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lolotte
my car was driven over Itchen Bridge in Southampton on the 29th Feb and being the drivers first time they have ever used the bridge (only lived in the city a year - I know, not an excuse)

They pulled up and didn't realise they don't take card. seems daft......they didn't have change on them and so they reversed (safely) and turned around and went via Bitterne.

today, i received the letter through the post dated 16th March. It was sent second class.

the top of the letter says 'failure to pay authorised toll charge but then below it says 'Contravention: Prohibited U-Turn'

It says it's an invoice but then says I can be prosecuted.

The fine/invoice is £16.20 (£1.20 toll and £15 admin charge) but if it's a matter of the U-Turn, can they still charge the toll?
While typing this, i noticed they charged for both ways. that's a real kick in the teeth. as the car didn't pass the toll booth.

I now see the sign on google map that says no u-turn.

Realistically, what can someone do in that situation? not that they will make the mistake again... but if someone was to pull up and not have the correct change

they haven't provided any photo evidence either. should I be asking for that?



stamfordman
Well that's a new one - to me at least. A kick in the teeth an extra 60p? Ouch.

no idea how they can charge anything if you didn't actually use the bridge and this is not a PCN - I suspect it may not be appealable.



lolotte
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 - 20:25) *
Well that's a new one - to me at least. A kick in the teeth an extra 60p? Ouch.

no idea how they can charge anything if you didn't actually use the bridge and this is not a PCN - I suspect it may not be appealable.


I meant to say - I know its not a parking charge but I didn't know where to put it

I get it if it was just for an illegal U-Turn but do the council have power to enforce an invoice / fine for that? or is that why they have also put failure to pay toll?
PASTMYBEST
The law

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1983/5/...19830005_en.pdf


its just not worth going before a magistrate for £16
lolotte
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 - 20:39) *
The law

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1983/5/...19830005_en.pdf


its just not worth going before a magistrate for £16


maybe not but section 28 'Failure to pay tolls' makes no mention of not having the money or U - Turns

it says byelaws but gives no details, can anyone help with that?
stamfordman
The point is this isn't like a parking ticket, It's a penalty issued under different legislation and can only be heard in a magistrate's court. It's a very small sum as these things go.

But by all means call or email them to enquire if there are any options open to you. Is there anything on the back of the letter?
lolotte
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 - 20:57) *
The point is this isn't like a parking ticket, It's a penalty issued under different legislation and can only be heard in a magistrate's court. It's a very small sum as these things go.

But by all means call or email them to enquire if there are any options open to you. Is there anything on the back of the letter?


i'll drop an email

I've asked for clarification on what they allege, U-Turn or failing to pay the fee.

Also asked to send me a photo.

Seems excessive really to charge twice for one journey.



also, would they send a £16.50 fine to a magistrates court?
PASTMYBEST
You croosed the bridge drove up to the toll booth, then turned around and drove back. So 28 applies you did not pay when you should have
DancingDad
They cite prohibited U turn but are not charging anything for it, I suspect that honour would be reserved for the police as a road traffic contravention.
TBH, it probably isn't what you want to hear but pay and lesson learnt.
Whether they would sent it to magistrates is a question we cannot answer.
But would cost them nothing to do so, they would claim costs on conviction.

The only thing that bothers me is the requirement to name the driver with the inherent that if you don't, it will be taken as you.
No issue with regard to the toll, that will have been paid but if the Old Bill subsequently come after you for the U turn ???
ford poplar
GSV?
Barry S
Here's the signage on the Southampton side: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8988472,-...6384!8i8192

No mention of the levels of the toll on that side...For that, you have to be on the Woolston side: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8980768,-...3312!8i6656
zwekk
QUOTE (Barry S @ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 - 05:05) *
No mention of the levels of the toll on that side...For that, you have to be on the Woolston side: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8980768,-...3312!8i6656


Check the entire route and make sure that is indeed the case because at least two routes I've seen have a clear sign. Section 16 of the act requires a list to be exhibited "at or near".

The other, weaker case, is that smart cards could include debit cards with a chip and pin.

In any case, the offence requires a mens rea and it seems improbable that a court would find against a drive who wanted to pay by debit card but had no change for the toll offence. The u-turn offence is a harder one and perhaps they would argue that a driver should operate the helpline if caught short on change.
Neil B
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 - 00:04) *
They cite prohibited U turn but are not charging anything for it, I suspect that honour would be reserved for the police as a road traffic contravention.

The only thing that bothers me is the requirement to name the driver with the inherent that if you don't, it will be taken as you.
No issue with regard to the toll, that will have been paid but if the Old Bill subsequently come after you for the U turn ???

I know I'm speculating a bit but I'm thinking they don't want to know if you just pay it?
Then no need to identify driver?

Satisfy their stats/audit and other sins forgotten.

As others, I certainly wouldn't risk riling a Mag by taking court time over £16, even if the nearest applicable
sign was on the moon.
cp8759
Wow we really need to stop advising people to pay just because there's mention of a criminal prosecution. Let's analyse the situation rationally for one minute:

1) For any prosecution for contravening a no-u turn sign, a Notice of Intended prosecution would need to be served on the registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence. As this did not happen, a prosecution for this offence is now impossible no matter how overwhelming the evidence might be.

2) The Hampshire Act 1983 provides as follows (typos included):

28.—(l) If any person refuses or reglects to pay any toll or
pay tolls, part thereof lawfully due from him, the persons appointed to
receive tolls may refuse to permit the person so in default to pass
through or by any toll-gate or other place at which such toll
should be paid and may stop and prevent the person so in default
from passing through or by the same.

(2) A person who—

(a) passes through or by any toll-gate or other place at
which any toll should be paid or otherwise passes over
or onto the bridge, in either case with intent to avoid
paying any toll lawfully due from him; or

(b) operates or attempts to operate a machine provided by
the county council for the collection of tolls authorised
in pursuance of this Act by the insertion of objects
other than current coins of the realm of the appropriate
denomination or tokens authorised by the county council
to be used for the payment of such tolls; or

(с) otherwise interferes with such a machine as is mentioned
in paragraph (b) above with the intention of dishonestly
obtaining for himself a pecuniary advantage;

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding £200.


On the facts disclosed, subsections (b) and (с) are irrelevant as there's no mention of any attempt to operate or attempt to operate any machine, nor is there any mention of any interference with any such machine. So the only provision that is relevant is subsection (a), where there is an explicit mens rea requirement: the council must prove that the defendant passed over the bridge with the intent to avoid payment.

Therefore a prosecution has no chance of success. The OP crossed the bridge in the mistaken but innocent belief that he would be able to make lawful payment by means of a debit card, a not unreasonable assumption in this day and age. While most traffic offences are strict liability, that is not the case here, and I see no chance of the council proving intent to avoid payment.

Personally I would just write to the council, explain the circumstances and point out that as the bridge was not driven over with any intent to avoid payment, no prosecution under section 28 of the Hampshire Act 1983 can succeed.
Mad Mick V
This case had similar comments:-

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1284571

With respect to cp8759, it's still too risky, all the Council has to do is take the case to the Mags Court on the basis of non-payment.

Mags will ignore the finer points made and pose the question "did you pay?". Answer "No" and you get a large fine with victim surcharge etc. Simple------on to the next case.

Mick
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 06:21) *
This case had similar comments:-

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1284571

With respect to cp8759, it's still too risky, all the Council has to do is take the case to the Mags Court on the basis of non-payment.

Mags will ignore the finer points made and pose the question "did you pay?". Answer "No" and you get a large fine with victim surcharge etc. Simple------on to the next case.

Mick


+1 its £16 any Not even worth the time to go to court
DancingDad
Easy to see the lack of intent on the first crossing but on the return trip?
U turn and drive back over seems a clear intention not to pay.
Only defence I see is if the driver took steps to inform the toll operators of their problem?

Remember that magistrates will likely also be shown signage at bridge entry...…
"correct money or smartcard only"
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8987489,-...33;1b1!2i40
cp8759
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 06:21) *
With respect to cp8759, it's still too risky, all the Council has to do is take the case to the Mags Court on the basis of non-payment.

All the council has to do? I'd be very rich if I could just send invoices out to people and then take them to mags court on the basis of non-payment. The toll fee is not an amount recoverable summarily, and at the moment the council don't even know the identity of the driver (they haven't bothered to ask). There is no realistic prospect of conviction and if they were foolish enough to attempt a prosecution, all it takes is an email to the CPS to get them to take it over and discontinue, as per the CPS Code for Crown Prosecutors. It wouldn't even get to court as the CPS would stop it.

To be honest, if push comes to shove, I highly doubt the council would even try.
cp8759
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 08:53) *
Easy to see the lack of intent on the first crossing but on the return trip?
U turn and drive back over seems a clear intention not to pay.
Only defence I see is if the driver took steps to inform the toll operators of their problem?

Firstly I doubt the return crossing would be seen as a "return trip", in light of the fact that the first trip was aborted due to the impossibility to effect payment so that it should be seen as one continuous crossing. However even if it is a separate trip, no way of paying whatsoever was on offer for the return trip as there are no toll booths in the other direction, a defence of duress of circumstances therefore arises: If (due to the lack of intent to avoid payment) the first crossing was lawful, and it isn't possible to proceed further without committing an offence (i.e. smashing through the barriers), it cannot be an offence to turn back over the bridge (because otherwise someone who's not committed any offence finds himself in a "trap" from which no lawful escape is possible without committing some offence or another, and the courts will not accept Parliament intended to create a "no fault" offence in the absence of explicit words to that effect).

That's quite aside from the fact that I doubt it would even occur to the council to lay a charge for the return trip.

I think this case quite clearly demonstrates why most road traffic offences are strict liability: Once you introduce a mental element, these sorts of technical regulations become very hard to enforce. To be honest I suspect if the legislation were enacted today, it would be strict liability.
DancingDad
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 13:02) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 08:53) *
Easy to see the lack of intent on the first crossing but on the return trip?
U turn and drive back over seems a clear intention not to pay.
Only defence I see is if the driver took steps to inform the toll operators of their problem?

Firstly I doubt the return crossing would be seen as a "return trip", in light of the fact that the first trip was aborted due to the impossibility to effect payment so that it should be seen as one continuous crossing. However even if it is a separate trip, no way of paying whatsoever was on offer for the return trip as there are no toll booths in the other direction, a defence of duress of circumstances therefore arises: If (due to the lack of intent to avoid payment) the first crossing was lawful, and it isn't possible to proceed further without committing an offence (i.e. smashing through the barriers), it cannot be an offence to turn back over the bridge (because otherwise someone who's not committed any offence finds himself in a "trap" from which no lawful escape is possible without committing some offence or another, and the courts will not accept Parliament intended to create a "no fault" offence in the absence of explicit words to that effect).

That's quite aside from the fact that I doubt it would even occur to the council to lay a charge for the return trip.

I think this case quite clearly demonstrates why most road traffic offences are strict liability: Once you introduce a mental element, these sorts of technical regulations become very hard to enforce. To be honest I suspect if the legislation were enacted today, it would be strict liability.


Toll is payable both ways and is for crossing the bridge, not passing the Toll Booths.
Toll Booths are manned (or look it on GSV) plus you can guarantee there will be help phones.

To me that makes it one inadvertent trip over the bridge before realising they could not make payment then a deliberate return trip plus no attempt to pay for the unintentional..... which makes that intent to avoid payment.

Sorry CP, you know I have a lot of respect for your acumen but in this case, to suggest fighting is asking for a (possible) £200 fine in Maggie court against paying the actual tolls and a small admin fee.

No Brainer to me.
zwekk
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 13:14) *
Toll is payable both ways and is for crossing the bridge, not passing the Toll Booths.
Toll Booths are manned (or look it on GSV) plus you can guarantee there will be help phones.


Something is missing from the story then. How did the driver discover that they did not accept debit cards? I had assumed the driver had reversed out from an unmanned toll having seen the lack of a debit card reader.

cp8759
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 13:14) *
To me that makes it one inadvertent trip over the bridge before realising they could not make payment then a deliberate return trip plus no attempt to pay for the unintentional..... which makes that intent to avoid payment.

So what would the lawful course of action be in these circumstances? You've crossed the bridge, bummer you've got no change and didn't realise you couldn't pay by card, you've committed no offence but what now? Smash through the barriers, you commit a crime, go back, you commit a crime, what would the man on the Clapham omnibus be expected to do exactly? In such circumstances, the courts have long recognised a defence of duress of circumstances.

Also, even if I am wrong about all of the above, a £200 fine is pretty much impossible. The maximum penalty would only ever be imposed if the court could not conceive a more serious offence ever taking place (or else there's a risk that the fine won't be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence). If the offence were strict liability, I doubt a fine of more than £50 to £80 would be imposed, to suggest there's any real risk of a £200 is just scaremongering on the council's part.

However, there are civil means by which the council might recover the money. Section 27 is relevant here:

27.—(1) The tolls and charges authorised under this Part shall
be paid at such places and in such manner and under such regulations
as the county council may appoint and make.

(2) Where any such toll or charge is not paid before or at
the time the bridge is used or the services provided, the county
council may recover such sum as they think reasonable to cover
administrative expenses in addition to the toll or charge payable
and any legal costs recoverable.


The council might be able to seek a money judgment against the driver in the County Court, but as this would fall under the small claims track, the recoverable costs would be very limited and this would not be a cost effective route to recover the money.

As the money does appear to be lawfully due (subject of course to the regulations under section 27 above, which we have not seen), the invoice should be paid. If it is not paid however, the council's route to recovery would be the county court, not the magistrates' court. I stand by my assertion that based on what we know so far, the council has no realistic prospect of conviction.
zwekk
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 14:12) *
So what would the lawful course of action be in these circumstances? You've crossed the bridge, bummer you've got no change and didn't realise you couldn't pay by card, you've committed no offence but what now? Smash through the barriers, you commit a crime, go back, you commit a crime, what would the man on the Clapham omnibus be expected to do exactly? In such circumstances, the courts have long recognised a defence of duress of circumstances.


I think what matters here is how the driver found out and what the driver did. Was the "evil" being avoided really smashing through the barriers, or was it the embarassment of admitting to an operator in person or over an electronic helpline of the predicament and seeking a solution?

I'm now wondering if the driver saw the sign at the booth about payment options but also would have seen the "use intercom for assistance". I'm worrying this changes everything.
DancingDad
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 14:12) *
.....So what would the lawful course of action be in these circumstances?
You've crossed the bridge, bummer you've got no change and didn't realise you couldn't pay by card, you've committed no offence...……..

Cannot agree that no offence has been committed.
The toll is for driving across the bridge.
It is payable at the toll booth on exit.
If it is not paid, there is the offence.
By turning around and driving away, the intent to avoid payment is complete.
All very well and good about going on about options but you have to include contacting the authority.
I think the booths are manned (may be wrong) and certainly can see big signs on the booths saying stay in vehicle, use intercom for assistance.

I see this as an easy win at magistrates, did the driver (who must be named else RK risks a trip to court for failing to supply) pay the toll?
Did the driver perform a U turn to drive away without payment? (The U turn bit is only relevant as it shows a deliberate act to avoid paying.)
Did they cross the bridge a second time?
Did they at any time attempt to contact someone in authority?

Fully accept it may not go there, cannot guarantee whether council will take action or not.
But they can.
Fully accept that £200 is unlikely as that is the max but even a 50 quid fine is likely to double with costs.
cp8759
QUOTE (zwekk @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 15:17) *
I'm now wondering if the driver saw the sign at the booth about payment options but also would have seen the "use intercom for assistance". I'm worrying this changes everything.

I agree we need to get to the bottom of what contact took place with the toll staff.

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 15:19) *
If it is not paid, there is the offence.
By turning around and driving away, the intent to avoid payment is complete.
All very well and good about going on about options but you have to include contacting the authority.
I think the booths are manned (may be wrong) and certainly can see big signs on the booths saying stay in vehicle, use intercom for assistance.

I agree we need to confirm what contact, if any, took place between the driver and the the toll staff. But at the moment the council has not even clocked the return trip, because they've only asked for £1.20 rather than £2.40.
DancingDad
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 16:35) *
……. But at the moment the council has not even clocked the return trip, because they've only asked for £1.20 rather than £2.40.


???? Assuming a car, small van or small 4x4 £0.60 a trip, peak time.
https://www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parkin...peak-times.aspx


From the previous page
https://www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parkin.../itchen-bridge/
QUOTE
In the event of a deferred payment please ring the Itchen Bridge office on 023 8043 1040 and have your registration number available to identify the payment.

Given that it is very unlikely that the driver in this case was the first (or would be the last) to get to the barriers without means of payment, I have to suspect that there is a system in place. And that is what the deferred payment refers to.....
"Sorry mate, didn't realise you don't take credit cards"
"No problem, ring this number within 24 hours and pay with your card else we will do you"
Or summat like that?

NewJudge
In all this excitement haven't we rather lost sight of the fact that under the cited legislation it seems it is the driver who is supposedly responsible for paying the appropriate toll. The letter has been addressed to the OP as the Registered Keeper and takes the leap that he is responsible for payment. They don't know who was driving because they haven't troubled to find out and if they took the matter to the Magistrates' Court they would be required to prove who was.
DancingDad
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 17:55) *
In all this excitement haven't we rather lost sight of the fact that under the cited legislation it seems it is the driver who is supposedly responsible for paying the appropriate toll. The letter has been addressed to the OP as the Registered Keeper and takes the leap that he is responsible for payment. They don't know who was driving because they haven't troubled to find out and if they took the matter to the Magistrates' Court they would be required to prove who was.
The Hampshire Act 1983 requires the RK to name the driver, an offence not to do so.
Wording regarding this is within the "invoice"
Turn up in court and state "I was not the driver" and I suspect that the alternative offence would soon be in play.
NewJudge
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 18:03) *
The Hampshire Act 1983 requires the RK to name the driver, an offence not to do so.
Wording regarding this is within the "invoice"
Turn up in court and state "I was not the driver" and I suspect that the alternative offence would soon be in play.

The legislation says he must provide the driver's details if asked and he commits an offence if he fails to do so (it virtually mirrors S172). But they haven't asked him for the driver's details. They only pointed out that if he was not the driver he must tell them who was. They cannot prosecute him for failing to comply with a request that they did not make. Of course it's still open to them to ask him and if they do he might reconsider his position.

If they took him to court on the basis of the letter they sent him they'd struggle as they have no evidence who was driving and, from its contents, he has no obligation to tell them who was, provided it was him. He doesn't have to say anything in court at all and at the end of the prosecution's case, if they have produced no evidence to show he was the driver, he can make a half time submission of "No Case to Answer"

I also concur with cp's assessment of the "intent" issue and I do not believe the council has all its ducks in a row (if indeed they have all their ducks present).
DancingDad
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 18:57) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 18:03) *
The Hampshire Act 1983 requires the RK to name the driver, an offence not to do so.
Wording regarding this is within the "invoice"
Turn up in court and state "I was not the driver" and I suspect that the alternative offence would soon be in play.

The legislation says he must provide the driver's details if asked and he commits an offence if he fails to do so (it virtually mirrors S172). But they haven't asked him for the driver's details. They only pointed out that if he was not the driver he must tell them who was. They cannot prosecute him for failing to comply with a request that they did not make. Of course it's still open to them to ask him and if they do he might reconsider his position.

If they took him to court on the basis of the letter they sent him they'd struggle as they have no evidence who was driving and, from its contents, he has no obligation to tell them who was, provided it was him. He doesn't have to say anything in court at all and at the end of the prosecution's case, if they have produced no evidence to show he was the driver, he can make a half time submission of "No Case to Answer"

I also concur with cp's assessment of the "intent" issue and I do not believe the council has all its ducks in a row (if indeed they have all their ducks present).


And we know that there is not another letter waiting in the wings for those who ignore the invoice ?

Maybe I am reading too much into it but I still maintain that for £16 I would not risk it escalating.


How is driving over the bridge (which requires a toll to be paid), getting to the toll booths and then driving away without payment not showing intent to avoid paying ?
NewJudge
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
And we know that there is not another letter waiting in the wings for those who ignore the invoice ?

No we don't know that there isn't. Hence my caveat
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
How is driving over the bridge (which requires a toll to be paid), getting to the toll booths and then driving away without payment not showing intent to avoid paying ?

Because he intended to pay but didn't realise he would not be able to.
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
Maybe I am reading too much into it but I still maintain that for £16 I would not risk it escalating.

The OP came for advice. If he was simply going to pay up he probably would not have done so. All he can do is take on board what people have said and make his own decision.

cabbyman
IF I go over it tonight, I will note any signs about card payments and intercom communication, and anything else I can spot that may be relevant. For information, the building to the south of the bridge, near the toll gates, is the control room and manned 24/7.
Lodesman
I found this on the Southampton.gov.uk page regarding the Itchen Bridge Tolls.

Itchen Bridge invoices and payments
You are now able to pay Itchen Bridge invoices online using the eStore. You will need your invoice number which can be found at the top right or bottom right of the invoice. Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.

In the event of a deferred payment please ring the Itchen Bridge office on 023 8043 1040 and have your registration number available to identify the payment.


I assume the 'deferred payments' refers to someone not being able to pay at the bridge at the time of crossing.

I also note on the web site it mentions using a "help" button on the barrier if you have difficulties.
DancingDad
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:57) *
.
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
How is driving over the bridge (which requires a toll to be paid), getting to the toll booths and then driving away without payment not showing intent to avoid paying ?

Because he intended to pay but didn't realise he would not be able to....


That bit is fine, it is what happens next that counts.
Had driver got to the tolls, pressed the button for assistance, explained and then council had progressed it to a summons, I would be first to say prove intent.
But they seem to have made a U turn and deliberately driven away rather then pay.
I see that as little different to going into ASDA to buy something, realising I do not have my wallet and still walking out with my shopping.
nigelbb
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 09:25) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:57) *
.
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
How is driving over the bridge (which requires a toll to be paid), getting to the toll booths and then driving away without payment not showing intent to avoid paying ?

Because he intended to pay but didn't realise he would not be able to....


That bit is fine, it is what happens next that counts.
Had driver got to the tolls, pressed the button for assistance, explained and then council had progressed it to a summons, I would be first to say prove intent.
But they seem to have made a U turn and deliberately driven away rather then pay.
I see that as little different to going into ASDA to buy something, realising I do not have my wallet and still walking out with my shopping.

Not quite. More like going into ASDA realising I do not have my wallet and still walking out with my shopping then returning with the shopping a little later.

It's clear from the OP that there was no intent not to pay they just were not able to. Why would anyone cross the Itchen bridge in order to do a U-turn & return the way they had come?
DancingDad
QUOTE (nigelbb @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 12:06) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 09:25) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:57) *
.
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 19:12) *
How is driving over the bridge (which requires a toll to be paid), getting to the toll booths and then driving away without payment not showing intent to avoid paying ?

Because he intended to pay but didn't realise he would not be able to....


That bit is fine, it is what happens next that counts.
Had driver got to the tolls, pressed the button for assistance, explained and then council had progressed it to a summons, I would be first to say prove intent.
But they seem to have made a U turn and deliberately driven away rather then pay.
I see that as little different to going into ASDA to buy something, realising I do not have my wallet and still walking out with my shopping.

Not quite. More like going into ASDA realising I do not have my wallet and still walking out with my shopping then returning with the shopping a little later.

It's clear from the OP that there was no intent not to pay they just were not able to. Why would anyone cross the Itchen bridge in order to do a U-turn & return the way they had come?



Ah well, if we are going to push the analogy, it is going into ASDA, realising no wallet, walking out with shopping anyway and then going back for an item you had forgotten and walking out without paying for that as well.

It is clear that there was no intent to cross the bridge without paying.
And it is what happened when the driver gets to the toll booth that is the issue.
Had they used the intercom and explained, I expect that they would simply have been told pay by phone with an explanation how to do so.
No foul, no crime.

But we are told that they U turned (crime in itself)
Drove away from the toll booths. That is a deliberate attempt to avoid payment.
And crossed the bridge again. Another toll is due and this time, drove over knowing that they could not pay.

OP hasn't said if there was any attempt to explain or not, inference without further input from OP is that there wasn't.

Joyriders BTW...your last question.
baroudeur
QUOTE (zwekk @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 14:02) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 - 13:14) *
Toll is payable both ways and is for crossing the bridge, not passing the Toll Booths.
Toll Booths are manned (or look it on GSV) plus you can guarantee there will be help phones.


Something is missing from the story then. How did the driver discover that they did not accept debit cards? I had assumed the driver had reversed out from an unmanned toll having seen the lack of a debit card reader.



The signage is large and clear Itchen bridge toll booth

including "SCC Smart Cards or exact change only" and "USE INTERCOM FOR ASSISTANCE"

NewJudge
But they still don't know who was driving.
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 13:45) *
But they still don't know who was driving.


So the Op can pay or ignore and wait to see if their is an escalation.

A formal requirement to name the driver is made (perhaps with a further admin charge) What the

Name driver who gets their own invoice or not and risk court

I accept that there are those posting that have a vastly greater knowledge of the magistrates court than me. but if the council do progress then the OP is at risk of failure to provide Fine up to £200 or not paying fine up to £200.

There are three options Pay ignore and hope it goes away or if it does not fight it

£16 quid

nothing or

a potential £300ish fine costs and surcharge

I play poker this is like being sat with 7 : 2 off suit with a risk reward ratio of about 19. to 1, risk £300 to win £16 it would not be a good bet
DancingDad
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 13:45) *
But they still don't know who was driving.


At the moment they don't need to.
This is simply an invoice.
Says that the vehicle crossed the bridge and that an amount of toll is owing.
Plus an admin fee.
On its own it is not enough to progress to court on any of the possibilities within the act.
But that doesn't mean it is not the opening salvo.
I cannot see how we can base advice against what court could do against an invoice.
Against the relevant act and what have been told, yes but not on an invoice unless someone can say, that is all they will send before a summons.

What we do not know is what is likely to happen next should OP ignore.
I think it is fair assumption that if they simply pay, it will all die.
I haven't been able to track down any reports that show the council habitually take people to court but that does not mean they do not.
I have found one where a guy was fraudulently using a SmartCard that they had found to cross without paying.... well over 300 times so that does not really give a good example.
southpaw82
If I was at work and the OP was my client it would literally have cost him more for me to write this than pay it. Life’s too short.
cp8759
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 14:17) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 13:45) *
But they still don't know who was driving.

I accept that there are those posting that have a vastly greater knowledge of the magistrates court than me. but if the council do progress then the OP is at risk of failure to provide Fine up to £200 or not paying fine up to £200.

I agree with NewJudge, if the OP just wanted to pay they would have done that already. I take southpaw82's point but the OP came here for advice, just become some people would pay to save themselves the hassle doesn't mean advice should not be given on available options.

Legally, the OP is under no obligation whatsoever to pay the invoice, as they were not the driver. There is also no such thing as a "not paying fine up to £200", this is no an excess charge notice and failing to pay is not an offence in itself. The OP was not driving so they cannot commit a section 28 offence in any event.

As things stand, the OP has no case to answer.
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 19:06) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 14:17) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 13:45) *
But they still don't know who was driving.

I accept that there are those posting that have a vastly greater knowledge of the magistrates court than me. but if the council do progress then the OP is at risk of failure to provide Fine up to £200 or not paying fine up to £200.

I agree with NewJudge, if the OP just wanted to pay they would have done that already. I take southpaw82's point but the OP came here for advice, just become some people would pay to save themselves the hassle doesn't mean advice should not be given on available options.

Legally, the OP is under no obligation whatsoever to pay the invoice, as they were not the driver. There is also no such thing as a "not paying fine up to £200", this is no an excess charge notice and failing to pay is not an offence in itself. The OP was not driving so they cannot commit a section 28 offence in any event.

As things stand, the OP has no case to answer.


So they are not the driver so are not liable to pay, agreed. but if the council progress they will be required to furnish the information as to the identity of the driver. If not fine up to £200 +costs + surcharge so about £300 or The name driver and the driver gets their own invoice. maybe or maybe straight to summons Fine of up to £200 + costs + surcharge

I agree that it is right to give the OP all options, I don't agree that fighting it is a good choice, nor do I think we should advise ignoring it. But as the OP has not been back since Wednesday its academic
cabbyman
If the OP had just turned right instead of doing a U-turn, there would be a bus lane ticket to chew on. That would have been a lot more straightforward and worthwhile! tongue.gif
Korting
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 19:17) *
So they are not the driver so are not liable to pay, agreed. but if the council progress they will be required to furnish the information as to the identity of the driver. If not fine up to £200 +costs + surcharge so about £300 or The name driver and the driver gets their own invoice. maybe or maybe straight to summons Fine of up to £200 + costs + surcharge

I agree that it is right to give the OP all options, I don't agree that fighting it is a good choice, nor do I think we should advise ignoring it. But as the OP has not been back since Wednesday its academic


Who is going to require them to provide the identity? What if they don't? This is not a Police matter and they haven't been issued with a NIP or S172.
cp8759
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 19:17) *
So they are not the driver so are not liable to pay, agreed. but if the council progress they will be required to furnish the information as to the identity of the driver. If not fine up to £200 +costs + surcharge so about £300 or The name driver and the driver gets their own invoice. maybe or maybe straight to summons Fine of up to £200 + costs + surcharge

Well if an unconditional demand for the identity of the driver is served it must be replied to (we cannot advise anyone to commit an offence as we would then be guilty of inciting a crime). If such a request is received and the OP names the driver, the council still faces a formidable challenge: the driver nomination is inadmissible because section 12 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (which makes a written driver nomination admissible in criminal proceedings) only applies to driver nominations which are:

1) Signed by the accused himself, and
2) Issued under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 or section 112 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

So under the strict rules of evidence, which apply to a criminal trial, the driver nomination would not be admissible in evidence, and in the absence of admissible evidence of who the driver was, a half-time submission of no case to answer would succeed. The Hampshire Act 1983 does have a provision similar RTOA 1988 under its own section 59, but oddly that does not apply to an offence under section 28 (crossing bridge with intent to avoid payment of tolls) and no later amendments appear to have rectified this deficiency.

Of course, the council could make an application against the OP for a witness summons in order to compel him to give sworn, oral evidence as to the identity of the driver, but the chances of them even thinking of this are low and the chances of the court granting such a request are as close to nil as it can get. And that's before we even get onto the intent element: this is a criminal matter so the accused doesn't have to prove anything, he simply needs to persuade the magistrates that he might be innocent.

As the evidential test of the CPS Code for Crown Prosecutors doesn't come close to being met in this case, I don't think the courts would be bothered by any of this nonsense. If the council were foolish enough to lay an information, I would suggest approaching the CPS and asking them to take over and discontinue on the basis that the evidential test isn't met.

QUOTE (Korting @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 23:01) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 - 19:17) *
So they are not the driver so are not liable to pay, agreed. but if the council progress they will be required to furnish the information as to the identity of the driver. If not fine up to £200 +costs + surcharge so about £300 or The name driver and the driver gets their own invoice. maybe or maybe straight to summons Fine of up to £200 + costs + surcharge

I agree that it is right to give the OP all options, I don't agree that fighting it is a good choice, nor do I think we should advise ignoring it. But as the OP has not been back since Wednesday its academic


Who is going to require them to provide the identity? What if they don't? This is not a Police matter and they haven't been issued with a NIP or S172.

The council has a power under section 28(3) of the Hampshire Act 1983 to request information as to the identity of the driver, and failure to provide is an offence. However the response cannot be used in criminal proceedings for the reasons I explained above, but I suppose it could be used in civil proceedings to recover the money.
NewJudge
It's clear from the Hampshire Act that the toll people can ask him to provide the driver's details. But he only commits an offence if they ask him and he doesn't comply (the wording is almost identical to S172). It's the same as if a speeding offence was committed and he was written to along the lines

"Your vehicle was detected speeding. You can settle this by paying us £100. If you don't you face a fine of up to £1,000. If you were not the driver at the time you are obliged to tell us who was."

It wouldn't fly. They don't know who was driving so no "toll" fines can be imposed on the keeper. They haven't asked the keeper who was driving so no fines can be imposed on him for failing to comply.

Whether the £16 would be awarded in the County Court is a different matter. And of course it is not known whether the Council's procedures would include making a formal request for the driver's details before they took the matter to court. EDIT: and from what cp says above it wouldn't matter (as far as criminal proceedings go) if they did. As I said earlier, I don't think they have all their ducks in a row.

To avoid the possibility of either of the above, personally I'd pay the sixteen quid, but that's not what the OP asked us for.
DancingDad
What precludes the next step being a proper S172?
NewJudge
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 - 07:55) *
What precludes the next step being a proper S172?

Nothing presumably as a S172 notice can be issued when "...any offence against any other enactment relating to the use of vehicles on roads" is alleged. But I think the Council would have to get the request made " by or on behalf of a chief officer of police" and he may be busy! wink.gif

But I might be wrong.
DancingDad
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 - 09:04) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 - 07:55) *
What precludes the next step being a proper S172?

Nothing presumably as a S172 notice can be issued when "...any offence against any other enactment relating to the use of vehicles on roads" is alleged. But I think the Council would have to get the request made " by or on behalf of a chief officer of police" and he may be busy! wink.gif

But I might be wrong.


That was my thinking.
Except the bit on the bit on the Chief Occifer being busy.... on behalf of means an authorised constable or civvie operative can send the notice.
Same as they do with speeding S172s.
Presumably at that point CP's arguments on inadmissible evidence go out of the window, police would take over formatting any prosecution, hand it to CPS and the full spectrum of a properly conducted case would be in the offing in court.

End of the day we are arguing what ifs.
Against total lack of knowledge against what the council is likely to do, for all we know, this may be no more then a speculative invoice that can be ignored safely.
Or ignoring it could lead to a world of pain should it progress within a legal framework.
I cannot see why it could not progress in such a fashion ?

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