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61mph in 50mph limit, M25 - Mistaken identity?
michael8626
post Mon, 6 Aug 2018 - 21:46
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Hi,

I received a NIP forty four days after the alleged offence. My car is leased. I wrote a letter asking for them to cancel it (14 days) Surrey Police state the NIP was sent out in accordance with the law. I presume this to be correct?

I was travelling on the M25 at 0.50 am back in May. My speed limiter was set to 60mph due to multiple 60mph signs appearing on the gantries.

Travelling under a certain gantry I saw a flash from behind as a camera activated. I vividly remember a vehicle overtaking me, travelling in the outside lane to my right, a Ford Galaxy taxi, marked Addison Lee. As the vehicle passed me its brake lights were on and I thought that was the vehicle that had triggered the camera. In the evidence section on the Surrey Police website, this vehicle is clearly visible in the pictures and you can see the high level brake light is illuminated.

Is it possible I have received a NIP for this vehicle, have we both activated cameras? Is it possible for me to find this out? Will Surrey Police tell me, can I use Freedom of Information?

I am adamant I was travelling in accordance with the speed limit. Surrey Police have stated I triggered a camera in a 50mph limit. I dispute this.

Are they legally obliged to produce clear photographic evidence of my vehicle travelling under a gantry that states 50mph? Picture 3 on their evidence systems looks vaguely like a gantry but it is too dark and blurred to be decipherable?

Can I also ask Highways to supply me with all temporary speed limits in operation on the M25 at the time of the alleged offence? Again if they refuse, can you use Freedom of Information?

Thank you all in advance.

Michael
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post Mon, 6 Aug 2018 - 21:46
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Logician
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 11:35
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Well you are entitled to your day in court, and I hope it goes better than I fear.


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michael8626
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 22:51
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Thanks for the vote of confidence! 😂

I am going to throw as much mud as possible and hope some of it sticks.

Will be requesting as much data via FOI as I can. I was told today the police make plenty of admin errors and cases do get thrown out and plenty of times the CPS only review information on the day and plenty of times offer no evidence.

They want motorists to roll over and pay the fine. It’s just one big money making exercise and with the rollout of smart motorways it will just get worse.
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cp8759
post Wed, 8 Aug 2018 - 00:22
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QUOTE (michael8626 @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 23:51) *
Thanks for the vote of confidence! 😂

I am going to throw as much mud as possible and hope some of it sticks.

Will be requesting as much data via FOI as I can. I was told today the police make plenty of admin errors and cases do get thrown out and plenty of times the CPS only review information on the day and plenty of times offer no evidence.

They want motorists to roll over and pay the fine. It’s just one big money making exercise and with the rollout of smart motorways it will just get worse.

The police don't get any money from the fines, but please let us know the outcome.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Logician
post Wed, 8 Aug 2018 - 09:28
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QUOTE (michael8626 @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 23:51) *
I was told today the police make plenty of admin errors and cases do get thrown out and plenty of times the CPS only review information on the day and plenty of times offer no evidence.


That is known here as 'pub talk', a defence strategy of hoping the prosecution will make some sort of mistake is what might be called a 'forlorn hope'



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NewJudge
post Wed, 8 Aug 2018 - 10:26
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QUOTE (michael8626 @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 23:51) *
I am going to throw as much mud as possible and hope some of it sticks.

I wish you well in your quest but feel your strategy of “slinging mud” (hoping that some will stick) will end in an expensive day out.

At a hearing before your trial you will be asked to say what matters are agreed and what are in dispute. If you refuse to cooperate with that exercise and simply put the prosecution “to proof” the police have to show that you were driving (for which you have already provided the evidence by providing the driver's details) and that you exceeded the posted limit. The only issue you seem to dispute is that of the posted limit. The court will not allow you to sling mud. You have no reason to believe that there have been any administrative cock-ups – certainly none that you have mentioned here - and you will have to say what they are if you do. You cannot simply “go fishing” during your trial – it doesn’t work like that.

Of course there is a possibility that you are correct and that the limit was indeed 60 rather than 50. You should be able to establish this from your enquiries with the Highways people. However, if it turns out you are wrong your best course of action (if court proceedings have begun) would be to enter a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity. Even with your limited means this is likely to cost you getting on for twice the amount you could have paid had you accepted the course or fixed penalty that would almost certainly be offered. Maintaining a Not Guilty plea and being convicted following a trial will cost you very much more than that.

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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:53
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Whilst it is certainly good you have conviction and want to take them to court, it is worth being aware of the court process.

You will have an initial case management hearing after pleading not guilty so, as has been said, you will meet with the CPS so you can discuss what you agree on and what is in dispute.

If you say the police make admin mistakes all the time the CPS will probably agree with you. Statistically any large organisation makes admin mistakes. However, the police admin at this stage is likely to amount to a couple of proforma statements and even if there are small errors they can be corrected before the trial

The more substantial allegation is that the wrong limit was displayed. When you identify that the CPS will either seek to check the images to see if there was a clear one, or if not they will seek to use the logs.

What you urgently need to find out is whether the auxillary camera is a condition of the type approval or not. This is the most important FoI request you make because if it is, and the CPS don't have a better image, it considerably weakens the evidence against you. You can find out from the Home Office.

If the aux camera is a condition of type approval and they don't have a better image then the camera is then not assumed to be correct. The CPS will probably evidence logs that say the sign showed 50mph. You then cast reasonable doubt on that by saying you carefully observe limits and use a speed limiter so are quite sure the gantry showed 60. You also note that a professional driver was overtaking you at almost exactly the same moment, which strongly suggests that they too thought it was a higher limit.

You need to focus your argument because if you try and start ten at once the CPS will happily waste time leading you down irrelevant ones whilst they prove all the elements they need. Checking the type approval conditions is IMO your best bet at the moment, admin is a non starter.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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Jlc
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:11
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The Type Approval is silent on any such requirements. Without anything to the contrary it would seem down the court to decide whether the evidence is sufficient.

Obviously a picture of the sign is best but logs were acceptable for HADECS2.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:12


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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666
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:53
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:53) *
If the aux camera is a condition of type approval and they don't have a better image then the camera is then not assumed to be correct. The CPS will probably evidence logs that say the sign showed 50mph. You then cast reasonable doubt on that by saying you carefully observe limits and use a speed limiter so are quite sure the gantry showed 60.


I don't believe that the accused denying guilt is sufficient to constitute reasonable doubt. If it were, no-one would ever be convicted.


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The Rookie
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 16:06
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It can.... there was an old M25 Gatso case, the case details are on my laptop and I’ll post them tomorrow.


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cp8759
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 19:01
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QUOTE (666 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 16:53) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:53) *
If the aux camera is a condition of type approval and they don't have a better image then the camera is then not assumed to be correct. The CPS will probably evidence logs that say the sign showed 50mph. You then cast reasonable doubt on that by saying you carefully observe limits and use a speed limiter so are quite sure the gantry showed 60.


I don't believe that the accused denying guilt is sufficient to constitute reasonable doubt. If it were, no-one would ever be convicted.

There is definitely one case where it worked, I recall it because it ended up in a higher court and the judge remarked on how the magistrates must have been truly very impressed by the oral evidence they heard, but they were nonetheless entitled to believe that oral evidence and acquit and that was a decision which an appellate court could not interfere with as it was within the magistrates judicial discretion.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 19:35
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To get type approval you need to prove the camera works, and it is reasonable to assume the manufacturer would throw all the capabilities in. If they did use the aux camera as "proof" it is reliable then if the the aux camera isn't working then it isn't working as approved and the evidence can't be introduced as such.

It isn't a fatal blow, but it is a chunk in the armour depending on them not having the right image, it being a condition of type approval and the OP dropping a mud/sticks approach.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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southpaw82
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 20:18
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 20:35) *
To get type approval you need to prove the camera works, and it is reasonable to assume the manufacturer would throw all the capabilities in. If they did use the aux camera as "proof" it is reliable then if the the aux camera isn't working then it isn't working as approved and the evidence can't be introduced as such.

It isn't a fatal blow, but it is a chunk in the armour depending on them not having the right image, it being a condition of type approval and the OP dropping a mud/sticks approach.

Does it not just mean that the evidence can’t be admitted via s 20 certificate?


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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Colin_S
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 11:25
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:53) *
....it is worth being aware of the court process.

You will have an initial case management hearing after pleading not guilty so, as has been said, you will meet with the CPS so you can discuss what you agree on and what is in dispute.


Is this factually correct. I ask as I was very recently involved in a motoring offence case (mobile phone) and the first Court appearance was for the trial. The case management was dealt with on-line.
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NewJudge
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 12:49
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QUOTE (Colin_S @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 12:25) *
Is this factually correct. I ask as I was very recently involved in a motoring offence case (mobile phone) and the first Court appearance was for the trial. The case management was dealt with on-line.

It varies by area. I have heard that some areas, when receiving a NG plea for a matter listed under the SJ procedure, conduct the case management by e-Mail. It doesn't really matter how it is done because the OP will be expected to engage with the process. Not doing so is rather pointless as he will not be permitted to "ambush" the prosecution at the trial.
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notmeatloaf
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 13:35
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 21:18) *
Does it not just mean that the evidence can’t be admitted via s 20 certificate?

Yes but when the OPs assertion is that the system wasn't working properly not being able to use S20 (4) hardly puts the prosecution on the front foot. If I remember correctly in the desktop demon case on here the prosecution did exactly that without huge enthusiasm from the magistrates.

But it isn't a fatal blow.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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southpaw82
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 14:29
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 14:35) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 21:18) *
Does it not just mean that the evidence can’t be admitted via s 20 certificate?

Yes but when the OPs assertion is that the system wasn't working properly not being able to use S20 (4) hardly puts the prosecution on the front foot. If I remember correctly in the desktop demon case on here the prosecution did exactly that without huge enthusiasm from the magistrates.

But it isn't a fatal blow.

It means the evidence has to be introduced another way - the case name escapes me, it was one of AF’s. Not sure an inference could be drawn that the device wasn’t working.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 14:34
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I believe that was the gentlemen with the unpronounceable Italian name from memory.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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cp8759
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 15:45
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 15:29) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 14:35) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 21:18) *
Does it not just mean that the evidence can’t be admitted via s 20 certificate?

Yes but when the OPs assertion is that the system wasn't working properly not being able to use S20 (4) hardly puts the prosecution on the front foot. If I remember correctly in the desktop demon case on here the prosecution did exactly that without huge enthusiasm from the magistrates.

But it isn't a fatal blow.

It means the evidence has to be introduced another way - the case name escapes me, it was one of AF’s. Not sure an inference could be drawn that the device wasn’t working.

This hardly puts them on the back foot, surely they can introduce it as real evidence, or get someone to exhibit it. At common law there's a presumption that a machine is working correctly (see CPS v Danny Cipriani) so you would need to adduce evidence to rebut that presumption, the prosecution do not need to positively prove the machine was not malfunctioning.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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southpaw82
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 18:45
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 16:45) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 15:29) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 14:35) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 21:18) *
Does it not just mean that the evidence can’t be admitted via s 20 certificate?

Yes but when the OPs assertion is that the system wasn't working properly not being able to use S20 (4) hardly puts the prosecution on the front foot. If I remember correctly in the desktop demon case on here the prosecution did exactly that without huge enthusiasm from the magistrates.

But it isn't a fatal blow.

It means the evidence has to be introduced another way - the case name escapes me, it was one of AF’s. Not sure an inference could be drawn that the device wasn’t working.

This hardly puts them on the back foot, surely they can introduce it as real evidence, or get someone to exhibit it. At common law there's a presumption that a machine is working correctly (see CPS v Danny Cipriani) so you would need to adduce evidence to rebut that presumption, the prosecution do not need to positively prove the machine was not malfunctioning.

That was my point - briefly put while waiting for a flight.


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notmeatloaf
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 20:03
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There is a common law presumption that machines are reliable but it is a rebuttable presumption. I think we have discussed in detail here before that unlike with many machines you cannot recreate a speeding ticket scenario. So if rebuttable means you have to prove a substantial defect but explain in technical detail how that made the speed reading unreliable, it would be so onerous as to make a defence impossible for almost all defendants.

Bearing in mind I think we can all accept that very rarely speed cameras make errors that would seem a strange situation to me. What exactly would happen depends of course on what exact evidence was presented. But to me I don't see why absent of S20 the OPs assertion that the sign didn't say 50 is at least the start of an acceptable rebuttal.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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