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Red light conviction with incorrect time?
Anb31
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:11
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Hi, I have been offered a fine of £100 and 3 penalty point for a red light offence.
I received the NIP to which I replied giving details of myself being the driver of the vehicle.
I did this as I was In my work issued vehicle and I know I took that route on my commute on the day in question.
I’m not disputing being at the location in question or driving the vehicle in question so I agreed to supply my details as the driver.
Between then and receiving the conditional offer letter, I requested from my employer a copy of a telematics report from my vehicle showing my routing for the date in question.
The time stated on both the NIP and the conditional offer letter is that the offence took place 11.51hrs on 27/03/19 and I was 1 second into red.
My telematics show my vehicle made 1 journey through the junction that day at 07.52 am.
I also have evidence from and online parking app used for 2hrs parking for my vehicle between the hours of 11:18 and 13.18.
The telematics data and the parking ref match up.
Do I have grounds if I were to proceed to court based on the automated machinery being nearly 4 hrs out on time of offence.?
Could I request the photograph as evidence?
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post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:11
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NewJudge
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:28
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You cannot request photographs now as you've already identified yourself as the driver and that's the only reason generally they will provide them for.

You are in a bit of a tricky situation in that you have already made a statement saying you were the driver at the relevant time. How reliable are your firm's "telematics"? Out of interest why did you request the details from your employer when you had already admitted being the driver at 11:51?
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Logician
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:30
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So the police have a photograph showing your vehicle committing the offence, and you do not dispute that you were driving the vehicle when the photograph was taken. Your only dispute is at what time this occurred, you say it was almost exactly 4 hours earlier than the police say. I do not see that as likely to form the basis for a successful defence, because the time is simply not critical. The prosecution might concede that the time setting was incorrect, but contend that does not have any bearing on the recording of the offence, and unless you could show that it does, the court is likely to accept that.

This post has been edited by Logician: Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:31


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The Rookie
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:32
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You may want to edit the title as clearly there is not a conviction!

As you have told the police you were DRIVING at the relevant time/place and you now say you weren't you need to write to the Police to inform them of that and breifly explain why your understanding has changed, DON'T say you went through the junction earlier in the day just state where the car was at the relevant time and offer them a copy of the evidence (they may well drop it saving a court hearing).

Time paid for parking isn't of course relevant as I'm sure you would have left the car park earlier than spot on the two hours, its where your telematics says the vehicle was at that time that is relevant, although the parking matching the telematics will give credibility to the telematics reliability.

It looks like you have sufficient evidence to challenge the accusation in court to me, you only have to cast reasonable doubt. Once a court case starts you'll almost certainly get the photo's either in the 'summons' (Single Justice Procedure Notice) pack or after you enter a not guilty plea, without those there would be no evidence of the offence at all after all!

QUOTE (Logician @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 11:30) *
I do not see that as likely to form the basis for a successful defence, because the time is simply not critical.

Except for the fact that the defendant was mislead by a deficient NIP?

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:33


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Logician
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 11:37
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 10:32) *
Except for the fact that the defendant was mislead by a deficient NIP?


So any prosecution cannot rely on his reply that he was driving at 11.51 and proceeds on the basis that he was driving at 7.52. If he pleads not guilty is he going to claim he was not driving at that time? If he does, how is he going to explain that someone else was driving at that time?



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The Rookie
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 14:25
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I think you miss the point, if the NIP is incorrect such that the defendant is disadvantaged it creates a possible defence (it's obviously nuanced). Whether they are driving or not would be wholly irrelevant to that.

If the Police accept they have made a mistake they are very likely to drop the case anyway I suspect.


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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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Logician
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 16:29
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The NIP was incorrect, but I do not see how the OP was disadvantaged by that. He of course received just a copy of the NIP, but a s.172 requirement to name the driver at 11.51 which he has now proved that he answered mistakenly, and according to your argument on another thread, thereby committed an offence under s.172. I would not expect the police to take any action over that. Had he been asked who was driving at 7.52 he would presumably have replied in exactly the same way, but in that case correctly. The end result of the error by the police over the time is that they have not got any statement by the driver that he was driving at the time the offence was committed, so they are disadvantaged not the OP.

You may be right that the police will NFA the matter when the error is pointed out, but they could decide to prosecute the OP with some chance of success I would say, or they could now serve him with a s.172 requirement for the correct time.


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The Rookie
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 17:32
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I agree that an S172 offence may well have been committed (barring a reasonably practicable defence on timing) and that no action is likely to be taken.

As above the best course of action is a letter NOW retracting the driver nomination, stating where the car was at the time (with some evidence from the tracker) and explaining as that he now realises that at the time he wasn’t driving. I would certainly refrain from commenting on a time when the car may have been at the location given.

I think there is a decent argument a defendant would be misled by such a time error, although taking it to court would be a risk I agree. We’ve seen lots of history of cases like these being dropped though.


--------------------
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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Jlc
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 17:59
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What's puzzling is those devices are usually extremely reliable. Unless there was some 'human error' at the ticket office then it seems hard to explain.


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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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cp8759
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:09
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:32) *
I agree that an S172 offence may well have been committed (barring a reasonably practicable defence on timing) and that no action is likely to be taken.

I would say there is little chance of a s172 offence being committed, I don't see how someone giving an honest but mistaken answer could be held criminally liable.

QUOTE (Logician @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 17:29) *
You may be right that the police will NFA the matter when the error is pointed out, but they could decide to prosecute the OP with some chance of success I would say, or they could now serve him with a s.172 requirement for the correct time.

I would question whether the police could be said to have discharged its duties under RTOA 1988 section 1(1)(с), which makes specific reference to time and date; 4 hours isn't a week but it's not 5 minutes either.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:09


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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Anb31
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:15
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Thanks all for your replies.
Just to clarify, I returned to NIP with my details as knowing that I did make that journey on the date in question. After all they will have a photograph of the vehicle doing so. As it’s a company vehicle assigned to me then there was no doubt I was driving. I’m not trying to prove I didn’t cross the junction in the vehicle.
With the evidence I now have surrounding the time of the event and that I can place the vehicle elsewhere when the offence was timed, do I have good reason to question the equipment used to process the offence? If the police admit that the equipment is out on timing surely they would then have to offer evidence to support that it would not change how it records the times that the vehicle crosses a line. In this case 1 second.
If I’m supplying evidence to prove a system is incorrect by nearly 4 hours how can they argue it’s accuracy of 1second into red?


If my next approach is to make contact with the police to inform them of my evidence should I do so by phone or letter. And would it be wise at this stage just to tell them I have supporting evidence and state that I can supply if required or just provide them with it straight out?
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southpaw82
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:24
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:09) *
I would say there is little chance of a s172 offence being committed, I don't see how someone giving an honest but mistaken answer could be held criminally liable.


Presumably because they will have failed to discharge their duty to name the driver, subject to any defence. Unless you mean that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute?

QUOTE (Anb31 @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:15) *
surely they would then have to offer evidence to support that it would not change how it records the times that the vehicle crosses a line. In this case 1 second.
If I’m supplying evidence to prove a system is incorrect by nearly 4 hours how can they argue it’s accuracy of 1second into red?

Why would they need to prove that? All they have to prove (as well as who was driving) is that the vehicle passed a red light, it doesn't matter hoe many seconds after it went red that was.


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Jlc
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 18:50
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Does the company have a number of similar vehicles with similar plates? There's still the possibility of a plate misread.


--------------------
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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cp8759
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:00
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:24) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:09) *
I would say there is little chance of a s172 offence being committed, I don't see how someone giving an honest but mistaken answer could be held criminally liable.


Presumably because they will have failed to discharge their duty to name the driver, subject to any defence. Unless you mean that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute?

If the OP is the RK (which he may well not be given he says it's a work vehicle) then I would challenge whether the duty to exercise reasonable diligence includes a duty to check the police haven't made any minor mistakes as to the time. Indeed, there's countless examples on here of the timing being wrong by a small margin but the OP clearly remembered the event, and simply wanted to dispose of the matter with the minimum of fuss, we'd normally advise the OP to write back naming himself as the driver on the basis that the error creates no prejudice and there would be nothing to be gained in taking the point. I don't think any of the members on here are guilty of inciting an offence when they give such advice.

That the public interest test isn't met is a given, but let's say for arguments sake that a bloody minded CPS prosecutor decided to prosecute anyway: Because the OP's mistake would have arisen from another mistake that was made by the prosecuting authorities, I would say there would be a fair chance to get the prosecution stayed as an abuse of process.

QUOTE (Jlc @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:50) *
Does the company have a number of similar vehicles with similar plates? There's still the possibility of a plate misread.

+1


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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 Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:28
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QUOTE
Because the OP's mistake would have arisen from another mistake that was made by the prosecuting authorities, I would say there would be a fair chance to get the prosecution stayed as an abuse of process.

Which of the limbs of abuse? That’s it’s unfair to try the defendant? That’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome (and I’ve tried).


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cp8759
post Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:37
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 21 May 2019 - 20:28) *
QUOTE
Because the OP's mistake would have arisen from another mistake that was made by the prosecuting authorities, I would say there would be a fair chance to get the prosecution stayed as an abuse of process.

Which of the limbs of abuse? That’s it’s unfair to try the defendant? That’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome (and I’ve tried).

It is a high hurdle (I've resisted such an application), but if the police's case amounts to "we made a mistake that resulted in you making a mistake so now you're guilty of a crime and we're prosecuting you" that would make a case worth fighting. I accept it's easier when the police are engaged in an international kidnapping conspiracy, but still.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Tue, 21 May 2019 - 19:38


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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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Redivi
post Wed, 22 May 2019 - 07:15
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Could the OP have passed through the junction at 11:51 on another day and it's the date that's incorrect ?
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