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nelly4eva3000
I would greatly appreciate any advice on a matter which is greatly bothering me.

Back in February I was driving in a 40mph zone which speed that the police are saying was reading 62mph on their equipment. It was a vascar system. The officer gave me a ticket for 3 points and a £60 fine.

Unfortunately my license was already away for renewal so it didn't arrive within 7 days for me to produce at the station. I went down to the police station and explained this to the officer who filled out a form and did note down on it license was away for renewal. He advised me to wait for the summons and then contact the court and explain the situation In the mean time i made sure i paid the fine.

A few days ago i had a visit from an officer saying he had come to hand me my summons as the summons had been returned to them before. I explained that i had never received the summons as it was only me and my dad living at the house.

The summons is in 3 weeks time and ideas how i should deal with this? I have been driving for 6 years and have a clean license.

thanks
jobo
and did you pay the fine ? as in they cashed the cheque
nelly4eva3000
yep paid it by ringing th 24hr payment line and paid with my debit card
Logician
I find this confusing as I understood that payment could only be accepted if the licence could be endorsed at the same time.

Rather than trying to plead guilty by post, it might be best to go to court with your new licence and proof that you have paid the penalty, and explain what has happened.
The Rookie
Can you check your bank records to see if the fine was actually paid?

Vascar is not approved for speed measurement as it would be if they wanted to use it as evidence.

Simon
nelly4eva3000
right just checked my bank statement it shows the money debited from my account but it also shows the money being put back in my account a few weeks later.why i wasnt told the payment is being refunded i dont know. Any ideas how to tackle this now? I still dont believe i was travelling as fast as the officer said.how accurate is the vasar system?
jobo
the vasca system is as accurate as the person using it

BUT AFAIK its not been approved for use in the UK so if that is all the evidence they have its very open to challenge

see what others think
nelly4eva3000
ok il see what i can find out when the officer had me in his car he played back the video to me showing me my speed in the bottom corner and just said its best i take the fine as if it went to court id get banned as the system was accurate and fool proof
jobo
if you describing what i think you are

thats not your speed that showing., thats his speed and thats not the same as a vasca
nelly4eva3000
i dnt knw then like i said this is all alien to me but did say vascar on the summons.out of curiosity what kind of system does it seem like? It did look very similar to th police chase recordings that they have on police camera action lol
jobo
the vasca is a stop watch, they press it when you go past a fixed object then when they do, and again when you both pass another object, this gives them you time between the two and measures the distance betwen the two points and hence your speed


what they also have is a vid which superimposes their speed on the screen, this vid can be used as evidence of your speed if it mimics your speed over a distance

whilst i understand that the vasca system can not be used as primary evidence of you speed


now if the summons leads the vasca as the evidence you may have a reasonable chance of challenging it
desktop_demon
OP can you tell us how many officers there were in the car that stopped you - was it one or more? How many officers have given evidence statements? What evidence has been sent with the summons - have you received statements or other bits of paper?

There may be a defence to the allegation of speeding in your case. The VASCAR manual time and distance meter is a prescribed device since June 2008. As a prescribed device it must be "type approved" by teh secretary of state before the evidence it produces can be used in court to support a charge of speeding. That is what RTOA 1988 s.20(4) clearly states. Further more the rtA 1984 s.89(2) states that the opinion of just one person to the effect that the OP was speeding is not sufficient evidence to convict for speeding. So it seems the law says that in the circumstances described the conviction cannot be made due to insufficient evidence.

There are 2 cases before the Admion court appealing exactly such convictions.
nelly4eva3000
thank you for all your replies so far right there was 2 officers in the car that stopped me. May i also mention it was around 8.30 in the evening so it was fairly dark as the clocks hadn't gone foward yet lol. I will just post below basically what it says on the summons as my scanner isn't working at the moment.

On the 12th day of january 2010 i was on mobile patrol duty in an unmarked police traffic vehicle which is fitted with vascar which can measure vehicle average speed and our calibrated speedometer.

At 2003 hours on this date i was on mobile patrol duty on (road name left out by myself) heading out of the city and sat in the nearside lane of 3 and my speed was 40mph on both my vascar and my speedometer. At this time a vauxhall motor vehicle (reg left out by myself) came passed me at speed and was moving in and out of traffic well in excess of 40mph.

I accelerated up to 70mph in order to catch up with the vehicle and then followed it for a distance of at least half a mile and matched his speed at between 60 and 65mph i then caused the vehicle to stop and spoke to the driver of the vehicle as being (part left out myself). I cautioned him and issued him with a fixed penatly notice for speeding.

Ok so thats what it said now may i add there is a part at the top which says tick if witness evidence is visually recorded and it is not ticked. Also on both the ticket i was issued and on this statement the date it has down for when i was stopped as 12th January 2010 when i was actually stopped on the 12th February. Please advise

thank you
Logician
So actually the officer is saying that he followed you at a steady distance and measured your speed on his calibrated speedometer. It does not sound as though you have a defence based on the use of a Vascar.

It might be best to wait for the summons and plead guilty by post, but making it very clear that you were offered a fixed penalty but could not take it because your licence was with the DVLA. Hopefully the court will simply fine and give you points at the fixed penalty level.
nelly4eva3000
so no chance of a defence on the fact that they got the dates completely wrong or would that not count?
Mayhem007
It sounds like he had the vacar in standby mode, which means it gives an indication of his speed rather than monitoring your average speed by measuring distance and time. As anybody on here will tell you, the VASCAR measurements are inadmissable as evidence.

However, he may have been using his speedometer as well as the VASCAR and was comparing the reading between the two pieces of equipment. You also have the difficulty in that there were two police officers, but you only appear to have received a witness statement from one officer.

In order for him to monitor your speed he would need to remain at constant distance from you over a minimum of 0.2 mile.

Any mention of VASCAR or police pilot, I would normally advise people to fight the case, however, in this circumstance there are too many grey areas that could get you into alot of bother.

If it is there intention to penalise you above the normal COFP then I would seriously consider Newtons trial guilty of speeding but not guilty of the alleged speed, this would then possibily maintain the sentence at £60 and 3 points.

There information on distance and speed is a very rough estimate.

When is the summons? Which county were you in?
Logician
QUOTE (nelly4eva3000 @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 03:41) *
so no chance of a defence on the fact that they got the dates completely wrong or would that not count?

Only if the error disadvantaged you, which it didn't really because you were stopped at the time and know all about the incident and the correct date.
nelly4eva3000
QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 09:06) *
It sounds like he had the vacar in standby mode, which means it gives an indication of his speed rather than monitoring your average speed by measuring distance and time. As anybody on here will tell you, the VASCAR measurements are inadmissable as evidence.

However, he may have been using his speedometer as well as the VASCAR and was comparing the reading between the two pieces of equipment. You also have the difficulty in that there were two police officers, but you only appear to have received a witness statement from one officer.

In order for him to monitor your speed he would need to remain at constant distance from you over a minimum of 0.2 mile.

Any mention of VASCAR or police pilot, I would normally advise people to fight the case, however, in this circumstance there are too many grey areas that could get you into alot of bother.

If it is there intention to penalise you above the normal COFP then I would seriously consider Newtons trial guilty of speeding but not guilty of the alleged speed, this would then possibily maintain the sentence at £60 and 3 points.

There information on distance and speed is a very rough estimate.

When is the summons? Which county were you in?

The summons is on the 24th of may and i was caught in bradford. For some reason the court dealing with it is in halifax. So what is this newtons guilty thing your on about?should i admit guilt but contest the speed? Am i looking at a ban? As that would mean my disabled father would be left without transport as im his registered carer
jobo
a ban is possible, but in my view very unlikely

the contention is if your in the 3 points band opr the 4 to 6 points band


you have a chance that having been offered a FP which you couldnt take up for admin reasons, that you can get the mags to just apply this penalty

a newton hearing is as you suggest a guilty plea but contesting the speed but you would have to get the accepted speed down to 55 in order to make it a three point offence


you could do both, but this may complicate things,

see what others think
nelly4eva3000
QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 15:04) *
a ban is possible, but in my view very unlikely

the contention is if your in the 3 points band opr the 4 to 6 points band


you have a chance that having been offered a FP which you couldnt take up for admin reasons, that you can get the mags to just apply this penalty

a newton hearing is as you suggest a guilty plea but contesting the speed but you would have to get the accepted speed down to 55 in order to make it a three point offence


you could do both, but this may complicate things,

see what others think

Thank you for your reply what do you think would be better if i go down on the day or plead guilty by post?
jobo
if you go newtion you have to go

if you going JUST guilty but asking mags to apply 3 points etc, then you would be best advised to go, as its the only way to know that they have understood what your saying
Mayhem007
QUOTE (nelly4eva3000 @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 14:09) *
i admit guilt but contest the speed? Am i looking at a ban? As that would mean my disabled father would be left without transport as im his registered carer


Given your circumstances I would not contest anything, sounds like you have enough on your plate.

If you have the option of guilty by post then do so. But put mitigating circumstances i.e. you are a registered carer.
Logician
Now that it is clear that your payment of the penalty was refunded, and that complication is removed, I would plead guilty by post to avoid being questioned about your speed. I think it is worthwhile saying you dispute the speed to discourage the mags from accepting the speed given by the officer. I suggest you say something like, "I accept that I was speeding on this occasion, but dispute that my speed as high as suggested by the officer.
Please note that, as noted in the officer's statement, I was given a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, but I was unable to take that up because my licence was with the DVLA, and was not returned to me in time. I believe that this was noted when I visited xxxxxxx police station. I was there advised to pay the penalty anyway, and I did so, but the payment was returned to me because of the absence of my licence. I hope that in these circumstances it will be thought appropriate to give me a fine and points equivalent to the fixed penalty."

This will be read out to the mags by the clerk, so it should be quite clear to them what the situation is.
jobo
QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 16:42) *
QUOTE (nelly4eva3000 @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 14:09) *
i admit guilt but contest the speed? Am i looking at a ban? As that would mean my disabled father would be left without transport as im his registered carer


Given your circumstances I would not contest anything, sounds like you have enough on your plate.

If you have the option of guilty by post then do so. But put mitigating circumstances i.e. you are a registered carer.


and how is that a mitigation ?

it might be an undue hardship point, but in no way a mitigation for speeding
nelly4eva3000
QUOTE (Logician @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 16:45) *
Now that it is clear that your payment of the penalty was refunded, and that complication is removed, I would plead guilty by post to avoid being questioned about your speed. I think it is worthwhile saying you dispute the speed to discourage the mags from accepting the speed given by the officer. I suggest you say something like, "I accept that I was speeding on this occasion, but dispute that my speed as high as suggested by the officer.
Please note that, as noted in the officer's statement, I was given a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, but I was unable to take that up because my licence was with the DVLA, and was not returned to me in time. I believe that this was noted when I visited xxxxxxx police station. I was there advised to pay the penalty anyway, and I did so, but the payment was returned to me because of the absence of my licence. I hope that in these circumstances it will be thought appropriate to give me a fine and points equivalent to the fixed penalty."

This will be read out to the mags by the clerk, so it should be quite clear to them what the situation is.

I appreciate you taking the time for this reply.thank u
nelly4eva3000
Just thought id update on whats happened so far and it seems things are getting from bad to worse now. Sent off the guilty plea through post in good time and now have had a letter stating that a new date for the hearing has been set in a few weeks time and i have to attend. It also states the reason for this is because the prosecution has requested an adjournment.

Any advice please? sad1.gif
jobo
what did you put in your letter ??

as i told you above if you enter a newton plea, you have to attend

so if you said im guilty , but i dispute the speed, they will expect you to attend to justify that view ?

the only other reason is that they are considering a ban, but thats dash unlikely at that speed ?

ring and ask ?


nelly4eva3000
QUOTE (jobo @ Sat, 29 May 2010 - 23:31) *
what did you put in your letter ??

as i told you above if you enter a newton plea, you have to attend

so if you said im guilty , but i dispute the speed, they will expect you to attend to justify that view ?

the only other reason is that they are considering a ban, but thats dash unlikely at that speed ?

ring and ask ?


I accept that I was speeding on this occasion, but dispute that my speed as high as suggested by the officer.
Please note that, as noted in the officer's statement, I was given a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, but I was unable to take that up because my licence was with the DVLA, and was not returned to me in time.

I believe that this was noted when I visited xxxxxxx police station. I was there advised to pay the penalty anyway, and I did so, but the payment was returned to me because of the absence of my licence.
I hope that in these circumstances it will be thought appropriate to give me a fine and points equivalent to the fixed penalty.

thats what i wrote in the letter i was expecting them to just fine me and send my license back. should i be expecting extra court costs now because of this?
jobo
QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 12 May 2010 - 16:26) *
if you go newtion you have to go

if you going JUST guilty but asking mags to apply 3 points etc, then you would be best advised to go, as its the only way to know that they have understood what your saying


from above, you appear to have entered a guilty plea with a newton element ?

they may be bringing the copper in to justify the reading as accurate,
Logician
I think Jobo is very likely right, they are intending to try to prove the speed by calling the officer, but they should have followed their guidance that if you were unable to take up the offered fixed penalty for administrative reasons, they should sentence you to the equivalent of a fixed penalty. Never mind, at the next hearing you are unlikely to get the same bench, and the next lot may/should follow the correct route. If the officer is there, you can get him to confirm to them that he offered you a fixed penalty.
nelly4eva3000
So what should i do when i attend on the day? do i state that i should have been offered me a sentence equivalent of the fixed penalty and/or do i try to prove that i wasn't going as the officer said?
Logician
Subject to what others say, I think you should simply say what you wrote earlier, that you do not believe you were going as fast as the officer stated. You can ask him how sure he is that he followed you at a steady distance, and he is likely to say he is very sure. Then ask him how sure he is of the date, since he wrote 12th January when it was really 12th February. From your username, I wonder if you are female, if so, you can point out that his statement refers to the driver as "him". It all helps to make the mags a little unsure of how accurate his evidence actually is. Also you said earlier the police say you were doing 62mph, whereas the statement says 60 to 65, so where did the 62 come from? The mags should take the lower speed where a range is given. Ask to officer to confirm he gave you a fixed penalty notice.

Later, when you have a chance to address the mags, say again you dispute the speed, point out any discrepancies in what the officer said, and finally say the you were given a fixed penalty notice, you tried to pay it but it was refunded because you had no licence available as it was with the DVLA, and that you understood that in these circumstances the practice should be to sentence you at the fixed penalty level. If they seem bemused by that, have ready and show them the relevant page from their guidelines, and point out the section:

where a penalty notice was not offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence
itself, such as administrative difficulties, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the
amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be
disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances.


This is on page 189 of their guidelines, under Explanatory Material. Link to guidelines
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