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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:34 
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Hi guys, I've been reading through the forums today and found a lot of great information just wondering if anyone had any advice about my situation.

I've received 2 letters notifying me that I was doing 79mph and 75mph, both in the '50mph avg speed check' zones of the A1M. It's necessary to explain the situation around why I was doing this speed.

The night before I was called by my brother who said he was taking part in a charity event where students had to get as far away from university in a 36 hour time period without spending any money. The further they get, the more money they are likely to receive from sponsors. They were going to be released at 8am the next day and he had managed to persuade BMI Baby to give him and his group a free flight to Alicante from EMA at 11am (Check-in 8.20). Being students they neglected to realise that the journey from Durham to EMA takes 2 3/4 hours so their original plan to hitch-hike was gone and it meant someone had to drive them door to door whilst making up time on the way.

I agreed to do this and when running into the long stretches of the motorway that had roadworks I decided there was no way they were going to make if I did keep to the 50mph so I basically drove as quickly as I could providing I was not endangering myself, my passengers, or other road users. As a side note there were very few cars on the road at the time anyway.

We did get there at 8.20am pretty much on the dot so it was necessary if I was going to help the charity and they have gone on to raise £500 as a result. All this information can be backed up by various witnesses and confirmed by the charity.

Basically given that I was doing so much over the speed limit, and on 2 occasions, from my research it looks very likely that I'm going to get a driving ban however I wanted to know how best to convey the mitigating circumstances when I go to court? I'm currently training to be a solicitor so as you can imagine I'm trying to dig up all the information I can and have found a chart from the RTA sentencing guidelines which looks ominous but I see that at the courts discretion it may be possible to get away with a combined 10 points + £400 fine rather than a ban. (<75mph range 4points-ban and >76mph range 6points-ban)

NB: I have one SP30 on my license from 12/08/07 so should not count towards any totting up ban but the courts may consider it? I don't know whether this is relevant at all but since I passed my test 4 years ago 1 friend of mine has been killed due to dangerous driving and another has permanent disfigurement to his face due to dangerous driving on a separate incident. Since these 2 things happened I am an extremely careful driver on the whole and do not speed unless absolutely necessary and safe to do so.

Any advice anyone could give on how best to avoid a ban would be greatly appreciated. At this stage I have only received the 2 letters asking me to identify the driver. Given my future in a legal career I'm worried how it may come across on job applications etc and I do a lot of Pro Bono work which would become extremely difficult to continue with if I were to have a ban.

Thanks,
Sam


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:52 
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I should get over to www.pepipoo.com as they are more expert than us in answering this type of question.

Unfortunately for you, your repeated speeding is likely to be viewed in a bad light. Your mitigation of "doing it for charity" is unlikely to help as speeding is now regarded as akin to child murder.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 
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It is possible to plead hardship and avoid a "totting-up" ban if you have reached 12 points – this is more common than you might think. However you are then in a situation of "one strike and you're out" until your oldest points expire.

Speeding is an absolute, strict liability offence and as such the courts have no discretion to take mitigating factors into account and reduce the penalty. The only valid defence is if you can show that the signage or prosecution procedure were defective.

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 13:57 
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Enzo,

You will be summonsed for the 79 in the 50, for which you would likely get 6 points. You should get the standard 3-point conditional offer for the 75, but only just! (76 is the threshold in a 50 limit).
Your points from 07 shouldn't result with a ban from totting up, but all this does mean you have to drive with your eyes glued to the speedo for the next 3 years if you want to keep your licence.

I'm afraid the reasoning given for exceeding the limit (late for charity event) will absolutely not wash with the court. The standard response of 'you should have left earlier' will probably be used against you. Also, they would, probably rightly, infer that you were exceeding limits over the entire 2/3/4 hour journey, so such an excuse could actually detract from any mitigation you could have had.
It doesn't matter that you were driving safely (which I have no reason to disbelieve); if you weren't then you could face additional penalties - the mere infringement carries it's own penalty.

I do detest these permanently needlessly low motorway limits.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 14:37 
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Thanks for the responses,

I had thought that maybe they will infer I was speeding throughout the journey so perhaps I will just try to plead guilty, show remorse, and hope they give me just the 9 points, which I would be happy with to be perfectly honest. Does anyone have a link to up to date sentencing guidelines for RTA? I have been looking but no luck, everywhere points me to the usual sentencing council website but I guess the traffic offences one has been taken down?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 00:37 
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Taking a few driving courses can help for all sorts of reasons anyway, but if in Court it will assist in showing your genuine desire to improve.
What may concern the Court is your 'intent' to speed.

Try here for the sentencing :
The sentencing Council - http://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/
Sentence Guidelines - Doc file here
Pages : 9, 12, 128, 133, 134, 138

Pepipoo http://www.pepipoo.com/Magistrates_guidelines.htm
(several lawyers)

5ive-O - http://www.5ive-o.org/forum/showthread.php?14937-Your-chance-to-influence-motoring-sentencing
(many legal people from solicitors to judges)

And for Points Details : - http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/EndorsementsAndDisqualifications/DG_10022425
It is only 'mercy missions' (danger to human life) in emergency situations that will be considered as 'forgiveable' to go faster than the posted speed limits.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 00:45 
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Thanks, I have since found the sentencing guidelines and looking at the range it looks likely that I could get 9-10 points and a low fine (student not currently earning) which like I said I would be very happy with - hopefully I'll get a fixed penalty notice for the 75mph one. I think it's unlikely I will get another ticket in the next 3 years, all I'm worried about is losing my license now.

I did actually post the thread on pepipoo and whilst there are obviously plenty of knowledgable people there for some reason I got a load of abuse that had to be deleted!! Anyways, thanks for the help, I'll post up the results for future reference.

Regards,
Sam


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 03:01 
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As I am sure you can appreciate many people visit and post to public forums and most have very strong views about road habits.
Topics can sometimes become very heated when those different viewpoints clash.

I would strongly advise that you at least talk to a solicitor, some do provide a free initial consultation.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 16:24 
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Thought I'd update this as it's been resolved.

I sent back both forms in the same envelope recorded delivery asap and got back a fixed penalty notice (£60 + 3 points) for the less serious offence which I paid. I hadn't heard anything for a couple of weeks and was worried the 2nd offence may have been misplaced or they thought it was just a duplicate piece of paper so I called them to check they had it.

Turns out the more serious offence has been cancelled! No explanation as to why (not that I'm complaining) and I am assured it cannot be reopened now.

I don't know if it was a mistake or they were just lenient because I sent them back quickly and I put them both in so as to show I wasn't trying to hide it?!

Or maybe just a christmas miracle....


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 05:04 
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I would love to know why it was cancelled ? I can understand that you don't probably wish to call them again - but if you give me the details I will happily call them and make a few enquiries ...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 15:26 
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Yes I'd love to know why as well! I called the Central Ticket Office at Northumbria(?) Police Station and they said they could not disclose why it had been cancelled. It's all very mysterious because I haven't even received a letter saying that it had been dropped so had I not have called I would have been just sitting worrying about it.

I suppose I'm just a 'lucky git' as a friend aptly put it. You're welcome to try and follow it up if you have any connections up there but if they wouldn't tell me I'd be surprised if they would tell anyone else. I don't have any number references etc to hand but if I find them I'll update the thread.


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