PePiPoo Helping the motorist get justice

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Illegally spaced number plate - two fines for same offence?
Bordtea
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 13:44
Post #1


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43
Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Member No.: 53,644



Afternoon all,

My OH was parked up last month near her work to find upon returning to her car that she had been given a £100 non endorsable fixed penalty notice by the police for an illegally spaced plate. It is one character out of space ie. A999AA B rather than A999 AAB. The rest of the plate is legal ie font size, none of the 3D nonsense etc. Fair cop, she paid up and resolved to get it changed.

In between then and now, we have been away on holiday and she has been working 70 hour weeks and simply hasn't really had a suitable opportunity to get correctly spaced plates made up and swapped over.

Then, this morning, returning to her car after a night shift, she came to find another penalty notice on the car for the same offence (from the same officer, funny that).

It has been just over a month since the last penalty notice and doesn't, to me, to seem particularly fair to now be £200 out of pocket for the same 'offence'. I'll leave aside my own personal opinion of police priorities etc!

Anyway, the question I have and would be grateful if anyone could enlighten is whether there are any guidelines around a period of time before fines for the same offence? Ie. is there anything that says it should be 14 days, 30 days, 60 days etc? There doesn't seem to be any method of appeal shown on the ticket other than to go to court.

Any advice appreciated!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
 
Start new topic
Replies (1 - 19)
Advertisement
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 13:44
Post #


Advertise here!









Go to the top of the page
 
Quote Post
cp8759
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 14:04
Post #2


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 14,617
Joined: 3 Dec 2010
Member No.: 42,618



But it's not the same offence. There were two different offences over a month apart from each other. While it would be exceptionally harsh, in theory if you park in one place in the morning and get one FPN, then drive to another town and park up again in the afternoon, there's nothing to stop another officer or even the same officer issuing another FPN.

If your OH goes to court they will have no defence in law and the likely sentence is going to be several hundred pounds. If a contested trial is lost, the guideline costs award to the CPS is £620, this is on top of any fine and victim surcharge.

£200 might seem harsh, but it's arguably there to help focus you OH's mind on what their priorities should be. And frankly an interval of just over a month is fair enough, if the officer really wanted to be harsh he could have reported the matter straight to court.

Also, if the officer notified both instances to DVLA (which he might or might not have done) then DVLA will revoke the registration and you will need to pay to re-register the car with a new number plate, the old registration will be blacklisted and you won't get it back.

This might seem a bit much to you, but we're talking about a criminal offence here and obviously the £100 FPN has not had the desired effect. Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but in all honesty paying the £200 and changing the plates is by far the cheapest solution, every alternative is worse.


--------------------
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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
The Rookie
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 14:43
Post #3


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43,067
Joined: 9 Sep 2003
From: Warwickshire
Member No.: 317



I guess the officer figured that the owner hadn’t learnt their lesson as the defective plates were still on the car.

I struggle to believe that in a month their hasn’t been a single day off to correct the error and stop committing the criminal offence.


--------------------
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 10-0 PPC's
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
cp8759
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 14:59
Post #4


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 14,617
Joined: 3 Dec 2010
Member No.: 42,618



QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 15:43) *
I struggle to believe that in a month their hasn’t been a single day off to correct the error and stop committing the criminal offence.

I think the view the law would take is that if you need to take a day off work to avoid committing a criminal offence, then that is what must be done. The fact that there's been time to go on holiday as well hardly helps.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 20:39


--------------------
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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
The Rookie
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 15:42
Post #5


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43,067
Joined: 9 Sep 2003
From: Warwickshire
Member No.: 317



My local Halfords (other motor factors are available) is open until 8pm 6 days a week and also open the Sunday......


--------------------
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 10-0 PPC's
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
andy_foster
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:06
Post #6


Member
Group Icon

Group: Life Member
Posts: 20,739
Joined: 9 Sep 2004
From: Reading
Member No.: 1,624



For those who assert that these are 2 separate offences, as opposed to a continuous offence, could you perhaps indicate what criteria (if any) might be applied to determine when the same illegal plate being observed creates a separate offence?

This post has been edited by andy_foster: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:15


--------------------
Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
baroudeur
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:44
Post #7


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 607
Joined: 24 Sep 2014
Member No.: 73,212



QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:06) *
For those who assert that these are 2 separate offences, as opposed to a continuous offence, could you perhaps indicate what criteria (if any) might be applied to determine when the same illegal plate being observed creates a separate offence?



Perhaps a Vehicle Defect Rectification Notice would suffice? Surprising that one wasn't given as this is usually the case.

Just seen a new, very expensive, car with a personal plate of silver characters on a black background. Wonder how long before that gets stopped?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
The Rookie
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:57
Post #8


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43,067
Joined: 9 Sep 2003
From: Warwickshire
Member No.: 317



QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:06) *
For those who assert that these are 2 separate offences, as opposed to a continuous offence, could you perhaps indicate what criteria (if any) might be applied to determine when the same illegal plate being observed creates a separate offence?

I’ll bite, the regulation makes it an offence for anyone driving it OR keeping it, so every time the person who may be guilty changes from driving to keeping its a new offence. That is certainly one interpretation.
Do you have anything that would show the contrary?

QUOTE
19.—(1) For the purposes of section 59(1) of the Act (regulations: offences), the person responsible for complying with these Regulations is the person driving the vehicle or, where it is not being driven, the person keeping it.


I’ll use a simile of being drunk in charge or driving, each time you stop driving you become drunk in charge and vice versa.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:00


--------------------
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 10-0 PPC's
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
southpaw82
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:59
Post #9


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 30,365
Joined: 2 Apr 2008
From: Not in the UK
Member No.: 18,483



Is it a single continuous offence, or a series of offences committed day to day?


--------------------
Moderator

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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
The Rookie
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:02
Post #10


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43,067
Joined: 9 Sep 2003
From: Warwickshire
Member No.: 317



QUOTE (baroudeur @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:44) *
Perhaps a Vehicle Defect Rectification Notice would suffice? Surprising that one wasn't given as this is usually the case.

More normally used for accidental offences (e.g. blown headlight bulb) than those perceived as deliberate.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:02


--------------------
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 10-0 PPC's
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bordtea
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:08
Post #11


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 43
Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Member No.: 53,644



Thanks all for your responses. I agree with the consensus that clearly the easiest option here is to just pay up and certainly getting the plates have gone up in the priority list for OH!

Interesting debate regarding continuous offence or not. In this instance the car has been driven since but the same plates have stayed on the car throughout.

It's a pertinent point though as I would imagine most would deem it unfair for say, in theory, a second penalty to be applied on the following day. But what about after a week, or a month, or 3 months? Hence my question around whether there were any guidelines for a time to get the 'offence'/vehicle defect sorted.

I too was a little surprised to see that the officer in question went straight to a fixed penalty notice and didn't choose to leave a note or vehicle defect form first. Seemed a little harsh again if within the law.

QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 15:43) *
I guess the officer figured that the owner hadn’t learnt their lesson as the defective plates were still on the car.

I struggle to believe that in a month their hasn’t been a single day off to correct the error and stop committing the criminal offence.

I think OH would accept that it would have been possible to get them changed at some point in the last month, despite a 70 hour work week schedule and a holiday of 2 weeks (on shifts including nights etc). But I think any reasonable person wouldn't really make it an absolute highest priority (perhaps they should) and would just get it done when next convenient? Which OH was in the process of doing, having already bought new plates but not got round to fitting them yet.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
andy_foster
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:54
Post #12


Member
Group Icon

Group: Life Member
Posts: 20,739
Joined: 9 Sep 2004
From: Reading
Member No.: 1,624



QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 17:57) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 16:06) *
For those who assert that these are 2 separate offences, as opposed to a continuous offence, could you perhaps indicate what criteria (if any) might be applied to determine when the same illegal plate being observed creates a separate offence?

I’ll bite, the regulation makes it an offence for anyone driving it OR keeping it, so every time the person who may be guilty changes from driving to keeping its a new offence. That is certainly one interpretation.
Do you have anything that would show the contrary?

QUOTE
19.—(1) For the purposes of section 59(1) of the Act (regulations: offences), the person responsible for complying with these Regulations is the person driving the vehicle or, where it is not being driven, the person keeping it.


I’ll use a simile of being drunk in charge or driving, each time you stop driving you become drunk in charge and vice versa.


I find the suggestion that the change of status of the person responsible creates a fresh offence somewhat weak, but it does highlight the far more rational (albeit not necessarily relevant, or correct) argument that a separate offence is committed every time it is driven.

AIUI, with parking tickets a new contravention is deemed to have occurred when a vehicle remains in contravention into a new day. I assume (usual caveats apply) that that is what Southpaw is referring to. It seems far from certain that such a principle would apply to other otherwise continuous offences, but it does not appear to be outside the realms of possibility for case law.


--------------------
Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
southpaw82
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:02
Post #13


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 30,365
Joined: 2 Apr 2008
From: Not in the UK
Member No.: 18,483



QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:54) *
AIUI, with parking tickets a new contravention is deemed to have occurred when a vehicle remains in contravention into a new day. I assume (usual caveats apply) that that is what Southpaw is referring to. It seems far from certain that such a principle would apply to other otherwise continuous offences, but it does not appear to be outside the realms of possibility for case law.

IIRC, it is often a matter of statutory construction as to whether an offence taking place over a period of time is a single continuing offence or a series of offences committed repetitively. I’m not aware of any authority in respect of the instant offence, or any offence using an identical formulation.


--------------------
Moderator

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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
roythebus
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 20:28
Post #14


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 5,454
Joined: 19 Dec 2006
From: Near Calais
Member No.: 9,683



The difference is a parking ticket is a civil matter, the defective numberplate a criminal offence, albeit non-endorsable.

Had it been a defective tyre how long would it have taken to change it? Every time the car is driven with a defective tyre the driver commits an offence, and remember, number
plates are part of the MoT annual test, so it could be argued that driving a car with such a defect could invalidate the insurance.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
andy_foster
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 20:31
Post #15


Member
Group Icon

Group: Life Member
Posts: 20,739
Joined: 9 Sep 2004
From: Reading
Member No.: 1,624



QUOTE (roythebus @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 21:28) *
Had it been a defective tyre how long would it have taken to change it? Every time the car is driven with a defective tyre the driver commits an offence, and remember, number
plates are part of the MoT annual test, so it could be argued that driving a car with such a defect could invalidate the insurance.


At the risk of further derailing the OP's thread, would you care to elaborate as to how you believe that number plates being part of the MoT test has any bearing on the validity of the OP's insurance?


--------------------
Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
cp8759
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 20:44
Post #16


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 14,617
Joined: 3 Dec 2010
Member No.: 42,618



QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:54) *
AIUI, with parking tickets a new contravention is deemed to have occurred when a vehicle remains in contravention into a new day.

Your understanding is not correct.

QUOTE (Bordtea @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:08) *
I too was a little surprised to see that the officer in question went straight to a fixed penalty notice and didn't choose to leave a note or vehicle defect form first. Seemed a little harsh again if within the law.

Can a VDRS form be served on an unattended vehicle? IIRC they have to be served on an individual.


--------------------
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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
cp8759
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 20:57
Post #17


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 14,617
Joined: 3 Dec 2010
Member No.: 42,618



QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 19:02) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:54) *
AIUI, with parking tickets a new contravention is deemed to have occurred when a vehicle remains in contravention into a new day. I assume (usual caveats apply) that that is what Southpaw is referring to. It seems far from certain that such a principle would apply to other otherwise continuous offences, but it does not appear to be outside the realms of possibility for case law.

IIRC, it is often a matter of statutory construction as to whether an offence taking place over a period of time is a single continuing offence or a series of offences committed repetitively. I’m not aware of any authority in respect of the instant offence, or any offence using an identical formulation.

The OP's OH received the first FPN which once paid acts as a bar to prosecution for that offence. If there is only a single, continuous offence, this means that once the first FPN is paid, it then acts as a bar to prosecution for the "ongoing" offence (because the offence being committed right now is the same single offence that the FPN was issued for), meaning the unlawful number plate can be left in place for as long as the RK keeps the vehicle, with no fear of further action. I highly doubt this is correct.


--------------------
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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
andy_foster
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 21:30
Post #18


Member
Group Icon

Group: Life Member
Posts: 20,739
Joined: 9 Sep 2004
From: Reading
Member No.: 1,624



QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 21:57) *
The OP's OH received the first FPN which once paid acts as a bar to prosecution for that offence. If there is only a single, continuous offence, this means that once the first FPN is paid, it then acts as a bar to prosecution for the "ongoing" offence (because the offence being committed right now is the same single offence that the FPN was issued for), meaning the unlawful number plate can be left in place for as long as the RK keeps the vehicle, with no fear of further action. I highly doubt this is correct.


There as an obiter comment in a high court judgment some time ago along the lines that it could not be right that a motorists caught speeding leaving London could then continue speeding to Edinburgh with impunity. The logical issue with such an argument is at what point (and by what mechanism) does a continuous speeding offence become multiple offences.

For an illegal numberplate, it could be a daily matter, or every time it is driven (although I have immense difficulty with the proposition that it becomes an offence every time it is not driven). Or it could be something else.

As you have stated unequivocally that there were 2 separate offences, perhaps you could elaborate as to what the criteria are, presumably other than because you believe that it can't be right.

QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 21:44) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 18:54) *
AIUI, with parking tickets a new contravention is deemed to have occurred when a vehicle remains in contravention into a new day.

Your understanding is not correct.


Would you care to elaborate, or do I have to link to a clip of Monty Python's argument sketch?


--------------------
Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
baggins1234
post Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 23:17
Post #19


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 870
Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Member No.: 39,849



QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 21:44) *
Can a VDRS form be served on an unattended vehicle? IIRC they have to be served on an individual.


Correct
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
cp8759
post Mon, 21 Oct 2019 - 10:02
Post #20


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 14,617
Joined: 3 Dec 2010
Member No.: 42,618



QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 22:30) *
As you have stated unequivocally that there were 2 separate offences, perhaps you could elaborate as to what the criteria are, presumably other than because you believe that it can't be right.

As sp has pointed out, there are no senior court authorities on the subject. Without wanting to preempt what the courts might say, I would not accept that arguing a continuous offence defence to the second FPN had anything more than a fanciful prospect of success. I'm comfortable stating something unequivocally in such circumstances and I note nobody is suggesting with any seriousness that a continuous offence defence would be viable.

QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 - 22:30) *
Would you care to elaborate, or do I have to link to a clip of Monty Python's argument sketch?

To my knowledge no enforcement authority has been daft enough to challenge this to the High Court, but there are plenty of first instance decisions.

Suki Ashley Fraser v London Borough of Barnet:
In this case the restriction on footway parked imposed by Section 15 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 (as amended) is a continuous one,
i.e. it applies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any breaks, in the same way as double yellow lines indicate a
prohibition on waiting at any time. It follows that it cannot be alleged that a vehicle which remains stationary in the
same position has been parked repeatedly in contravention of such a restriction. Consequently PCNs may not be
issued repeatedly – the first PCN issued to a vehicle parked in contravention for such a “continuing” contravention is
the only one that can be validly issued. The only valid further enforcement action that an Enforcement Authority may
take once one PCN has been issued is to remove the vehicle.

This means that the PCNs subject to this appeal, being the second and third in time, were not valid PCNs, and
therefore may not be enforced.

I therefore allow this appeal.


James George Gibson v London Borough of Haringey
There is no rule of law or regulation that entitles an authority to issue a penalty
charge notice every 24 hours or as in some of these Penalty Charge Notices less
than 24 hours. An enforcement authority has other powers at its disposal for a
continuous contravention, such as removal.


Some adjudicators have accepted that where a part time restriction is in place, such as a single yellow line, a new contravention occurs every time the restriction comes into effect on the basis that this is a new instance of the vehicle being allowed to remain at rest in contravention, but this is related to the timing of the restriction and the fact that a new day has (or hasn't) started has no bearing.

Indeed, some council policies explicitly acknowledge that if more than one PCN is issued when the vehicle has not moved, any PCN subsequent to the first one will have to be cancelled.


--------------------
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.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



Advertisement

Advertise here!

RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: Thursday, 14th November 2019 - 13:29
Pepipoo uses cookies. You can find details of the cookies we use here along with links to information on how to manage them.
Please click the button to accept our cookies and hide this message. We’ll also assume that you’re happy to accept them if you continue to use the site.