brought evidence to support my case with me (the birth certificate and discharge form I had sent in previously). They asked if I had sent it in before, to which I replied I had. They then said that as the previous court had deemed it insufficient, they didn't want or need to see it. I always thought that at an appeal they reviewed the evidence, but apparently I am wrong about that. :furious:
They told me that the reporter was lying when he said that if I had turned up I would be let off, and that I had ten days to pay, or it would go up further.

I decided to pay and pursue other avenues. I have emailed our MP and now I am writing on here for advice. What can I do about this? I know I was speeding, but surely 6mph over the limit is discretionary, especially if you have a good reason for going faster than that. I am sure the appeal was at best not worth the effort and at worst negligent, what can I do about this? Is it to late to do anything now I have paid, even though I was given a time limit to do so?

It not about the money, and it's not (much) about the points, it about the way we seemed to be presumed guilty even when I thought we had a good case. I mean in films the police give you an escort to hospital if you are about to give birth not fine you....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 17:57 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 14:26
Posts: 4364
Location: Hampshire/Wiltshire Border
IMO there is an exemption from the speed limits for vehicles being used as ambulances. I am sure that others on here will confirm or refute this in a moment but you may have a possible route to attack.

_________________
Malcolm W.
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 18:36 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 00:31
Posts: 393
statutelaw.gov.uk

87.
Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits.
No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes, if the observance of that provision would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion.

Could a Mod shorten the link or explain how I do it, Please!

fatboytim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 18:43 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:16
Posts: 7986
Location: Moved to London
I knew this would come in handy again:

COLOUR KEY: BBcode , your link , your word

[url=http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk]Word[/url]

Gives:

Word


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 19:46 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 22:02
Posts: 3266
If you were to appeal there are strict time scales. To appeal out of time there must be a good reason. Like you were not aware that you had been found guilty.
Reasons might be that you were not living at home, r the letter was held up by the postal strike. Obviously that cannot be claimed if the case has been in the local rag. Can any one else help out here?

PS it also costs a bit of money.

_________________
Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 20:32 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 00:31
Posts: 393
smeggy wrote:
I knew this would come in handy again:

COLOUR KEY: BBcode , your link , your word

[url=http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk]Word[/url]

Gives:

Word



Thanks smeggy!

fatboytim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 22:05 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 19:58
Posts: 730
So when people airily say: "Oh, if someone was speeding because their wife was in labour that would be exceptional circumstance" that does not seem to be the case, does it? :shock:

_________________
www.thatsnews.org.uk / www.thatsnews.blogspot.com / http://thatsmotoring.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 23:08 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 22:02
Posts: 3266
No it just means there was a trio of un-informed magistraites.

_________________
Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 23:45 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:06
Posts: 3654
Location: Oxfordshire
Unfortunately it would appear that you have fallen foul of the inflexibly adminstrative nature of the summary justice system!

All is not lost, however you must be aware that to take it further would require a commitment to the potential for greater initial outlay on your own part, which may or may not be fully recovered as costs. You always have the option, with magistrates courts, to appeal to a higher court, where your case can be presented to a jury of your peers, who are, ideally, in possession of the common sense so obviously lacking in the majority of the lowest courts. It would seem like a bit of a 'no-brainer' that the circumstances of your original transgression provided more than adequate justification, and I would hope that you would be acquitted.

I would dearly love for you to pursue this, and clear your name, but it is not my bankroll on the line, and it is not a decision you should take lightly. It is a further detraction to the automated enforcement system that you have been strung-up like this since, had you been stopped by a real-life copper under these circumstance, it it more likely that they would have given you a 'blues and twos' escort to the hospital than a ticket!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 09:25 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 22:02
Posts: 3266
Is a normal child birth an emergancy on its own?
4 weeks early, health concerns for baby and mum may be neededto make the case an emergancy.

Were you advised by any health professional to get here quick?
Was any or all of this info given to the court.

_________________
Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:06 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 15:00
Posts: 2
anton wrote:
Is a normal child birth an emergancy on its own?
4 weks early, health concerns for baby and mum may be neededto make the case an emergancy.

Were you advised by any health professional to get here quick?
Was any or all of this info given to the court.


We thought it was an emergency!!

Our first son had to be born my emergency ceasarian after complications, and we were booked in for another caesarian because of this.

As it turned out our daughter had to be born my emergency ceasarian as well.

We did phone the midwife, who told us 'to see how it goes'. However after telling her we were booked in for a ceasarian she told us to come in straight away.

As an aside I forgot to mention our daughter was born the day after the speeding ticket. Not by much (she was born at 12:15 am), but enough to make the birth certificate show the day after. This is one of the reasons we sent in the dircharge note as well, because this gives the time of birth whereas the birth certificate does not. We did point this out in the mitigating circumstances part of the form.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:31 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 14:26
Posts: 4364
Location: Hampshire/Wiltshire Border
anton wrote:
Is a normal child birth an emergancy on its own?

The extract from the law given by Fatboytim above does not refer to any emergency, just that the vehicle is used for ambulance purposes.

_________________
Malcolm W.
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 13:32 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 19:58
Posts: 730
malcolmw wrote:
anton wrote:
Is a normal child birth an emergancy on its own?

The extract from the law given by Fatboytim above does not refer to any emergency, just that the vehicle is used for ambulance purposes.


And taking a mother and unborn child (early labour, caesarian birth booked) is not an emergency.

I wonder if it gave the Magistrates any pleasure?

"Oh, dear. This is a hard case, isn't it? The poor man was worried about his wife and unborn child, he was only exceeding the speed limit by 6mph in any case... So... although we might be expected to show leniency in this matter I think we should say GUILTY AS CHARGED! Feeeeel my POWER and tremble, mortal! Bwah ha ha hah!"

(And before any magistrate, clerk of the court, etc., etc., leaps onto their hind legs and says that they are sure there must be more to this case than meets the eye, the magistrates are bound by the rules, etc., etc., I said it for you. You don't have to, OK? :) )

_________________
www.thatsnews.org.uk / www.thatsnews.blogspot.com / http://thatsmotoring.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:42 
Offline
Magistrate
Magistrate

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 13:58
Posts: 1155
kepath wrote:
I couldn't make this due to work commitments, but saw that there was an option on the form where you could plead guilty yet add in mitigating circumstances, so I thought I would do that.

Why did you plead guilty when you were convinced you had a defence? Why did you not ring the court and ask for another date?


kepath wrote:
If this is the case why the f**k do they bother with the part of the form that lets you add mitigating circumstances?
You entered a guilty plea and sent in mitigating information to keep the penalty down. I am sure the penalty you got reflects that situation.

If you wanted to avoid a penalty you should have entered a not guilty plea and put forward your emergency as a defence. The other option by post would be to plead guilty but put forward the emergency as a special reason why your licence should not be endorsed.

If you had turned up the bench would have been able to ask you for more information. If that had established a genuine emergency the clerk would have suggested one or other of the above options.

As far as I can tell, you put in a guilty plea, didn't state that you considered the situation you were in to constitute special reasons, and (most important of all) didn't bother to turn up. The result was just about inevitable.



kepath wrote:
I decided to appeal.

kepath wrote:
I always thought that at an appeal they reviewed the evidence, but apparently I am wrong about that.

Appeals from magistrates courts decisions take place at the Crown Court. At an appeal all the evidence, and anything new you wish to put forward is reviewed. From what you have posted I am sure that you did not appeal. I think what you did do was go to a fines enforcement court, which has no power to hear appeals.



kepath wrote:
What can I do about this?

Write to the court that convicted you and ask for an appeal form. Fill that in and send it back. When the appeal date comes up, do what you should have done in the first place. Attend court, and either plead not guilty, or plead guilty and put forward special reasons not to endorse.



kepath wrote:
it about the way we seemed to be presumed guilty even when I thought we had a good case.
According to your first post you filled in the form saying you were guilty. The court didn't presume anything. They believed what you told them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:45 
Offline
Magistrate
Magistrate

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 13:58
Posts: 1155
malcolmw wrote:
IMO there is an exemption from the speed limits for vehicles being used as ambulances.
Courts normally consider that to apply to a vehicle specifically constructed for use an an ambulance and being used to convey a sick person. In this case the OP seems to have a good case as simple emergency.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:50 
Offline
Magistrate
Magistrate

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 13:58
Posts: 1155
anton wrote:
No it just means there was a trio of un-informed magistraites.
seems to me they acted on the information given. He entered a guilty plea, put forward a bit of mitigation and didn't bother to turn up.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:55 
Offline
Magistrate
Magistrate

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 13:58
Posts: 1155
RobinXe wrote:
You always have the option, with magistrates courts, to appeal to a higher court, where your case can be presented to a jury of your peers, who are, ideally, in possession of the common sense so obviously lacking in the majority of the lowest courts.
Appeal from magistrates courts to the Crown Court are heard by a bench of one crown court judge sitting with one or two JPs. No jury is involved.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:56 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
fisherman wrote:
malcolmw wrote:
IMO there is an exemption from the speed limits for vehicles being used as ambulances.
Courts normally consider that to apply to a vehicle specifically constructed for use an an ambulance and being used to convey a sick person.

[...]


Do they? On what basis? It doesn't say that in the statute.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 15:57 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 19:58
Posts: 730
fisherman wrote:
anton wrote:
No it just means there was a trio of un-informed magistraites.
seems to me they acted on the information given. He entered a guilty plea, put forward a bit of mitigation and didn't bother to turn up.


But Fisherman, if there is an option to enter a guilty plea AND enter evidence in mitigation by post, for you to claim that he "didn't bother to turn up" is a little disingenuous, surely?

After all, if magistrates ignore the plea of mitigation by post, why would they feel able to accept a plea of guilty by post in the same letter?

Is it possible that they either did not understand the system they administer or just couldn't be a**ed to perform their role properly?

_________________
www.thatsnews.org.uk / www.thatsnews.blogspot.com / http://thatsmotoring.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 16:00 
Offline
Magistrate
Magistrate

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 13:58
Posts: 1155
kepath wrote:
We thought it was an emergency!!

Our first son had to be born my emergency ceasarian after complications, and we were booked in for another caesarian because of this.

As it turned out our daughter had to be born my emergency ceasarian as well.

We did phone the midwife, who told us 'to see how it goes'. However after telling her we were booked in for a ceasarian she told us to come in straight away.
It would seem to me that you had reasonable cause to believe it was an emergency, which would normally be enough for a court to find special reasons not to endorse.
The problem you have is that the professional involved - the midwife - clearly did not think it an emergency or she would have sent an ambulance. That reduces the strength of your case considerably.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.346s | 11 Queries | GZIP : Off ]