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5 OFFENCES SAME SPEED ON GREEN CAMERA, Can hardship caused to work dependants be used as mitigation?
Ontario
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 10:57
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Regretfully I have racked up 5 speeding offences by going through the same “speed on green” traffic light camera over a period of a month as part of my work commute.

As I was not the registered keeper and the registered keeper had not changed the address on the V5 document it was a while before I received my first notification. I now have all notifications 4 below 40mph and one at 46 mph all in a 30mph zone.
The letters received for the offences below 40mph have the same date of notice of intended prosecution whilst the offence above 40mph has a different date.

Given my age (I am no boy racer) I should know better than to hurtle through traffic lights and feel foolish and remorseful for my actions. I know I am very likely to be banned from driving.

The questions I would like help with are:

Should I complete the documents and send them in together and ask for them to be considered at the same time?

Could I argue that as I was not notified of the first offence I did not have the opportunity to adjust my speed? (tenuous, but clutching at straws)

How long could I be banned for?

My commute is 30 miles each way. Recently there have been road works adding to this time. The camera is at a junction where 200yds later the speed limit is 40mph.
In mitigation if I was banned instead of a two and a half hour daily commute (without road works) it would double to five hours by using public transport. Taxis would be too costly. Whilst I have no real dependants, it would affect the people I work for, who are dependent on my daily performance. I very often stay late at work. I could not do this if I used public transport. Similarly working on local buses and trains is not feasible. This would make me less effective at work.
My other options would be to find another job or retire. Neither of which are practical or affordable.

Could I use this in mitigation to avoid a ban?

Many thanks in advance for any responses and advice
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post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 10:57
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 12:24
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What is the date of the offence (not the date of the NIP) for the first four offences? I assume the four are together because the RK returned the nominations together.

If they are five different offences - and you are sure no more are in the post - then your first step should be to return all five in an envelope together. Enclose a very very very polite letter saying incredibly sorry, very embarrassed, never usually speed, know speed kills... butter them up. Say you would have immediately corrected your driving when you received the first one but, as you are not the RK, there was a delay in receiving the NIPs. Then ask if, in the circumstances, they could consider combining one or more of the offences.

The idea of speeding and the idea of "totting" is to give you chances to improve your driving. The police have considerable discretion and will sometimes combine tickets if they feel you haven't had the chance to change your driving. Against you is the fact that because there was a delay in receiving the notices it is pretty clear you routinely floored it through the lights, hence why your letter has to be very remorseful, fall on your sword type stuff.

With regards to the hardship, on the face of it it doesn't sound amazingly strong. If you are so essential your employer would logically make adjustments for you for six months. You would probably be asked why you couldn't work from home, stay overnight etc.

If that isn't possible they would look at your case. If your five colleagues would likely lose their jobs or have their pay cut it would be a stronger case. Likewise if it is a small business and profits would suffer, again stronger case. If it's just that things would be less smooth for a while, than the hardship would be unlikely to be so persuasive. Lots of people who receive totting bans lose their jobs, and most of us do a job that isn't simple to replace. Losing your job alone is seldom seen as exceptional hardship - the court will expect you to experience some hardship from your ban.

The final thing you might want to do, bearing in mind how much is on the line, is to phone/email the council and ask for the traffic regulation orders for the 40mph limit and, if there is one, for the 30mph limit. They will normally email it to you. The 30mph limit will only have one if there are no street lights or it was a higher speed limit in the past. If they say there isn't one, it's probably always been national speed limit.

It has been known for councils to mess these up - normally by using non-existent reference points. If the TRO is defective than the police usually cancel all outstanding tickets. It's a very long shot but it does pay dividends from time to time.


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Ontario
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 14:42
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Hello
Thanks for your response.

The date of the first offence is 12/02 where I recorded 46mph in a 30.

The other 4 are 13/02 39mph; 25/02 37mph; 04/03 37mph 12/03 37mph. There are no more in the post.

I take on board your points regarding a sending a letter to appeal to their discretion. At that point should I also include the difficulty a ban would cause to my work?

I regularly work 10 hour days add to that a 5 hour commute matters soon become unsustainable, depending on the length of the ban. 6 months-12months?

Thanks again for your help
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southpaw82
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 15:03
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Any totting ban will almost certainly be for 6 months, if it’s your first. Exceptional hardship can reduce that but to be honest what you’ve said doesn’t sound exceptional.


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The Rookie
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 15:25
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Your exceptional hardship plea is for the courts, don’t send it to the police, keep the one to the police short and sweet, make no effort to try and justify it at all.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 15:26


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NewJudge
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 15:28
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QUOTE (Ontario @ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 15:42) *
I take on board your points regarding a sending a letter to appeal to their discretion. At that point should I also include the difficulty a ban would cause to my work?

No. At that stage you are simply asking them to consider combining some or all off the offences based on your "lack of opportunity to modify your driving". The difficulties you will face if banned are not part of that consideration. Personally I would not hold out much hope with that request. You know of your obligation to drive within the limit and it should not take the notice of a transgression to remind you.

As for your "Exceptional Hardship", it is very weak. What sort of area do you commute in that takes two and a half hours to travel 30 miles by public transport? You can get from London to Manchester quicker than that. You will need to demonstrate to the court that this is a true reflection of the situation. Even if you can do so, the circumstances in which you will find yourself is not at all exceptional. Anybody who needs to make such a journey to get to work (and there are plenty of people who commute greater distances than 30 miles) would be in the same position. Nonetheless, if your request to combine the offences is not met you will have to put forward an Exceptional Hardship argument to avoid a ban. Is there a possibility that others in your workplace (apart from your employers) would face hardship if you had to leave? Would their jobs and/or income be threatened?
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Redivi
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 19:45
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Is an electric bike feasible as an alternative to public transport ?

if you're still often working late at your age, there's something wrong with your company's practices and organisation
Did you sign a form to exempt your company from the Working Times Directive
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andy_foster
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 19:54
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 16:28) *
No. At that stage you are simply asking them to consider combining some or all off the offences based on your "lack of opportunity to modify your driving". The difficulties you will face if banned are not part of that consideration. Personally I would not hold out much hope with that request. You know of your obligation to drive within the limit and it should not take the notice of a transgression to remind you.


AIUI, he would otherwise be looking at 1 course, 3 fixed penalties and an SJPN for the final offence as he would not be able to accept a fixed penalty for it, and then losing his licence for 6 months. That being the case, the usual 'benefit' of avoiding the points by taking the course (and the police getting their £35 kick-back) would seem somewhat questionable. Not that a civilian department within the police who are wholly reliant on the courses for their funding/jobs would ever consider taking such matters into consideration when deciding whether to exercise discretion.

Without wanting to give the OP false hope, we have seen it work in similar cases (and also fail in similar cases). For the price of a stamp, that's the best odds he'll see this year.


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Ontario
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 22:39
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Thanks for all the replies. They are very helpful.

Yes it will be my first totting ban.

I take on board the advice not to add mitigation to the police and to keep matters short.

As regards hardship I work with young people and conceivably there will be some negative effect on them owing to the extra time spent travelling making me less effective.
Basically this means I would have to commit to doing a bit less.

No jobs or income would be threatened. However I know understand now my points on hardship are weak.

The commute means two local trains with a 22 minute and a 42 minute walk for a one way journey. The other 90 minutes is travel and wait time for connections.
Buses take longer. There is no one I can lift share but would get the occasional lift to the station relying on others goodwill.

Taking taxis would cut down travel time but I could not manage the cost.

I would not trust myself on an electric bike!
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 23:00
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Well effectively your hardship plea is pointless then. Having five subordinates work slightly harder because you are knackered from a train journey is about as unexceptional as they come.

So you'd better write a very, very persuasive letter to the police.


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andy_foster
post Mon, 22 Apr 2019 - 23:54
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An exceptional hardship plea (assuming that it gets that far) might be unlikely to succeed, but it would be somewhat rash* to say that it would be pointless. I have seen several cases where the bench were all but crying out for one of the parties to give them some reason to find in their favour (and far more where the bench were ostensibly far more even handed).


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Ontario
post Tue, 23 Apr 2019 - 17:35
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I take your point, but it is not about me passing work on to colleagues.

I put the hours in to my work as my log in /out sheets would verify (btw I’m not paid by the hour) because I enjoy what I do and believe what I do makes a difference.

I am suggesting that a ban would make me less effective as my 10 hour days (and sometimes longer) would have to be reduced because they would be unsustainable
- yes because I’d be “knackered” as you suggest (I am anyway) but there are only so many hours in the day and I would have to leave earlier in order to travel.

It is what it is and is the only real mitigation I have as the other arguments relate to not being the registered keeper (so received one notification then after replying received the other four notifications at the same time)
and the speed limit changes to up to 40mph shortly after junction.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment – much appreciated.
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Jlc
post Tue, 23 Apr 2019 - 18:21
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QUOTE (Ontario @ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 - 18:35) *
It is what it is and is the only real mitigation I have as the other arguments relate to not being the registered keeper (so received one notification then after replying received the other four notifications at the same time)
and the speed limit changes to up to 40mph shortly after junction.

If it gets as far as an exceptional hardship plea then how the points were gained are not a consideration. These 'mitigating' points may only help with the initial plea to the camera unit.


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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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Ontario
post Tue, 23 Apr 2019 - 22:24
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OK. Thanks.
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Ontario
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:25
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Hello again

Following the advice here is a letter I have drafted.

Is there anything else I could add?

Thanks in advance of any comments

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for the letter dated xx/xx/xx and the four letters you sent me dated xx/xx/xx.

I am hugely embarrassed to receive them. I am a very careful driver who is aware of the danger of exceeding the speed limit and I was shocked that I would have made
mistakes so close together. I know that speed kills and at my age I really should know better and I am incredibly sorry.

I'm sure you can imagine if I had received the first letter before subsequent offences I would have immediately corrected my driving but, as I was not the Registered Keeper
and the Registered Keeper had not changed the address on the V5 document, there was a delay in receiving the Notices of Intended Prosecutions.
This meant I didn't receive the first Notice until further offences had been committed not allowing me to correct my driving.

I would ask if, in the circumstances, you could use your discretion and please consider combining some of the offences together given the intervening periods and my terrible
error of judgement on the same piece of road.

Thank you in advance for your assistance please be assured I am mortified and ashamed of my actions. I have learnt my lesson and will ensure such a mistake does not reoccur.


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The Rookie
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 08:14
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Id add their ref numbers as a list at the bottom, anything you can do to make it easy, otherwise I see no issue with that letter, looks good to me, wait for others first though.


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Logician
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 16:04
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Looks good to me


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Ontario
post Sat, 27 Apr 2019 - 17:40
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Thank you both. If I loose one and complete a speed awareness course at least I am still on the road ....I think.

Another concern I have for one of the offences I was doing 46mph in a 30mph zone. Could that be 6 points instead of 3?

Naturally I am remaining optimistic.
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BaggieBoy
post Sat, 27 Apr 2019 - 18:13
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No that would still be a fixed penalty of 3 points and £100.
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Ontario
post Sat, 27 Apr 2019 - 18:55
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Ok Thanks .That's helpful informatiion
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