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134mph, A50 Stoke, Special Reason
Xde
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 08:50
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I was caught speeding yesterday evening, I was pulled over and the police officer was rather angry. However, my wife has a medical condition that causes violent seizures - her special injectable medicament was at home about two miles from where I was pulled. The officer sympathised and said he’d make a note.

It was the A50 near Stoke, dual carriageway speed restricted to 50 due to lane additions. The opposite side of the road was totalled packed for miles, on my side traffic was starting to build up behind me.

You will ask why I didn’t call an ambulance? The traffic being one reason, my being closer to home than the hospital, additionally ambulances do not carry the drug required to reverse the seizure.

I have no points, no speed awareness courses. Never been caught speeding in 25 years, or points.

I hope you can help.

Sorry, speed was 134mph; being reported for speeding and DWDCA. Police offer was going to do dangerous driving but said he’d make it DWDCA due to the circumstances.
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post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 08:50
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Jlc
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 09:13
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Given that excess (off the scale!) and the complicated medical reasons I think you should consider contacting a specialist motoring solicitor.

You may be looking at a defence of duress but you would have to show there was an imminent threat of death or serious injury.

Indeed, it is fortunate it's DWDCA as dangerous lifts it to a new level.


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666
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 09:21
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QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 09:50) *
The opposite side of the road was totalled packed for miles, on my side traffic was starting to build up behind me.


You were doing 134 and traffic was building up behind you? That makes no sense.
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Xde
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 09:43
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You may be looking at a defence of duress but you would have to show there was an imminent threat of death or serious injury.

I have live data tracking my wife’s condition, it clearly shows the seizure occurring. Specialist Nurse will write a letter explaining the data leading to being stopped.
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Jlc
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 11:11
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Any defence would need to establish that your actions where necessary because of an imminent threat as above.

An obvious question would be why you didn't carry the drug required as it was foreseeable?


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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 11:37
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I think any court considering "Special Reasons" will be interested to know just exactly what you expected to achieve to assist your wife by travelling at just under twice the legal speed limit and what you would have done had the violent seizure occurred whilst you were travelling at that speed. If you were two miles from home it would take you two minutes to reach there averaging 60mph, one minute at 120mph. They will also be keen to learn why, if the medication was so vital, you did not carry some with you. They may also consider that the consequences for you, your wife and those around you could have been horrendous. They may ask you why you did not consider stopping and caring for your wife in a more controlled environment. You will need to explain what you believed might have happened had you reached home a minute later and what actually did happen (presumably it took you much longer to reach home since you were stopped). None of this is being judgemental - I'm putting myself behind the Bench.

I wish you well with a Special Reasons argument. To have any chance of success I would agree that a specialist solicitor would be necessary. Even then I don't rate your chances very highly. Without a successful SR argument that speed would normally result in a ban of probably around three months.
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Jlc
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 11:43
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It seems 50mph was the prevailing limit so it's over 2x.

Of course, special reasons is not a defence.

QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 12:37) *
I would agree that a specialist solicitor would be necessary.

Here's one fairly close by.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 11:44


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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 11:58
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 12:43) *
It seems 50mph was the prevailing limit so it's over 2x.

Thanks, I'd missed that. It makes a slight difference to my "time to reach home" calculation but a considerable difference to the sentencing in the event of a failed SR argument.

It would be interesting to see what you are charged with since you were warned for both speeding and Careless Driving. It could be argued that it would be perverse to charge you with both if the only element of the Careless Driving was excessive speed. From your description and bearing in mind the 50mph limit I think it is most unlikely that a court will find Special Reasons". There was obviously something being done to the road to require the lower limit and on your own admission there was a lot of traffic around. If you can convince the court that you believed your wife may well have died but for you trying to reach home quickly you might swing it. But if you really want them to believe that you will also have to explain why no medication was carried. Saying it was simply forgotten I think will not cut the mustard.

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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 12:03
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Let's establish the facts. Was your wife actually in the process of having a seizure?

If so, forget about duress of circumstances, as there might be a statutory defence under section 87(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984:

No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for fire and rescue authority, for ambulance purposes or police purposes, if the observance of that provision would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion.

Much fanfare was made of the Road Safety Act 2006 that was going to limit the exemptions to people trained in the driving of vehicles at high speeds, but those provisions have still not come into force so if you can satisfy the court that you were using your car for ambulance purposes, the speed limits do not apply. I understand the purpose test to be on the balance of probabilities.

On the downside, if the officer's reaction was anything other than "oh s*it I'm going to drive you to hospital right now and we'll deal with your driving later", that suggests it wasn't that much of an emergency (but unlike duress of circumstances, the test is not one of a life and death emergency, so it may not be fatal to a successful defence).

So, was she actually having a seizure at the time? What are the possible / likely consequences of delayed treatment?


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Xde
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 15:07
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Let's establish the facts. Was your wife actually in the process of having a seizure?

Yes, she was in a deep seizure. She was violently thrashing her hands and legs, making incoherent noises and contorting her face.

Effects of delayed treatment can result in organ failure, neurological symptoms, low blood pressure and death. I’d like to point out I don’t say death lightly here, it’s a distinct possibility and it scares the hell out of me.

Regarding the medication, we’d actually been to the pharmacy to collect monthly prescriptions which includes the medication to reverse the seizure. However, they had no stock of this item and they had to order it in. We had one at home. When the monthly rx is collected she stores certain medicaments in the car, including this item.

The police said he was reporting me for excess speed and DWDC. However he also mentioned dangerous driving due to excessive speed, he seemed set on the DWDC but I wouldn’t be surprised if he reported it as DD.

When the police pulled me over, I called an ambulance, and they didn’t have the medication. They blue lighted and sirens , and took her to A&E where she was cared for.
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Logician
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 16:42
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A conviction for DD or DWDC based on speed alone is perhaps unlikely, otherwise if there are additional factors involved. Wilkinson's clearly disapproves of Scottish decisions to the contrary "Although the offence of driving at a speed dangerous to the public was abolished by s.50 Criminal Law Act 1977, the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland would appear to have come perilously close to recreating that offence in non-statutory form by its decision in Trippick v Orr (1994) 1995 SLT 272."


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The Rookie
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 17:05
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So even despite what must have been a several minute delay it appears she was OK? That harms your necessity argument for doing that speed to get home a minute or two quicker somewhat.


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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 17:49
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QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 16:07) *
Yes, she was in a deep seizure. She was violently thrashing her hands and legs, making incoherent noises and contorting her face.

Quite honestly, if you tell a court that you drove at 134mph with a passenger in that condition they may wonder whether your judgement is sound enough for you to be driving at all.
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Sparxy
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 18:05
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QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 09:50) *
You will ask why I didn’t call an ambulance? The traffic being one reason, my being closer to home than the hospital, additionally ambulances do not carry the drug required to reverse the seizure.


What drug does she need?

If it does go to court and you need special reasons not to endorse, you might be of benefit getting a letter from the local ambulance service and GP to explain that these medications are required, and not carried by the ambulance service local to you.

Airway problems (which can be managed by an ambulance crew) are always going to kill faster than an untreated seizure.
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mickR
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 18:59
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 18:49) *
QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 16:07) *
Yes, she was in a deep seizure. She was violently thrashing her hands and legs, making incoherent noises and contorting her face.

Quite honestly, if you tell a court that you drove at 134mph with a passenger in that condition they may wonder whether your judgement is sound enough for you to be driving at all.

That was my thought!
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Xde
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 19:10
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 18:05) *
So even despite what must have been a several minute delay it appears she was OK? That harms your necessity argument for doing that speed to get home a minute or two quicker somewhat.


The ambulance was called as soon as I pulled over, it arrived in under five minutes.

No, she was not “ok”, she was in a deep, violent, seizure. In seizures like this the chance of serious co-morbidities increases every minute and can lead to a stroke, heart problems, organ failure, and death.

Considering it took the ambulance five minutes to arrive, five minutes to get my wife in the ambulance, 10 minute drive to hospital, five minutes for booking in, she was taken to resus and medication administered within five minutes. If I hadn’t been pulled over I would have been home and administered the injection in around five minutes.
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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 19:20
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I think you have a viable defence to the speeding charge. Any idea why the police officer didn't offer to take her to hospital himself on blue and twos? I think in the circumstances you describe, what the officer did is very close to misconduct.

From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 19:24


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baggins1234
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 19:38
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
I think in the circumstances you describe, what the officer did is very close to misconduct.


Really?....go on...I’m intrigued.....
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NewJudge
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 19:47
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QUOTE (Xde @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:10) *
If I hadn’t been pulled over I would have been home and administered the injection in around five minutes.

Possibly. If you had managed to remain in control at that speed with your passenger in such a state, that is.

When you first posted this I had no idea that your wife was in that condition. You need to speak to a solicitor if you are to present a SR argument. Whether he or she will be able to devise a way to get across to the court the seriousness of your situation without revealing what I believe a court will consider as a quite a high level of irresponsibility, I don't know. I know it's easy for me to seemingly criticise your actions with the benefit of just a few words from your description. But I'm not doing it to criticise; I'm doing it so that you can hopefully see how a court will view your actions. My view is that your wife displaying the symptoms you describe considerably aggravates your already serious speeding offence. It seemed she was seriously out of control and whether you should have continued driving even at legal speeds is very questionable.
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southpaw82
post Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:12
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 - 20:20) *
From the facts you've described, I think the section 87(1) defence is clearly engaged.

Is it a defence to DWDCA?


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