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General Chat Thread, New Speed Cameras in General; Originally Posted by CAM ...the law needs to treat each case individually by taking into account the clarity of limits, ...
  1. #61
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    ...the law needs to treat each case individually by taking into account the clarity of limits, road conditions, equipment faults
    The motorist is an all too easy target for revenue generation. AIUI, since 2004, offences are looked at on an individual basis, however, the experience below just goes to show it matters not one iota.

    My sister-in-law's husband was clocked by a speed camera doing 34mph in a 30mph zone. It was 4am (yes, 4am) in the morning, there were no other vehicles or pedestrians on the road and he was on an emergency call-out for a massive gas leak in the centre of Brighton. He was fined 60 and had 3 points put on his licence.

    A few weeks later, he was pulled over and stopped by the Police because he was driving at approx 20mph in a 30mph area. On explanation, it was because they thought the manner in which the vehicle was being driven (slowly, late at night) looked suspicious. His reason for driving slowly? He was in the right road for the address he was due at, but had slowed to a) see numbers on doors, and b) to allow the vehicle following him (the Police vehicle) to pass. The vehicle he was driving had "TRANSCO" on the side and back.

    ho hum.

    Interesting site which shows the variation in penalties given for speeding offences.
    http://www.ukmotorists.com/speeding%20fines2.asp
    Last edited by theeldergeek; 26th April 2010 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #62

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    The motorist is an all too easy target for revenue generation. AIUI, since 2004, offences are looked at on an individual basis, however, the experience below just goes to show it matters not one iota.

    My sister-in-law's husband was clocked by a speed camera doing 34mph in a 30mph zone. It was 4am (yes, 4am) in the morning, there were no other vehicles or pedestrians on the road and he was on an emergency call-out for a massive gas leak in the centre of Brighton. He was fined 60 and had 3 points put on his licence.
    Did he contest it and go to court?

    A few weeks later, again early in the morning, he was pulled over and stopped by the Police because he was driving at approx 20mph in a 30mph area. On explanation, it was because they thought the manner in which the vehicle was being driven (slowly, late at night) looked suspicious. His reason for driving slowly? He was in the right road for the address he was due at, but had slowed to a) see numbers on doors, and b) to allow the vehicle following him (the Police vehicle) to pass. The vehicle he was driving had "TRANSCO" on the side and back.
    Having seen various cases where company vans have been stolen, and then used for late night burglary getaway vehicles, that seems like a sensible police officer to me... Being pulled over isn't the same as being prosecuted - the job of the police is to do what they did...

  3. #63
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Did he contest it and go to court?

    Having seen various cases where company vans have been stolen, and then used for late night burglary getaway vehicles, that seems like a sensible police officer to me... Being pulled over isn't the same as being prosecuted - the job of the police is to do what they did...
    No, he didn't appeal. Hardly worth appealing given the costs you can incur in going to Court. It shouldn't have been a ticket given the circumstance, but his firm paid the fine for him via some overtime he didn't have to work, and the 3 points were the first on his licence, so he just took it on the chin. It was a revenue generating ticket, no doubt about it. He wasn't driving uncontrollably fast, the road was deserted, road conditions were good. Had he gone to court, he possibly could have had it revoked, but it's simply not worth it. The motorist is an easy target, period.

    Here's one such case which went horribly wrong on appeal. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2199...ourt-bill.html
    Extreme, perhaps, but it goes to show the injustice that the motorist can experience despite the Judge acknowledging the camera was incorrectly set up.

    Incidentally, I was highlighting the irony of him being caught speeding one day, and stopped for driving too slow the next. No suggestion on my part that the Police weren't doing their job.

    I presume you accept I wasn't wrong in an earlier post where I pointed out the costs for which you can be out of pocket for successfully appealing a case? I've since edited that post with a citation.
    Last edited by theeldergeek; 26th April 2010 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Spelling correction

  4. #64

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    No, he didn't appeal. Hardly worth appealing given the costs you can incur in going to Court. It shouldn't have been a ticket given the circumstance, but his firm paid the fine for him via some overtime he didn't have to work, and the 3 points were the first on his licence, so he just took it on the chin. It was a revenue generating ticket, no doubt about it. He wasn't driving uncontrollably fast, the road was deserted, road conditions were good. Had he gone to court, he possibly could have had it revoked, but it's simply not worth it. The motorist is an easy target, period.
    They're only an easy target because people sit back and let themselves get points and fines without contesting...

    Here's one such case which went horribly wrong on appeal. Speeding appeal leaves motorist with £15,000 court bill - Telegraph
    Extreme, perhaps, but it goes to show the injustice that the motorist can experience despite the Judge acknowledging the camera was incorrectly set up.
    Which is why there is a further court higher up to appeal to.

    I presume you accept I wasn't wrong in an earlier post where I pointed out the costs for which you can be out of pocket for successfully appealing a case? I've since edited that post with a citation.
    No, you are wrong. The new rules set an upper amount for legal costs - ie. the rate at which lawyers employed by legal aid can be paid. It doesn't say a defendant will end up out of pocket - it says they will if they go out and pay tens of thousands on more expensive lawyers than they should have done.

    When contesting a speeding fine, you can be pretty sure that 90% of the time, you aren't going to need a complex legal team! A solicitor will do you, and if you get to Crown Court, a solicitor and a barrister.

    Otherwise, you'll end up with someone contesting a case in court and demanding the payment of 50k in legal fees because they hired an entire legal firm for the day...

  5. #65

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    One of the problems with contesting any action of the police is that by stepping into the legal realm all parties generally accept that the winners are lawyers. The limits on costs can be challenged (and are likely to be in this case) as costs between defence and prosecution should be equivalent and respective of the time, importance of the case and any other mitigating factors. The failure for police or companies working with the police to divulge information in a timely fashion to allow a case to be defended or prosecuted is one of these.

    Let's face it though ... it was a technicality and whilst the camera was not accurate it was within acceptable limits. She was speeding. The only good thing that came out of this was that many cameras were subsequently checked and moved to better positions just in case the tolerance on the accuracy was out be too large a margin. For some it meant being moved a few yards, and a few in Northants disappeared completely. The downside is that you now get motorist slowing down on the straight approaching the camera and then accelerate away ... on a bend! I've seen a few bad accidents as a result around here due to this. Anyone who knows the A6003 knows how nasty some of the accidents on the stretch between Kettering and Corby can be ... and the moving of the speed camera means that you get idiots right up you backside as soon as you pass the camera ... in spite of you coming up to the bit where a lot of the accidents happen! I would far prefer them to stick and average speed camera along there.

    I've been pulled over by the police for driving too slow too ... similar incident of looking for a house number at night. Fair play to them, Happy to be breathalised too ... Police have to balance a healthy dose of suspicion with the optimism that they will be proved wrong.

    But if we get back to the fines again ... if people are that annoyed about having to pay fines ... then don't speed. If you make a mistake and miss the speed limit sign if it changes then by all means challenge if it is not clearly sign-posted. If you believe that you were not going that fast then get your car checked and request a calibration check on the camera. There are times when being that little bit over on your speed (31/32 according to your car) might be 33/34. It happens ... but if you had been doing 28/29 then you would have been within the tolerance of the camera. Remember that 30 is the *maximum* speed ... not the target you should *always* be at. There is nowt wrong with keeping to around 28/29.

  6. #66
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post


    No, you are wrong. The new rules set an upper amount for legal costs - ie. the rate at which lawyers employed by legal aid can be paid. It doesn't say a defendant will end up out of pocket - it says they will if they go out and pay tens of thousands on more expensive lawyers than they should have done.
    Yes, you are right. Google is clearly your friend.

    I misinterpreted what I had previously read about the new law sometime late last year, thinking that you'd get nothing back if you appealed. An incorrect conclusion on my part, although it does appear that there are quite a few people who aren't actually aware of this change in the law.

  7. #67
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    But if we get back to the fines again ... if people are that annoyed about having to pay fines ... then don't speed. If you make a mistake and miss the speed limit sign if it changes then by all means challenge if it is not clearly sign-posted. If you believe that you were not going that fast then get your car checked and request a calibration check on the camera. There are times when being that little bit over on your speed (31/32 according to your car) might be 33/34. It happens ... but if you had been doing 28/29 then you would have been within the tolerance of the camera. Remember that 30 is the *maximum* speed ... not the target you should *always* be at. There is nowt wrong with keeping to around 28/29.
    Personally, I drive below the speed limit, particularly on residential roads. Been driving since I was about 19. I'm middle aged now. Never had a speeding ticket nor a blameworthy accident. Not saying I'm a better driver for it, but I am a careful one. All I am guilty of, is getting to the speed limit fairly rapidly, but my car can, so I do. As soon as I am at the speed limit, it's foot off the gas.

    Drivers who intentionally speed annoy the heck out of me, especially those who are both speeding and being inconsiderate. However, I do think in the case of my relative above, it was an unfair ticket even if it was valid. If it had been in the middle of the day, with pedestrians and other road users around, I could understand it, but under the circumstances, it was a bit petty to enforce it.
    Last edited by theeldergeek; 26th April 2010 at 09:51 PM.

  8. #68
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    They're only an easy target because people sit back and let themselves get points and fines without contesting...
    Sorry, missed this bit. I think you are right here, but I also think in the majority of cases, people are probably too frightened to get involved in the legal system for fear of making things worse for themselves.

  9. #69

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    Drivers who intentionally speed annoy the heck out of me, especially those who are both speeding and being inconsiderate. However, I do think in the case of my relative above, it was an unfair ticket even if it was valid. If it had been in the middle of the day, with pedestrians and other road users around, I could understand it, but under the circumstances, it was a bit petty to enforce it.
    Fair point ... and it is at that point it comes down to the discretion of the officer involved. Most I know would have gone "Gas leak? Need an escort?" but it could be that previous experiences have made him stick to the letter of the law ... sometimes having the option of discretion leads to inconsistencies, but generally they turn out for the best IME ... unfortunately not in the case of your relative.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Sorry but 'almost guaranteed'. That's nonsense to be honest. How would you know this, or anyone? You can't, plain and simple.

    ...

    Sorry but what do those graphs show? The scales are wildly different, so comparing them is a little difficult.
    Oops, it appears that i did not explain myself clearly, so let me try again...

    The government were keen to prove that speed cameras work, but this is difficult to do (especially as many people think that they don't work). There was already a general trend of a reduction in the number of fatalities each year, most likely due to improved car safety - but they needed more.

    Thus they set up speed camera trials in six force areas (Cleveland, Essex, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Thames Valley), but for some strange reason most of these areas had a higher than normal number of fatalities in the year before the trial started. Hence my first graph, which shows (on the vertical axis) the number of fatalities across all six trial force areas by year, thus...



    Compare that with the combined fatalities across England (i mistakenly called it "average" in my earlier post, when it should have read "actual"). The vertical axis is also number of fatalities, but it has bigger numbers because it includes more force areas (hence "The scales are wildly different" because there are more deaths, but we are looking at the trend, so that shouldn't matter)...



    Note the downward trend (unlike in the carefully selected trial areas), and a lack of a sudden increase in the year before the trial started.

    Now there is a statistical phenomenon called "regression to the mean" or "return to the mean", which i will leave to you to research on the Interwebs, but in layman's language it goes something like this...

    Should a rare event like a coach full of pensioners crashing over a cliff occur, the chances of a similar accident happening the next year is even rarer.

    So by picking areas which have had unusually high road deaths one year, then the chances are that the following year there will be less. This is "almost guaranteed" to happen. Of course the government didn't know with 100% accuracy that it would happen, but statistically it almost certainly would. Indeed, you can bet that if a second coach was to crash in the "trial", they would ignore it as being untypical data

    The desired effect was achieved, deaths did fall in the year that cameras were trialled, and thus continued the automated persecution of drivers

    Note: For convenience, i have simply taken the graphs from the ABD website, so feel free to visit there as well as Safespeed for lots of other info.

    mb

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