Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Dangerous driving charge M74 Scotland
FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
Martin Gwizdek
My mate "Martin" who has an identical car to my own was caught speeding at 138mph on the M74 last night. Its a 2009 C220cdi

Martin is a little bothered about this debacle. The officers used a laser gun that clocked him. Martin feels the handbook for this car says 135mph so this must be an impossibility. They also hit the reset button on the gun so couldn't show Martin the speed they claimed him to travel at but says its stored anyway. Is this true, or maybe its been wiped? Martin forgot to ask re calibration of the gun.

Martin's apparenetly got a clean licence as previous points for offences have dropped off and has been reported to the procurator fiscal for dangerous driving, despite the road being relatively clear but it was dusky light and a few lorries and light traffic about.

Martins instructed a Lawyer but fears maybe, despite protesting his innocence, that he's going to get a dangerous driving charge?

Martin fears he may have to take the extended driving test and entrust his pride and joy to someone else whilst banned.

Has anyone here had such a charge brought against them, and what are their experiences of court (Martins never been to one of those), and general costs of fines etc
StuartBu
Any reason why your mate " Martin" with the identical car can't post here himself Martin?:-)
sgtdixie
So what speed does your friend think he was going?
Martin Gwizdek
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:09) *
So what speed does your friend think he was going?


He wasn't looking at the speedo at the time, but not that fast,

What sort of information should the lawyer look for in the evidence, of which none was shown at the roadside, to get this to go away or reduce its impact, given the high alledged speed, would the procurator fiscal even be interested in pleaing down a charge.

The driving was in no way dangerous with light traffic, fair weather and a car recently MOT'd with no defects. He was in lane 1 at the time of the alledged offence
mrh3369
Speed alone is enough for DD in Scotland.
Martin Gwizdek
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:35) *
Speed alone is enough for DD in Scotland.


Oh.
AntonyMMM
QUOTE (Martin Gwizdek @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 11:41) *
Martin feels the handbook for this car says 135mph so this must be an impossibility.


That won't be much of a defence....
Martin Gwizdek
QUOTE (AntonyMMM @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:37) *
QUOTE (Martin Gwizdek @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 11:41) *
Martin feels the handbook for this car says 135mph so this must be an impossibility.


That won't be much of a defence....


Why, if the car cannot do it, then why was it clocked at this.
What sort of technicalities/timescales apply so if they don't proceed properly, this goes away
stevensan
I think if your 'friend' goes into court with the attitude that he cant of been doing that speed cause the car can only do 135 and that that speed in lane 1 isn't dangerous, then he's going to turn the judge against him immediately. Excess speed such as that IS dangerous. By your admission Martin didn't know how fast he was going, so there is little chance of a defense of a lower speed succeeding against the opinion of 2 traffic cops and a measurement from an approved device.

In this case your best bet is to accept your friend is going to be banned, accept your friend was silly (stupid) and go to court apologetic. Your aim shouldn't be to avoid a ban (baring a technicality its not going to happen) but to avoid time with Bubba.
paulajayne
QUOTE (stevensan @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:43) *
Excess speed such as that IS dangerous.


"Can be" not "IS".

Newton plea, may help a little but little I think.

General guidance about the procedure to be adopted where the defendant pleads guilty on a factual basis different to that which appears from the prosecution's case was set down in R V Underwood [2005] 1 Cr. App.R (S) 90.

Pleading the speed down, basically saying YES I was speeding but not at that speed.
Aretnap
Unless the speed alleged was clearly ridiculous (100mph in a tractor perhaps) you/your "friend" would need more evidence than a number in a manual to cast serious doubt on whether the car was able to go that fast. A detailed engineer's report perhaps. The listed top speed doesn't mean that no individual car can go faster than 135mph in any circumstances... going downhill, a following wind, perhaps some modifications could all make it go a bit faster.

As you were stopped at the time there's no requirement for a Notice of Intended Prosecution, so the next you hear might well be a citation. For speeding or careless driving this would have to be issued within 6 months of the offence, but that doesn't apply to dangerous driving which is triable either way so there is in theory no limit to how long they could wait to bring charges.

Dangerous driving is a serious offence. Prison is theoretically possible, though not likely, but you/your friend should be prepared for the possibility of a whacking big fine or a spell of community service.
uk_mike
I am afraid to say that arguing that it is not possible for your car to exceed the manufacturers spec by 3mph will not be n effective defence.

3mph is a less than 3% error so it is in no way unexpected, and in any event most cars can exceed their maximum design speed by a considerably larger margin if conditions are favourable (for example a downhill gradient of following wind) In any event you really really do not want to be even implying that you were going "flat out" unless you want to see the inside of a prison cell.

Trying to challenge the speed when you admit you have no idea what speed you were going at will not be an effective defence either, given the choice between someone's opinion that they were "not going that fast" and a precise speed measured by an officially calibrated device what do you think the court will believe?

Your best option would be to instruct your solicitor to negotiate with the prosecution to see if they will accept a guilty plea for a lesser charge of speeding or careless driving.

In the meantime I suggest that you start making arrangements in your life so that you can cope without the use of your vehicle for an extended period of time. DD carries an automatic minimum ban of 12 months. Accepting a lesser charge (if offered) is unlikely to avoid a ban but would hopefully considerably reduce the duration.
stevensan
QUOTE (paulajayne @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 11:56) *
QUOTE (stevensan @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:43) *
Excess speed such as that IS dangerous.


"Can be" not "IS".

Newton plea, may help a little but little I think.




On what basis? The OP admits his doesn't know the speed he was doing. He will be challenging a speed recorded by an approved device and the opinion of a police officer. Newton pleas are useful, but the defence has to have a basis to run the plea. In this case zero information has been given which would support such a plea other than wishful thinking.
Ruperts Trooper
QUOTE (Martin Gwizdek @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 12:41) *
Why, if the car cannot do it, then why was it clocked at this.

Two possible reasons - a) Because maximum speeds are sometimes understated by the manufacturer to get a more advantageous insurance group and b) The effect of down gradient can be significant.

Without going into detail about something that happened 30 years ago as I wasn't caught, I've done 127mph true speed in a car with a "maximum" of 118 - on a downhill stretch of the M1.
mrh3369
I can't see much joy in a Newton hearing in this case, the laser gives an accurate instantaneous reading so is difficult to argue against unlike a follow check for instance.
fedup2
No 2 cars will be the same even if faily new.The conditions can have a big effect,certainly enough to blow the it wont do it arguement out of the water.
A back wind could easily make a 3mph difference as could a slight gradient even if its not visually obvious.Then you would have to prove its not been mapped or altered etc etc.That arguement isnt going to wash.

I would be a little peed off facing a dangerous driving charge for so little speed but if thats how they deal with it,id avoid doing it in Scotland.

sgtdixie
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 13:40) *
I can't see much joy in a Newton hearing in this case, the laser gives an accurate instantaneous reading so is difficult to argue against unlike a follow check for instance.

mrh is right. There is no chance of a newton hearing getting a lower speed from a calibrated speed gun. I note that you won't say what speed you were doing just not looking at your speedo. Whilst I can understand your reticence given the authorities do check this site in order for the speed alleged to be right you would have been flat out. This is not a case where the driver exceeded the speed limit by error. It will be portrayed as a deliberate act by the prosecution.
Whether it is dangerous is for the court ultimately, but as you are being so circumspect we won't really be able to say.

You have a solicitor so I would forget about using an internet forum for such a serious offence. If your solicitor doesn't know what is needed to defend or mitigate this sack him and get one who does.
Martin Gwizdek
Is Martins best bet once his lawyer sees the evidence and assuming its all factual and correct, is to try to appeal to reduce the charge down to a lesser one and accept that.
Kieran_e1
there was a case previously where a driver of an m3 was clocked at 140+ mph on the motorway by plod. he was charged with dangerous but was able to prove that it wasn't dangerous by a combination of showing conditions etc were all favourable and he slowed in traffic etc etc. he also got witnesses who were on the road that day to testify to his good road manners. As he was not charged with a lesser offense he was found not guilty of dangerous and walked. i'd be researching that case if i was "martin"

speed isn't always dangerous
mrh3369
Was that case also in Scotland?
sgtdixie
Despite S2 RTA 1988 being the same legislation in E&W and Scotland, anecdotaly Scottish courts seems far more willing to convict based on speed alone. Until you see the Cops statements you won't know how they describe it.
StuartBu
QUOTE (Kieran_e1 @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 14:37) *
there was a case previously where a driver of an m3 was clocked at 140+ mph on the motorway by plod. he was charged with dangerous but was able to prove that it wasn't dangerous by a combination of showing conditions etc were all favourable and he slowed in traffic etc etc. he also got witnesses who were on the road that day to testify to his good road manners. As he was not charged with a lesser offense he was found not guilty of dangerous and walked. i'd be researching that case if i was "martin"

speed isn't always dangerous


It certainly seems unfair if ( In Scotland ) speed alone with no other aggravating factors is decided as being dangerous ,particularly on a Motorway .
uk_mike
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 14:40) *
Was that case also in Scotland?


Decisions by English courts are not binding on Scottish courts. In any event DD is not a strict liability offence and so each one is decided on its own individual circumstances.

At this point we have no knowledge of what evidence the prosecution plans to present to support its case, and so no idea if it will hinge on the speed alone.
henrik777
http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/SE12001092.html
glasgow_bhoy
DD charges start at much lower speeds than yours. Here's a guy who got banned for a year for 114mph.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tays...entral-20512644

And 127mph also got a ban- http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish...lerator-1051565


It's gonna be nigh on impossible to keep a licence at your speed I'm afriad. Best bet is be contrite, very sorry and recognise what you've done to the courts- hope that they believe you are remorsful and all that.
JP1978
I've been travelling the m74 a lot these last few months, generally Sunday down and Friday up.... And every time it's been hoaching with BiB and camera vans. Just yesterday there was a camera van at Abington services and a marked and unmarked car who already had customers..... And possibly saw a second marked car up a slip road.

Have even seen them (strathclyde force/area) speed checking a couple of mile away from the d&g border southbound and then d&g speed checking a couple of mile into their patch.

Odds of been caught speeding on that road are very high at the moment.
Quicksilver
Now that there is only one police force in Scotland I have seen a lot of activity in places where there was none before. Seems they are more "efficient" in their deployment of "resources".

If I travel down the M74 I make sure I am not in a hurry and set the cruise control to 53 mph. this is slightly slower than the trucks so I just sit in the nearside lane the whole way. Very boring but OK with a good audio book the time passes quickly. Not sure it is so safe as I do not pay as much attention to the road as I do at 70+.

Q.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2019 Invision Power Services, Inc.