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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
waddyp
NIP Details and Circumstances
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - [b]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.
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Hotel Oscar 87
As the holder of a US licence (sorry, license) you will be unable to follow the route of the conditional offer of fixed penalty (Standard £60 fine plus 3 penalty points), nor, to the pbest of my knowledge could you rely on the most likely resolution to this scenario were you a holder of a full UK licence and that is the speed awareness course (everything else being equal). Sadly, unless others correct me I foresee a summons being issued and an appearance in Court.

Although this may sound rather daunting you could advance the argument that you be treated equitably and that no greater penalty be imposed than if you were a UK licence holder - i.e. £60 fine plus 3 points (a computer record - "ghost licence" - will be created as if you held a UK licence and record the 3 points imposed). You may or may not be ordered to pay costs (normally in the range £40-£45 points based on a "guilty" plea at the first opportunity) but will almost certainly not escape the ubiquitous "Victim Support Levy" of £15.

This all assumes that: you do not already have a "ghost" licence and there are no existing points that may render you liable to a period of disqualification; you have not overrun the permissable periods for you to drive on your US licence.
waddyp
Where did the rest of my post go? I typed in way more than that.

bah.

So Hotel Oscar, you're saying that because I have a US license:

1. I have no choice but to take the points and the fine on a "ghost license"?
2. I have no choice but to appear in court?
3. There is a possibility that because I do not have a UK license that my penalties could be more severe?

All this for 36 in a 30 at 5am in the morning on an empty street, just awesome, the UK has elevated screwing people over with simple traffic offenses to an artform.

I have only been here for a month, this is my first infraction, so I am well within the 12 month period for my US license and have no previous "ghost license".

Also when I do try to get a UK license, will this "ghost license" then become my real license, with the points still in tact?
Hotel Oscar 87
Dealing with your questions as posted:

1. Sadly, this is the reality. The particularly galling aspect is that had you been a UK licence holder in the circumstances described then you would probably (dependant on the area) have been offered a speed awareness course. You pay to attend the course - usually lasting half a day - but do not collect any penalty points. As far as the penalty is concerned, you pay the fine to the court and the points are added to your "ghost" licence.

2. The case will probably go to court but you are not obliged to appear physically as there is a standard procedure for you to plead "guilty" by post.

3. Technically, yes. However, the lower courts whether in England, Scotland or Wales work to a standard set of penalties (well, in theory) and the published likely penalty in that suggest a standard fine and 3 points. By the same token were your income to be low then your fine would reflect this.

4. Then there should be no problem from this aspect of your case.

QUOTE
Also when I do try to get a UK license, will this "ghost license" then become my real license, with the points still in tact?

You have it in one, yes. If you remain here and obtain a UK licence then the "ghost" points would become "real" and appear on the counterpart section of your UK licence. Points imposed for speeding become "spent" for the purposes of accruing to what is known as a "totting" disqualification after 3 years. You can apply to have them removed from your licence after 4 years but insurance companies here require you to declare for up to 5 years after conviction. A single speeding conviction as your appear to be heading for is very unlikely to affect your current insurance situation.
waddyp
Thanks for all the information in your replies HO, at least I can prepare myself for what is about to ensue.

I think I'll go poke myself in the eye with a stick, it should feel better than I feel right now.
Hotel Oscar 87
Don't forget to reply within the 28 days permitted or the offence could transmute itself into "failing to furnish" (not supplying your details) and leave you open to a largish fine (~£300) and 6 points.

I'd imagine that you'd want to poke yourself in both eyes in that eventuality!
Lynnzer
QUOTE (waddyp @ Tue, 8 Sep 2009 - 13:22) *
Thanks for all the information in your replies HO, at least I can prepare myself for what is about to ensue.

I think I'll go poke myself in the eye with a stick, it should feel better than I feel right now.

I have a Google alert for "Speeding" and "Gatso" and get daily updates from around the world when anything with these words appear online, not only in news topics but legislation etc.
Believe me, the UK is the pits right now for screwing people but the USA is fast getting it's own barrage of speed cameras and red light cameras. I get dozens of articles from the USA every morning.
The only winners in this war are the camera manufacturers.
The people who get screwed scream about them, the courts are inundated and running at capacity and the police, (God bless them) have lost their automatic rake off so are running at a loss I guess I hope.
The Treasury, however, seems to do alright from it all. So we speed and then provide valuable cash for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's what I call patriotic. Well, I did my bit to help them.........
As for safety.........
Speeding and safe driving are not dependent on, or devolved from each other. Speed only kills when someone makes a mistake in their driving.
waddyp
Amen to your entire post Lynnzer.

The US might be getting as bad, but I know at least in Texas where I am from they give you a fighting chance to keep your insurance and record clean.

Sure they still make you pay a fine, I mean which municipality is going to turn down money, but they give you two options to avoid points on your license (so long as you are not 25+ over the limit or did something in a school/construction zone). You can:
1. Pay a reduced fine and ask to take a Driving Safety (which you also pay for), or
2. Pay the full fine and ask for 6 months probation, if you get another ticket within those six months then you get full penalties for both tickets.

And in Texas the fines are huge, my last one was $275, way more than the piddly £60 I am going pay for them to put me halfway to a suspended UK license before I even get one. And this is TEXAS! Isn't the sterotype that we shoot people for shoplifting, and the UK is oh so evolved and cultured? that must only apply to violent crime, I saw were some 16 year old kid got 6 years in prison here in the UK for getting drink beating some poor old guy to death in a park, but I get the fifth degree for going 6 miles over the limit? I mean shoot, take my money, but don't make my insurance go up and have me halfway to losing my license for a first freaking offense!

OK I am ranting.....
southpaw82
You have 12 points to play with on a UK licence so three points will not see you half-way to a ban.
waddyp
Isn't it 6 points within the first 2 years of having a UK license?

I haven't even gotten my UK license yet, I will probably do so sometime early next year.

southpaw82
Only if you have to take your test and enter into a probationary period. Even then, six points leads to revocation, not disqualification (suspension).
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