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Full Version: [NIP Wizard] 38 in a 30 should I shouldn't I fight?
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dabar
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - September 2009
Date of the NIP: - 2 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 6 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A5 between the A460 and the B4154 (663)
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 am a very observant driver and would normally spot a speed trap - I can't beleive I don't remember even seeing this.

Alleged offence: Exceed 30mph manned equipment.

38 Mph in a 30 - from the very bland description of where the offence occurred I can only think of one bit of the road I would have been travelling down that is a 30mph area (which co-incedentally drops from a 50 to a 30 for about 500 yards before hitting a set of traffic lights that I remember stopping for.

Is it worth just paying the £60 and taking the 3 points or shall I fight this - honestly I cant remember seeing any speed traps or officers with radar guns - should they not be visible to motorists if they are seriously trying to calm trsaffic instead of just raking in the money.


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: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 21:55:17 +0100
V70owner
QUOTE (dabar @ Mon, 7 Sep 2009 - 21:55) *
should they not be visible to motorists if they are seriously trying to calm trsaffic instead of just raking in the money.[/b]


Whatever makes you think they are "safety" cameras? wink.gif
dabar
Too right!!!

Watch out Cash Point Ahead !!! biggrin.gif
cshm37
QUOTE (dabar @ Mon, 7 Sep 2009 - 22:23) *
Too right!!!

Watch out Cash Point Ahead !!! biggrin.gif


It is still a labour government isn't it? or have I slept through the change? huh.gif

In short, errr nope.

Conspicuity is a guidleine set by ACPO.

But then guidlelines mean nowt if money has anything to do with it.

Sorry
V70owner
Whenever I drive through roadworks for example I find I am spending far too much time looking at my speedo rather than the road. Having people paranoid about getting caught does not make the roads safer IMHO, although I digress.

Now back to helping the OP. I would suggest you write and ask for pictures that could help you identify the driver. Do not ask for evidence as you aren't entitled to this. This does not stop the clock ticking for returning the NIP though, so be careful. The pictures may give you peace of mind about where you were snapped.

They may have snapped you as you came out of the 50 and was slowing down. I wouldn't have expected the trap to be set up incorrectly, ie set at 30 mph but monitoring the 50mph section. I personally would only fight against it if I knew I wasn't guilty, not because I simply don't remember the van. But I'll let the experts reply as I'm a newbie on here.

Good luck.
cshm37
QUOTE (V70owner @ Mon, 7 Sep 2009 - 23:26) *
Whenever I drive through roadworks for example I find I am spending far too much time looking at my speedo rather than the road. Having people paranoid about getting caught does not make the roads safer IMHO, although I digress.

Now back to helping the OP. I would suggest you write and ask for pictures that could help you identify the driver. Do not ask for evidence as you aren't entitled to this. This does not stop the clock ticking for returning the NIP though, so be careful. The pictures may give you peace of mind about where you were snapped.

They may have snapped you as you came out of the 50 and was slowing down. I wouldn't have expected the trap to be set up incorrectly, ie set at 30 mph but monitoring the 50mph section. I personally would only fight against it if I knew I wasn't guilty, not because I simply don't remember the van. But I'll let the experts reply as I'm a newbie on here.

Good luck.


Or your plates may have been cloned...it's happened.

V70owner
So asking for pictures that can help to correctly identify the driver (and also maybe even the car) would be the best way forward then?
CountryCousin
QUOTE
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A5 between the A460 and the B4154 (663)


That appears to be a total distance of just over 2 miles so provides at least some case for arguing an "insufficiently specific location" (Google for "Hothfield to Bethersden Road"). However the general advice on here seems to be that you need to write to the Police at this stage putting the argument to them that this appears to be an insufficiently specific location for you to be sure where this happened. I expect at this point they may then write back sending you a diagram of their mobile camera site number 663 (which the number in brackets almost certainly probably refers to) and its exact location. However my learned collagues here argue that this proves that the Police knew where the location was all along and so this proves the NIP is defective in not correctly specifying the exact location and that this is not a defect that cannot then be remedied under the "slip rule". However in practice it seems to be the case that unless you can genuinely argue in court that you have no idea where the offence took place or of any possibility of you committing the said offence somewhere on the named road that it is not a valid defence. Also 2 miles is comparatively a much less good argument for "insufficiently specific" than a location that could be anywhere over a distance of say 10 miles.

First step is to ask for photos to help identify the driver so you at least have some idea where this could have happened and/or that it does or does not appear to be your vehicle. That is assuming you get any photos sent to you as my local SCP is particularly obstructive and did not provide me with any photos in my case, even though ACPO guidelines suggest they should normally be provided where requested.

If you go on to plead Not Guilty then you can expect them to probably fight to not release the video clip of your vehicle moving through the site etc. Other immediate issues that come in to play are whether all the applicable terminal speed limit signs and especially the ones that you passed by entering the 30mph area are in order and if there is no street lighting whether there is a valid system of 30mph speed limit repeater signs. Although the speed limit is 30mph is this because it is a so called Restricted Road in that it has a regular system of street lights with terminal 30mph signs entering the area or is it a 30mph without street lighting where the speed limit is only set by a Traffic Regulation Order. If the latter there will have to be repeater signs within the 30mph area. If it is a Restricted Road 30mph with regular street lights then a recent decision in one of the higher courts has established that even defective terminal signing of all entry points to the 30mph limit is still not fatal to successful prosecution as long as the regular system of street lighting is in place and working. If it is a 30mph limit without street lights set by a TRO then all the relevant terminal signs do need to be in place. Section 14 of Chapter 3 of the Traffic Signs Manual at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tss/tsmanual/ contains far more detail on the statutory speed limit signing requirements.

Also if you pleaded not guilty you would be wanting to verify that the detection device had a current calibration certificate and that the operator of the device had satisfactorily formed a prior opinion you were speeding before using the device. But in practice you can't establish whether he had formed a prior opinion unless they release the full session video to you and they won't release that unless you engage an experienced road traffic lawyer such as Mr Nick Freeman to represent you.........

These alleged detections by mobile camera vans are especially annoying as they are often parked in part hidden locations where they detect you without you even being aware it happened. But unfortunately the organisations that run these cameras are now less willing than ever to drop any case where they have issued an NIP. However at the alleged speed of 38mph you may well be offered a Speed Awareness Course if you have not been offered any such course previously in the last 3 years or something. This will still cost you around £60 but not result in getting any points on your licence. If you are offered one make sure to turn up on time as they apparently lock the doors on anyone arriving say 3 seconds late for the course. See http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport/...speedawareness/ for more information. Note the exaggerated claim that "It is not uncommon for insurance costs to rise at a rate of £50 per penalty point for a period of up to five years" when in reality many insurance companies now completely ignore a single 3 point fixed penalty speeding offence.
southpaw82
 
QUOTE (CountryCousin @ Tue, 8 Sep 2009 - 01:09) *
However my learned collagues here argue that this proves that the Police knew where the location was all along and so this proves the NIP is defective in not correctly specifying the exact location and that this is not a defect that cannot then be remedied under the "slip rule".  

Those "learned colleagues" would be wrong then. If the police can supply a better location then that is evidence towards a vague locus defence. However, if the locus is not vague in the first place (ie the recipient knows exactly what they're on about) then the defence is scuppered before it's even started. It is correct that a defect on the NIP can not be corrected under the slip rule.


Lynnzer
And just to chuck in my two pennyworth:
Do you plead guilty or take it all the way?
A few cases on here have gone all the way only to find in the run up that the police/CPS have lost documents, the police officer has retired or is sick, the evidence against you is suddenly not worth the paper it's written on etc.
If you plead guilty you get the points and fine according to the guidelines. If you plead not guilty and put the police to the task of proving the case, you can always change your plea at any time if it appears you haven't a hope in hell of winning.
The end result would cost a few quid more, but what the hell. The more people who take the system on makes it increasingly likely the courts will become swamped and unable to take the strain. I wish everyone would put them to the test.
CountryCousin
QUOTE (Lynnzer @ Tue, 8 Sep 2009 - 13:47) *
A few cases on here have gone all the way only to find in the run up that the police/CPS have lost documents, the police officer has retired or is sick, the evidence against you is suddenly not worth the paper it's written on etc.


I'm inclined to respond that this clearly happened a lot more three or four years ago but very rarely tends to happen these days as the SCPs are now well aware there is a band of drivers who frequent this website and some other websites (eg Safespeed and ABD) who plead Not Guilty in the hope that those very things may happen in their case.

QUOTE
If you plead guilty you get the points and fine according to the guidelines. If you plead not guilty and put the police to the task of proving the case, you can always change your plea at any time if it appears you haven't a hope in hell of winning.
The end result would cost a few quid more, but what the hell.


Well actually if you don't have a clean licence but did still receive a 3 points and £60 FPN offer but are travelling above the speed band where 3 points are recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines Council you might easily find yourself getting 5 or 6 points instead of 3 points and if you have a reasonably good income a much bigger fine like £600 or whatever. Then there is the question of court and prosecution costs which could be quite substantial and if the fine is also large due to your income the costs will almost certainly at least match those. If you bring in lawyers or expert witnesses on your side then probably it may be seen that you have also caused the crown to have to increase its costs regardless of the level of fine imposed on you, although I did not do that in my case but they still engaged an expert witness and the trial hearings will still have stretched over four days due to adjournments and a reserved judgment and the pure intransigent unwillingness of Surrey SCP and the CPS to voluntarily disclose any of their evidence.

QUOTE
The more people who take the system on makes it increasingly likely the courts will become swamped and unable to take the strain. I wish everyone would put them to the test.


I am inclined to respond that as magistrates are unpaid then they can be asked to sit for longer hours and/or more of them can be recruited (there is no shortage of people wanting to be magistrates) so the extra costs only arise from the costs of the Legal Adviser and/or any District Judge's time, if one is assigned to the case, and from the training course costs of recruiting new magistrates + I suppose their additional expenses and subsistence claims. On the whole I suspect all that going to court actually does is provide more hours of paid employment for court officials and for any other members of the legal profession that you employ on your side to defend you.

In my experience the extra stress of pleading Not Guilty does not seem to fall mainly on the court system or the SCPs (for whom you again provide more employment by there being more contested cases) but largely on the defendant who may also lose a substantial amount of their leisure time on days spent in court and/or on returning to the scene of the alleged offence and preparing themselves for their day or days in court. No doubt there are probably some of you on here who enjoy all this but I must report that I am not one of them and I do not regard pleading Not Guilty in court to a speeding charge as being a form of leisure activity or indeed anything other than an extremely stressful and time consuming experience.

As a final thought for anyone who objects to the constant lowering of speed limits and the determination of this New Labour government to criminalise as many motorists as possible to put them off driving as much as possible and force them on to public transport as much as possible, thus saving them the cost of building more roads, then the only sensible way to do this is via the ballot box and the political process. However unfortunately at the present time the views of a certain token bicycle riding Mr David Cameron on this topic are rather suspect even though several other leading Conservative figures have spoken out strongly against the New Labour camera based war on the motorist.
dabar
Thanks for all the wonderfull (detailed advice)

I have just posted the letter asking for any documents / photos they have that can help me identify the driver / location before returning the NIP.

Thanks again - will let you know what I get back.

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