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Lambeth Parking : 31j Entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited (Westminster Bridge)
estevenin
post Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 02:14
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Hi all,

Received that PCN for stopping in a yellow box junction : The car has only a few bit in the box, and from the pictures, 7 seconds after the stopped picture, the car is long gone. Not even fully sure that I stopped at all in this junction. I understand from the Traffic and Regulation's that the lenth and the time that the car is in the box is irrelevant, in that case which argument could be used against this non-sense ? I looked around and saw other cases where the car was forced in the box, or a car stepped in front of them, but none similar to this.

Also, I requested the full video from lambeth council on the 5th of August, their automatic response says "We aim to respond fully to your query within 10 working days.@, but today 20 days after, they still didn't respond and I wasn't able to watch the full video of the CCTV

Note : The PCN has been served way after the contravention, because it has been served first to the hired company, I asked them to make a transfer of liability.

PCN and Pictures








image upload

Thanks in advance for your help

This post has been edited by estevenin: Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 02:18
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post Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 02:14
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PASTMYBEST
post Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 07:57
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show us all documents


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stamfordman
post Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 08:55
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The purpose of that box looks like it's changed from allowing a right turn from the side road.
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cp8759
post Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 12:54
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The council website says you've made a representation and they replied on Tuesday 20th August, so show us what you sent and also show us their response in full.


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estevenin
post Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 16:04
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I did not make representations, but as I mentioned earlier the PCN was first served to the hiring company. Then the company did a transfer of liability (I guess that's why iit is displayed as I made representations), then I received the PCN. The only other document that I have is the other PCN served first to the hiring company, which is strictly identical.
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 16:26
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QUOTE (estevenin @ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 17:04) *
I did not make representations, but as I mentioned earlier the PCN was first served to the hiring company. Then the company did a transfer of liability (I guess that's why iit is displayed as I made representations), then I received the PCN. The only other document that I have is the other PCN served first to the hiring company, which is strictly identical.

What is the PCN number of the first PCN ? is it the same as the one addressed to you?


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cp8759
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 12:00
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You need to press the council for the video, but if they don't come back in time you'll need to make a representation without having seen it.


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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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estevenin
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 21:53
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 17:26) *
What is the PCN number of the first PCN ? is it the same as the one addressed to you?


Yes, it is LJ12160951. The first PCN : https://www.dropbox.com/s/kts3vcubde2cape/p...738%5D.pdf?dl=0

Alright I'll call them and try to get is ASAP
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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 23:06
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They cannot have two PCN's live at the same time and they must have or yours would be a different number, so it would seem they have acted outwith the regs


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estevenin
post Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 09:14
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I called them, and they said that the only evidences that they have are the pictures from the PCN, that they don't have any video. I was surprised and I asked again to confirm, and they confirmed "there is no video, the only evidences we have are the pictures that you can see from the website".

So I guess I will have to do with this (and can mention that on the appeal).

I will send my appeal tomorrow as it is the last day, any idea of which arguments I could present ?

I'd include that the car has not stopped, as 6 seconds after the "stopped" picture, the car is gone from the box. The light is green as well so the car was simply on the move as the traffic forward was going...

(So you are saying that after the transfer of liability, I should have received a new PCN number, instead of the number beeing the same as the one sent to the hiring agency right ?)

This post has been edited by estevenin: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 09:15
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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 09:43
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QUOTE (estevenin @ Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 10:14) *
I called them, and they said that the only evidences that they have are the pictures from the PCN, that they don't have any video. I was surprised and I asked again to confirm, and they confirmed "there is no video, the only evidences we have are the pictures that you can see from the website".

So I guess I will have to do with this (and can mention that on the appeal).

I will send my appeal tomorrow as it is the last day, any idea of which arguments I could present ?

I'd include that the car has not stopped, as 6 seconds after the "stopped" picture, the car is gone from the box. The light is green as well so the car was simply on the move as the traffic forward was going...

(So you are saying that after the transfer of liability, I should have received a new PCN number, instead of the number beeing the same as the one sent to the hiring agency right ?)


Yes yes yes two people have a PCN ( only one as it is the same number.) if the hire company have a cancellation notice then that PCN is cancelled end of. IF not they cannot have served on you because they must cancel one before service on another person


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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Sep 2019 - 13:51
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See if you can get a copy of the cancellation letter from the hire company, that's your trump card.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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estevenin
post Mon, 4 Nov 2019 - 22:12
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Hi All,

So I received the Notice Of Rejection. They also send me a DVD of the video as requested. It is not as favorable as I though it might be. Because the video is not on the website, I do not believe they will use it as evidence with the tribunals, so it might be better not to use it at all. I am posting it below so if any of you find anything favorable, I'm all ears.

Also, they answered that the previous PCN has not been cancelled, it has been passed on to me, So there will be no cancellation letter sent to the hire company. (As far as I'm concirned, for all the PCN that I have worked on so far, I have never heard of the previous PCN beeing cancelled, and has always just been transferred to my name with the same PCN number. Which has always causes me not to be able to appeal through the website, as the system thinks appeal is already done. So either they are correct, either all the councils have been doing things the wrong way).

So here are all the elements so far, if you see anything I could add, anything I didn't see, or anything I shouldn't say or I said wrong, any help is appreciated. Thank you :

1. My appeal to the council :

Dear Sir, Madam,

I am appealing against this PCN : LJ12160951 as the driver of the car involved: EA16EPJ. Before exposing the grounds, I want to precise that I contacted the council on the 5th of August, reference number 399504, in order to be able to get the full CCTV footage attached to this PCN. To this date, 5th of September, one month after, I did not receive any answer at all. I took the initiative to call the council this afternoon on the 3rd of September, and the lady on the phone confirmed me that there was no video from this alleged contravention, that the only evidence available were the ones that I had available online, witches are the 4 pictures attached to the PCN.

If there was to be a video and the council had told me otherwise / or had ignored my email in order not to send me the video, this would be a big fault to the procedure, as the viewing of such footage would change my whole representations, as this would give me a clearer view of the whole situation.

I am then preparing my representations following today’s conversation, without video footage, trusting that the only evidence available are these 4 pictures, and the whole defence is based on them.

Furthermore, without any answer to my email query, I called the council on the end of the 14 days period, to be able to make an appeal, 14 days after the transfer of liability has been done, in order to prepare my defence on time. Which I did straight after. However, the website shows the following error :
“You have already made representations for this PCN and we replied on Tue, 20 Aug 2019. You cannot make representations twice”
So I will be forced to send my representations by post after returning from holidays. Which is why the letter is late. The website also shows that the price will be increased on the 15th of September, so I believe I am still on time anyway to send it, but if not, it is because I am not in the country to send the letter and it is technically impossible to make it online. It is a point mentioned in ground 4 below.

My appeal is based on the following grounds :

1. The contravention did not occur:
I believe that the car did not stop in the box junction when prohibited, based on the council’s evidence :

At 20:56:38, we can clearly see the car, stopped before the box junction, waiting for the traffic to clear up in front.
At 20:56:47, we see a close-up from the plate-number, while the car is slowly crossing the yellow box junction.
At 20:56:49, we can see the car slowly passing through the box junction as traffic is likely to have cleared up.
At 20:58:56, 7 seconds after the previous image, we can see the car is now far from the box junction.

The traffic light is green the whole time, so the car could not have been stopping in the yellow box, when the perpendicular street had the green light.

The reason why the car would have started to make its way through the yellow box from 20:56:38 to 20:56:47, is that I saw the traffic clearing up in front (next traffic light being light), and traffic moving forward so I can pass through the box without stopping completely.
As there is no picture after 20:56:49, we could assume that the car was already off the yellow box at 20:56:50 or so. So the only timeframe that the evidence show for sure that the car has been in the yellow box, is 20:56:47 to 20:56:49, it could have been off the box before 20:56:46 and after 20:56:50, and there is no evidence that it did not happen.
There is no clear evidence that the car has stopped in the box, as these 4 seconds are enough for the car to make its way through the box, from one way to another, without fully stopping on it. What is likely to have happened based on the evidence : The car started its way through the box at 20:56:46, slowly going forward as traffic was moving in front, and was out of it at 20:56:50 or so.
Note : It is important to mention that the car is an automatic car. This means that in slow speed, the car is, by default, going forward slowly, without the need to press any pedal. So in order to prevent the car from going too fast in situations of traffic or when the car needs to make its way forward slowly, the foot needs to be pressing the brakes at all times. Hence why the brakes lights would be visible at all times in the pictures (even after the car has passed the yellow box).
In conclusion, as far as the evidence show, the car has made its way through the yellow box, in 4 seconds without stopping, when traffic started to move forward, likely to have been going at a very slow speed when seeing that the traffic was clearing up ahead, using the brakes at all times.

2. The penalty exceeded the amount that applied in the circumstances:

According to the Traffic Signs Manual found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/go...-05.pdf#page=90

“8.1.2.  The purpose of a yellow box marking is to mark an area of carriageway conveying the prohibition that a person must not cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles (S9 7 11). A vehicle waiting to turn right at a junction between two or more roads may stop within the box junction for so long as it is prevented from completing the right-turn by oncoming vehicles or other vehicles which are stationary whilst waiting to complete a right-turn.”

Evidence show that the vehicle did not cause any obstruction. Or could not have caused any obstruction, the light was green, and there was plenty of space behind the car in case the light would turn red (Although the car being in movement already, there would not be obstruction anyway). So the purpose of the yellow box junction has fully been respected.

3. Compelling reasons

At 20:58:36, we can see that there is space in front of the car, to pass. The image also shows further space in front again, so the space in front of the car is likely to have been even bigger that the one we can see at 20:58:36.

CCTV shows that the car might be unlikely to fully fit behind the car in front, but we need to consider that the driver has a different perspective, he sees distances from a lower point of view, and it is impossible to fully judge if the distance in front enough to pass or not. Plus the situation happened during the night, CCTV has adapted night vision, but the visibility would be reduced for the driver during night time, making it more difficult to judge distances, and lighting looks low in this zone based on the images.

In doubt, the driver should not pass. But based on the conditions and the driver’s point of view, the distance would look bigger, removing the doubt that the car can’t pass.
Image from 20:58:49 actually shows a small part of the car (the back wheel) on the box while it was making its way through the other side. At this point, again, there is no way for the driver to see if the car has fully passed.

It is possible for the driver to see the yellow box, and to judge if making its way through will block traffic or not, but not possible to exactly judge distances. So the car made its way through, going forward slowly, when I was able to see that there was enough space in front not to block the traffic, and that the traffic in front was going forward.

These compelling reasons should justify cancelling the PCN, as this represent a normal driving situation, and did not or could not cause any danger or obstruction to traffic, from any direction.

4. Compelling reasons

The PCN was first sent to the owner of the car, which asked for a transfer of liability to me, the driver. In those cases, a new PCN must be sent to the driver, with a new PCN number, as the previous PCN is required to be cancelled, so a new procedure can be started.
In that case the PCN number received by me is identical to the one received by the owner, there has been a fault in the procedure, the current PCN is currently invalid and should be cancelled, as there cannot be two PCN’s live at the same time, for the same alleged contravention.
This procedure fault is causing me not to be able to make representations online, with the following error message :
“You have already made representations for this PCN and we replied on Tue, 20 Aug 2019. You cannot make representations twice”
Screenshot attached.

This is causing me to have to send my representations by post, induging costs in paper, ink, postage, moving costs and extra time to post the letter, without having the choice to do so or not.

By law, I should be able to make representations when being sent a PCN, without being forced to pay for it. Council having faulted in that matter, the PCN issued to my name is invalid and should be cancelled.

Based on the last 4 grounds I ask that the PCN shall be cancelled.

King Regards

2. Notice of Rejection




3. The CCTV Video

https://www.dropbox.com/s/x7xej83lz5mlp86/L...160951.wmv?dl=0

4. My answer to the tribunal

As an addition to my original appeal and in response to the answer of the council, I am making representation against the PCN number LJ12160951, for the car.

1. The contravention did not occur

The council argues that the vehicle "was observed driving into the box junction before the exit was clear" and also that "you must not enter the box junction unless your exit road is clear and your vehicle can cross over it completely without stopping", as well as "the onus is on you to wait [...] until there is a free space for your vehicle on the other side of the box junction.

We also know that the highway code states that : "You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear." (Law TSRGD reg 10(1)).

I agree with the council’s quotes from the highway code, however I disagree that the vehicle was obverved driving into the box junction before the exit was clear, and that there was no free space for the vehicle to get into the other side of the junction.

We can clearly see in the pictures from the PCN, that the exit was clear and there was free space for the vehicle to get into the other side of the junction.

Both the council and the highway code, do not define what “free space for the vehicle to get into” or “the exit was clear” exactly is, so we can acknowledge that it’d be : “Until the driver estimates that his car can fully passes the junction box without stopping”. And in that case, because of the evident space that can be seen behind the vehicle in front of me,

I did estimate that the car could pass fully the junction box without stopping.

The council acknowledge that driving in London is difficult, and external factors such as road layout, visibility (night or day), city lights, cars lights, can make it difficult or impossible to rightfully estimate the amount of free space in front. The CCTV, which is fitted with enhanced night vision, offers a clear perspective that could have changed that decision process however, the view from the driving seat offers a totally different perspective.

Attached is a picture taken out from my dashcam, that shows the perspective and visibility of a box junction at night (similar visibility as this PCN), which shows that it is not possible to clearly estimate if a car can fully pass a box junction, based on the current definition of what a clear exit means. As we can see on this picture, there is probably enough space for the car to pass and and a clear exit in front if it, but the end of the box can’t be seen clearly, due to the natural luminosity and the artificial lights around.

In our case, this PCN has been recorded at night as pictures shows, both the lack of visibility and the reflections of the cars lights, could easily blurred the perspective of the driver, and reduce the estimation of the distance in front and even prevent from seeing the other side clearly. As such, and without clear definition from the highway code or the council of what a clear exit means, the highway code was followed to the best of my knowledge and visibility at that time, it was not possible to clearly see the ending of the box junction and the distance between it and the car in front, so I disagree with the council’s statement.

Further to that there is not clear definition of what “stopping on the box means” by the highway code. Has the car passed fully when both wheels are passed? Or when the back bumper has passed ? Or when it does not cause any obstruction to traffic ?

As we saw that with lack of visibility, natural and artificial lights, estimating the clear distance in front can become impossible in some cases such as this one, we could argue that the best way to estimate it would be when the car does not block the adjacent traffic.

In that case, evidences shows that the car could not and did not block any adjacent traffic as it was already out of the way, and that the car could not be considered as having stopped in the box junction, as only the back wheel can be seen.

2. Compelling reasons

I have noted in my previous appeal, that I was not offered the possibility to appeal online as the functionality was blocked. I provided a screenshot as evidence. My argument was ignored by the council, and I maintained that by law and according to the facts mentioned on the PCN itself, I should have been offered the possibility to appeal online, without having to pay fees for paper, ink, envelope, stamp and transport to the post office.

Also, the council responded that the CCTV evidence was not uploaded to the website due to a technical error, but that they do have CCTV evidence and will be send by post. This new technical error, prevented me from preparing my appeal with the full set of evidence that was available to me, which would have resulted in a total different representations letter, or even pay for the fine if I had found it legitimate.

I did contact the council by email prior to that, on the 5th of August, reference number 399504, requesting the CCTV footage, such demand have been ignored and I did not have the requested evidence on time.

It is the responsibility of the council that the procedures are followed properly and the systems functioning to fully respect them and the laws. I believe that those three errors prevented me from preparing a proper case in the way I have the right to do so, therefore I ask for the PCN to be cancelled or at the very least, reseted in order to use the full set of evidence with an online appeal or decide if I want to pay.

3. Compelling reasons

Finally, the council responded to my query about the PCN numbers, by saying that, their records show that “further to a third party transfer of liability, we can confirm that the PCN number remains identical as the PCN is not cancelled, but transferred to the new keeper which gave you the same opportunities to challenge or make payment.”

As previously said, I was not offered the same opportunities to challenge or make payment, due to those technical errors. Also, the council agrees that the PCN sent to the hire company is not cancelled, so no cancellation letter have been sent to the hire company, which requested the transfer of liability. Because the PCN was not cancelled, I could not have been served with the same PCN and same PCN number, the procedure is to first cancel the original PCN and send a cancellation letter to the hire company, then to issue that PCN again, to the new person to whom the liability is transfered.

This other failure of the procedure invalidate the PCN, and I believe it should lead to its cancellation.

5. An example of visibility behind a yellow line

(I didn't have the chance to go back to the actual place where the PCN happened to take a shot of the visibility there, I will attach this if I have the chance, picture from google maps (2015) does not have this yellow box trap yet : https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4998357,-0....3312!8i6656



This post has been edited by estevenin: Tue, 5 Nov 2019 - 00:09
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 4 Nov 2019 - 22:23
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What have you sent to the tribunal if anything That the PCN has not been cancelled should win it for you


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estevenin
post Tue, 12 Nov 2019 - 00:37
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Ok thank you for the help, I sent that, focusing on that argument then. Does it exists any official text about this procedure that I could quote in my appeal to the tribunal, in order to reinforce my argument ?

I will then update the topic with the outcome.

Thank you.
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Tank40
post Tue, 12 Nov 2019 - 20:53
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 08:55) *
The purpose of that box looks like it's changed from allowing a right turn from the side road.


The junction was 'improved' in the last couple of years, as has been the trend in London. The side road (Upper Marsh) in the CCTV image used to be one way from Westminster Bridge Road with a right turn possible into it coming from the opposite direction. Not a problem. Now they reversed the flow of the side road, put the sticks in the central reservation and signs all over the shop so that cyclists can dart straight across the road into Lower Marsh, aided by the yellow box. Not that it helps your case but roads are becoming ever more chaotic in terms of signage and restrictions.
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estevenin
post Tue, 3 Dec 2019 - 23:38
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Quick update, the tribunal has informed me that the council will not oppose my appeal, the PCN has been cancelled. Hope this case helps others.
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