How To Get Out Of Paying For Speeding Fines

One of these took a photo of me and I had to pay for the privilege. Now I have taken a picture its brother. | Image Credit: DaveBleasdale, Flickr

One of these took a photo of me and I had to pay for the privilege. Now I have taken a picture its brother. | Image Credit: DaveBleasdale, Flickr

I don’t think there’s a single soul on the planet who enjoys getting a speeding fine. Even those rare individuals with as finely tuned a moral compass as humanly possible must believe they’re annoying, especially when one arrives and you didn’t even realise you were speeding or had run an amber light which was, apparently, a red one.

Speed cameras and hand-held speed radars are here to stay, as they make up an oft undisclosed but significant amount of revenue for, depending on where you are, your local council, the civic traffic authority, the police, or the state/federal government.

Fact is, everyone wants you to speed – rather, get caught speeding. For if everyone stopped speeding, our law enforcers would be crippled.

Well dear Intentious readers… when it happens to you next, there may just be some avenues you can use to avoid or nullify the fine, depending on the laws in your area.

Here is an excerpt of an article taken from The Independent (www.independent.co.uk):

Celebrities and dignitaries always seem to get off the hook when they get issued with a speeding ticket or parking fine. Last week, Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff – who was allegedly caught going at 87mph in a 50mph zone – became the latest sports star to have his speeding case thrown out of court because, as his lawyer was quick to point out, the notice of prosecution had not been issued within the specified time-limit. Case closed.

In fact, barely a week goes by where celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, doesn’t come to the aid of some star in a sticky situation.

But you don’t have to be rich or famous to appeal a speeding or parking fine successfully. Speeding cameras are by no means infallible, and parking wardens all too often leave tickets on vehicles that were legally parked. So when a fine lands on your doormat, it’s often well worth taking the time to challenge the decision.

Speeding

If you do get a speeding ticket in the post, it’s worth considering whether it was a fair cop, or whether you’ve been unfairly picked out. A few years ago, law student Steve Lucas successfully appealed a fine and a driving ban when he was accused of travelling at 115mph in his 1.2-litre Fiat Punto. He commissioned an independent expert to test his car’s top speed, proving that it could not, in fact, go any faster than 104mph.

One of the first things to look out for when you receive your ticket is the Freddie Flintoff loophole. Tickets should be issued within 14 days of the speeding incident. Monica Jaimini, a lawyer at Which? legal services, says that if your ticket arrives any later than this, you should write back pointing out that the authorities are outside of this limit. In some cases, your ticket will be cancelled at this stage, although you may have to keep on fighting.

Another plausible basis for appeal is not knowing who was driving at the time of the ticket. Although the police are unlikely to be satisfied with a letter saying that you simply can’t remember which member of your family was driving on the day in question, Jaimini says that this argument may hold water if you can provide a reasonable explanation as to why you can’t be sure. For example, if you had been moving house, and several members of the family had driven in the same car down the same piece of road on the day in question, it could plausibly be difficult to nail down who was driving at a certain time of day.

If you think the speed camera was inaccurate, Jaimini says that you are within your rights to request the calibration certificate of the camera in question, to check that it’s been maintained and was working properly. If the authority cannot supply this, your appeal should be upheld.

Parking

Barrie Segal of appealnow.com – a website that takes the stress out of challenging parking fines – says that councils admit that around 20 to 25 per cent of all parking tickets issued are cancelled. Segal says that, while councils often claim this demonstrates how reasonable they are when fines are appealed, he takes a different view: “If you ran a restaurant and poisoned one in four customers, you wouldn’t be getting any stars from Mr F-word [Gordon Ramsay].”

Quite often parking bays aren’t marked correctly, or there are no signs explaining the parking restrictions in a certain area. Segal says that if you get ticketed under these circumstances, it’s important to take photos of the surrounding area to prove your case.

“One very senior council official admitted to me that cases are only really ever looked at properly once the matter gets to the level where it’s about to go to the adjudicator,” adds Segal. So it’s a good idea to persevere if you’re not successful at first.

Re-posted from an article originally published in The Independent (www.independent.co.uk) in 2008.

Read the entire, original article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Crime, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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