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Windsor Flashers
Lilredrooster
post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 12:30
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Hi,
I just received a NIP for driving at 35mph in a 30 mph street, in Old Windsor.
I am also booked to attend a Speed Awareness Course in a couple of weeks, for driving at 38mph on a wide 30mph stretch a few months ago (first offence).

Background is: I was totally unfamiliar with the area, and in the final hour of a long journey from Wales to Kent, after a brief stop a few minutes earlier. I have been driving for just over a year (auto only). The road was dark, but I assumed the speed limit was 30 as it was a wide residential road and I am pretty wary after the last penalty.

However, at the point the camera flashed, my small 1.4ltr car was being very closely pursued by at least one SUV, whose driver kept flashing their lights for me to speed up. I felt mildly intimidated: travelling alone at night with my 6yo child, with a car full of delicate items from my late mum's inheritance, 35 weeks pregnant, and recently widowed traumatically, not knowing the local roads and finding the layouts unfamiliar. I became momentarily confused, as I was dependent on the in-car Sat Nav, which showed a speed limit of 40mph. I was unable to see any signs to confirm, and in that moment I did question and increase my speed to 35mph, feeling pushed by the drivers behind me, who slightly later under/overtook me aggressively.
I was hoping at the time that their vehicle would have been captured along with mine, but no images/link was provided with the NIP.

I know it was a mistake to allow myself to succumb to the pressure, and I have broken the limit, but would I have any defence in court, considering my additional distressed circumstances at the time?

Also, what is it with those weird roundabouts in Windsor? My satnav was even more confused than I was, and the 'scenic' detour put an extra hour on my uncomfortable journey 😵

Thank you in advance...
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post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 12:30
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NewJudge
post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 12:59
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Nothing you have said has the makings of a defence. You won't see any signs confirming a 30mph limit. That is conveyed by the presence of lamp posts. You will only see reminder signs if the limit is anything other than 30mph.

Make sure you respond to the request for driver's details in the time allowed. Failure to do so will see you charged with a more serious offence. You should be offered a fixed penalty of £100 and three points for the offence. You need to be careful One more offence committed in the two years since you passed your test will see your licence revoked and you will have to take your test again. There is no appeal against this.
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Lilredrooster
post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 13:36
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Thanks.

Having just checked footage of the road (see attached) I believe the 4x4 behind me overtook as the road widened. Is it possible the camera was triggered by the other vehicle?

I for one am constantly harrassed by drivers in larger vehicles, experiencing this kind of behaviour and worse several times a week, for following the rules of the road dilligently. I rarely let it change my driving, but am disappointed in myself for being particularly susceptible on that occasion.
I'd support psychometric tests for road users any day- it reduce congestion in these areas by half I reckon 😄
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NewJudge
post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 14:07
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QUOTE (Lilredrooster @ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 13:36) *
Having just checked footage of the road (see attached) I believe the 4x4 behind me overtook as the road widened. Is it possible the camera was triggered by the other vehicle?


A different issue entirely. From your first post I assumed you'd simply accepted that you were speeding.

Before you reply to the request for driver's details you could ask for "photographs to help identify the driver". They don't often help to do that but they may help you understand how you were detected. Bear in mind that making such a request does not stop the 28 day clock measuring the period within which you must reply.

If you decide to embark on defending the matter on this basis beware. You will have to decline the almost certain offer of a fixed penalty, plead Not Guilty in court and face a trial. There the prosecution will almost certainly produce evidence to show that you were detected by an approved device operated correctly. This will be accepted by the court and you will be convicted unless you can show that the measurement is so unreliable that the court cannot be sure you exceeded the speed limit. The cost of failure is high. You will pay an income related fine and a surcharge of 10% on top of it. But you will also pay costs which will be at least £620. This chap took the matter a little further and it cost him somewhat more:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-heref...cester-49641063
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speedfighter23
post Tue, 14 Jan 2020 - 14:16
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Looks like you have no defence. For the tailgating thing if someone follows you too closely, gently slow down until they stop doing so.
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Lilredrooster
post Thu, 16 Jan 2020 - 13:47
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Thank you both.

Okay, I will look into obtained evidence. I am sure it flashed once, just as the 4x4 overtook, and looked down at the speedo thinking i was doing between 32 and 35 (braking). Having been on speed traps with the police years ago, I hoped I'd be within safe limits, but as the article above points out, there's clearly no such thing!

Normally i do slow down when tailgated, especially on local roads. But on that occasion i doubted myself for a split second, and sped up because satnav said 40.

Now I'm terrified of losing my licence. I've had to drive 25000 miles in my first year, and am now totally dependent on the car since my partner died (incidentally, the points on his licence and impending driving ban contributed greatly to his stress before suicide).

Plus, I am in a bureaucratic nightmare over the speeding course, because their cashier made an error and only processed half the payment when i booked. After 1.5 hours and 4 emails they are still threatening to cancel the course, and I still can't pay the rest.

Oh well. Rant over...would go for a nice relaxing drive to take my mind off things instead, but it fills me with anxiety now! 🙄😖
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NewJudge
post Thu, 16 Jan 2020 - 15:19
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As you are in your first year of driving (presumably you mean you first passed a test a year ago), rather than go for a drive you need to sort the course out as a matter of urgency. If the course offer is withdrawn you will end up with three points. Three for this one will take you to six and your licence will be revoked. There is no appeal against this.

This post has been edited by NewJudge: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 - 15:20
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