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forester
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - June 2016
Date of the NIP: - 7 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 12 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A57 Manchester Road, Near to Wilton Grove, Denton, Tameside, UNITED KINGDOM
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - I was driving off the M60 junction 24 from the direction of Stockport and followed the slip road after clearly seeing a speed limit sign of 40 MPH, where I joined Hyde Road heading west towards Manchester.

The road is 3 lanes wide up to the traffic lights at the junction with Hulme Road where the third lane is merged with the middle lane, the speed limit is still 40 MPH, with small reminder round signs in clear view of the road from the right hand lane. As I approached the lights I was going around 20MPH in the middle lane but the lights began to change from red so I moved into the empty third lane to overtake the stationary traffic at the lights and merged back into the second lane.

A van was parked on the central grass reservation between Earl Street and Wilton Grove approx. 300m from the lights, partially hidden from view which I thought was a bit sneaky, so I checked my speed assuming it was a camera van (still doing 40 ish) passed the van and continued towards Manchester.

I received a NIP stating that my speed was recorded as 44MPH in a 30MPH limit just over a week later, so went for a drive with a windscreen mounted camera in place to try and understand how I had been caught out as I was sure I had adhered to the speed limit.

Link to short video of area in question:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHIyWM7i4-A...eature=youtu.be
lights and merge at 32 seconds
40MPH reminder 42 seconds
approx location of camera van and where i checked my speed small tarmac area 49 seconds
sign on right becomes visible from behind trees 52 seconds
approx location of offence just after the sign becomes visible is Wilton Grove

I have checked the speed limit sign placement guidance (see below page 118 table 14-3) and the 30 MPH speed limit sign should have a minimum clear visibility distance of 40m and be on each side of the dual carriageway. This sign was, and is, not visible until around 10 metres before the sign, which even If I had seen the sign, I would have had to brake very hard to slow down in time to be at the speed limit before the point the NIP states the offence took place.

Traffic sign Manual
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste...-chapter-03.pdf

I wonder if based on the obvious lack of visibility of the speed limit sign, if it would be worth challenging this NIP, and is there anything else you can see here which could help with my defense.

Where do I go from here?
Thanks for the help.


NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - Yes
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - Yes
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:11:14 +0000
Jlc
44 in a 30 is too fast for a course.

I can't watch the video at the moment - but that speed will be a fixed penalty offer of 3 points £100.

In general there might be some cause to ask the court to consider special reasons not to endorse but the matter will have to go to court and that excess will be 4 or 5 points if convicted.

What doesn't assist of course that if you thought it was a 40 then why were you doing 44?

EDIT: Just watched the video - GSV here. The righthand sign is slightly obscured there too.
forester
QUOTE (Jlc @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 13:28) *
44 in a 30 is too fast for a course.

I can't watch the video at the moment - but that speed will be a fixed penalty offer of 3 points £100.

In general there might be some cause to ask the court to consider special reasons not to endorse but the matter will have to go to court and that excess will be 4 or 5 points if convicted.

What doesn't assist of course that if you thought it was a 40 then why were you doing 44?

EDIT: Just watched the video - GSV here. The righthand sign is slightly obscured there too.



I drive to the speed of the cars around me, and almost all the time consider 10% over or under the speed limit to be acceptable rather than driving with my main attention on the speedometer which would be much more dangerous.

I checked my speed like I presume most people do with a brief glance to the needle and saw that it was at the 40 mark i didn't spend too much time analyzing if it was a hair over or under as I thought I was close enough to the speed limit to not have to worry about it.

The GSV isnt ideal as it was taken from a vehicle in the left hand lane last year, whereas the video shows roughly my view from my car in the right hand lane although not at the time of the incident, it much better represents what I would have seen that day.

The sign on the right would have been the one I looked for I think the road was busy at the time and could easily have been hidden from my view by a high sided vehicle, but having glanced at the camera van which would have been directly in front of the sign from my point of view, seen the 40MPH reminder sign and checked my speed I just completely missed the sign, as it was at least 50% obscured up until 10m before the sign but again, I only saw the sign when I went back for a second look two nearly two weeks later.

It seems that if they are having trouble at that point with people obeying the speed limit it would be cheaper to cut back the tree branches obscuring the speed limit sign than to park a camera van there all day to catch people that don't see the obscured sign.

I agree that even 4MPH is over the limit and it is legally absolute, but if the limit had been 40 I wouldn't have ever heard any more about this, and from my perspective I did not have a warning of the change in speed limit.


QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 13:18) *
That sign on the right is visible for a lot more than 10 metres, but is certainly obscured to an extent.

Personally I wouldn't be taking that to court (reasons below) but you could try and informal 'appeal for understanding' type letter with a screen grab and see if they will drop it.

As presumably your speed was at or below 40mph then you are likely to be offered an awareness course which would be the pragmatic option.


My speed has been reported to be 44 MPH so I wouldn't be eligible for the speed awareness course according to the leaflet with the NIP as the threshold is 42MPH.

The change in speed limit must have to be clear from far enough away to give you a chance to change your speed accordingly and safely and It most definitely falls short of the governments own guidance that "It is important that the full recommended sight line to the whole of the sign face is preserved."

Would I write my letter to GMP or the CPS? is there some sort of template that you know of?
peterguk
I agree with JLC - i wouldn't lay any money on winning in court. Not relevant but of no assistance - you were already exceeding the limit in the 40mph section. I presume you completely missed the N/S 30mph sign that your video shows as totally unobstructed?

Driving at the same speed as those around you is no defence.

It's the Police who you can ask on a "soft appeal" basis. CPS have nothing to do with the issue until it reaches court.
Jlc
I don't want to get into a discussion about driving at the speed at others - legally this provides no defence whilst I don't necessarily disagree with your point.

Presumably your speed was measured by a laser and there's no reason to doubt its accuracy - it is more likely you were doing that speed at the time of capture. As noted, this does make your life harder as you'd have to essentially admit speeding in the 40 prior to the 30 - arguably giving you marginally less time to observe signs and slow.

You can ask for a photo to assist in the identification of the driver - they may provide one but don't have to. It may confirm the speed and location.

Contacting the council about the foliage would be a good move. At least to report the poor visibility and ask if they have had any other reports/cutting schedules that could assist any defence/mitigation.

If you were to challenge at the court then the fixed penalty is lost. Should you mount a contested not guilty trial then matters can get very expensive should you lose. The other option is to plead guilty (for you were speeding) and ask them to consider special reasons not to endorse. It appears the capture was a short distance after the 30 signs - it is worth a read of Coombes:

QUOTE
‘There is a requirement that at the geographical point where the motorist exceeded the limit, the requisite signs could reasonably be expected to have conveyed the limit to an approaching motorist in sufficient time for the motorist to reduce from a previous lawful speed to a speed within the new limit.’
baggins1234
Bear in mind that the video you have posted, although it is useful, shows the view from a fixed dashboard camera (your own words)

The view a driver has, from a higher position from where the camera is mounted and also a non fixed position (your eyes/head can obviously move side to side and up and down) will be different to that of a camera. also, the latitudional position of the camera may be different to that of the driver? Was it directly in front of you on the dashboard or in the centre of the car?

Yes, it may be a marginal difference but for sure it would be something the Police and CPS would raise in Court.

Might be worth taking into account when deciding what to do?

The other issue is the fact you were in any case exceeding the 40 mph speed limit. Yes, it's highly unlikely you would ever be prosecuted at 44 in a 40 but when you're in the box in Magistrates Court being cross examined by the CPS you have to think of the questions...

Q "So Mr XXXX you thought the speed limit was 40mph and not 30mph?"

"Yes"

Q "So would you please explain to the Court why you were exceeding the 40moh limit in any case?"

"I was only doing 44"

Q "44 is higher than 40. No further questions your Worships"

Fight the battles you're certain to win......

NewJudge
Unfortunately yes, it is unlikely you would be prosecuted for doing 44mph where the limit is 40. But that is not the point here. The limit was 30mph. You will be arguing that you believed it to have been 40mph and your argument about the obscured signs may well be accepted. But you cannot expect an acquittal for speeding when you accept that you were doing 44mph. Not a very strong case, I'm afraid.
peterguk
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 16:20) *
and your argument about the obscured sign may well be accepted.


Video clearly shows one sign totally unobscured.
Jlc
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 16:32) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 16:20) *
and your argument about the obscured sign may well be accepted.


Video clearly shows one sign totally unobscured.

Here's an interesting (or not) read - here.
southpaw82
You also need to consider Jones v DPP, which came after Coombes. Where there is more than a trifling departure from the legal requirements for signage the court has to balance the public interest in enforcing the speed limit against the disadvantage suffered by the driver in the adequacy of the signage present. It may well be that with one unobscured sign present and the other visible at short range (being some XX yards from where you were caught and giving you enough time to slow by 10 mph [if true]) the court may decide that the balance falls on the side of enforcing the speed limit.
SatNavSam
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 17:08) *
You also need to consider Jones v DPP, which came after Coombes. Where there is more than a trifling departure from the legal requirements for signage the court has to balance the public interest in enforcing the speed limit against the disadvantage suffered by the driver in the adequacy of the signage present. It may well be that with one unobscured sign present and the other visible at short range (being some XX yards from where you were caught and giving you enough time to slow by 10 mph [if true]) the court may decide that the balance falls on the side of enforcing the speed limit.


Of course, it could be that the nearside sign was obscured by a large vehicle......?
peterguk
QUOTE (SatNavSam @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 23:12) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 17:08) *
You also need to consider Jones v DPP, which came after Coombes. Where there is more than a trifling departure from the legal requirements for signage the court has to balance the public interest in enforcing the speed limit against the disadvantage suffered by the driver in the adequacy of the signage present. It may well be that with one unobscured sign present and the other visible at short range (being some XX yards from where you were caught and giving you enough time to slow by 10 mph [if true]) the court may decide that the balance falls on the side of enforcing the speed limit.


Of course, it could be that the nearside sign was obscured by a large vehicle......?


If so, it would be in the video.
southpaw82
QUOTE (SatNavSam @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 23:12) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 17:08) *
You also need to consider Jones v DPP, which came after Coombes. Where there is more than a trifling departure from the legal requirements for signage the court has to balance the public interest in enforcing the speed limit against the disadvantage suffered by the driver in the adequacy of the signage present. It may well be that with one unobscured sign present and the other visible at short range (being some XX yards from where you were caught and giving you enough time to slow by 10 mph [if true]) the court may decide that the balance falls on the side of enforcing the speed limit.


Of course, it could be that the nearside sign was obscured by a large vehicle......?

That is true; whether the court is prepared to engage in what if surmising is another matter.
Bipolar
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 - 23:19) *
If so, it would be in the video.

From the OP's description the video was taken after the offence date.

For the OP if you have time read the thread of desktop demon on here. In there when it got to court (after a lot of back and forth) the prosecution tried to prosecute for 31 in a 30mph limit. This is the issue you have, if you go to court and prove the 30mph signs weren't adequate guidance and thus there was no limit you are in the clear.

If (more likely perhaps) you prove that there was inadequate guidance and they prosecute you for 44mph in a 40 you may have got the moral victory but the fine + costs + victim's surcharge (10% of the fine or at least £20) will almost certainly be greater than your current £100+3pts offer. Once you get to court the ACPO guidelines of 10% + 2mph are non-exisitent so try not to get too hung up on that.

Read Coombes and Jones as above and decide if it's a fight you want to fight.
andy_foster
Desktop Demon's case was perhaps even more unique than he himself is, and almost as entertaining.
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