Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

pete75
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by pete75 »

thirdcrank wrote: 14 Sep 2021, 10:34am An underlying problem here is a lack of clarity about traffic enforcement by fixed penalties, of which there are several quite separate types. Several things eg the different systems for different tickets; piecemeal development; the collapse of most police traffic enforcement; urban myth, fuelled by social media; the extraordinarily successful self-publicity of Nick Freeman AKA Mr Loophole; seem to have led to a widespread impression of what I've described as "they can't touch you for it."

That's undesirable for various reasons, one of the most obvious (to me) being that if people think they can escape enforcement, many will not conform, especially if they feel some sort of personal justification - typically being in a hurry. Another, is the resentment when there is unexpected enforcement.
Laws work both ways. The public must obey the law and the authorities enforcing them must obey the parts of the law covering enforcement. If the latter fail to do that it's not someone "getting off on a loophole" it's incompetence on the part of the law enforcement agency.
thirdcrank
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by thirdcrank »

Re Mr Loophole etc, I've made the point more than once (cries of "endlessly") that his consummate skill has been in giving the impression - on the basis of little more than a couple of high-profile cases - that there's generally a defence to any motoring charge just so long as you go to the right solicitor. He's done little actively to promote this, other than being the "go to" source for lazy hacks looking for a good quote.

The point I was trying to make - and it seems utterly failed to make - is that there's a mistaken impression that there's generally a way to escape enforcement. Another reason this is undesirable is that it can encourage people to devise their own loopholes based on deceit, rather than legal advice.

I don't think I've ever suggested or implied that in a criminal case, the duty to prove the charge lies on anybody but the prosecution. FWIW, the ticket received by the OP sounds as though it was for a de-criminalised offence, which involves a different system - hence some of the confusion.
Jdsk
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by Jdsk »

thirdcrank wrote: 14 Sep 2021, 11:23am Re Mr Loophole etc, I've made the point more than once (cries of "endlessly") that his consummate skill has been in giving the impression - on the basis of little more than a couple of high-profile cases - that there's generally a defence to any motoring charge just so long as you go to the right solicitor. He's done little actively to promote this, other than being the "go to" source for lazy hacks looking for a good quote.

The point I was trying to make - and it seems utterly failed to make - is that there's a mistaken impression that there's generally a way to escape enforcement. Another reason this is undesirable is that it can encourage people to devise their own loopholes based on deceit, rather than legal advice.
I got the point about the perception being driven by the publicity and the anecdotes.

Jonathan
Stevek76
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by Stevek76 »

Thread starter seems to be confusing people escaping a ban under totting up rules as escaping the whole offence, they still get the points & fine in such circumstances.

Being blunt here but if you've ended up in a properly signed and marked bus lane, regardless of whether it's an unfamiliar place or not, you were driving without sufficient care and attention. Suck it up, pay the fine and treat it as a learning exercise.
The contents of this post, unless otherwise stated, are opinions of the author and may actually be complete codswallop
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simonineaston
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by simonineaston »

Suck it up, pay the fine and treat it as a learning exercise.
Plus one more.
There's a definite benefit from doing so which is that the sooner the issue is dealt with, regardless of the feeling that lescargo expresses, that there are mitigating circ.s, the sooner the whole unfortunate event receeds into history, and so the sooner normal life, with all its joys and pleasures, can be resumed. An appeal, with its attendant risk and doubftul outcome, will simply drag it all out, with it hanging over your head for months & months.
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pete75
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by pete75 »

thirdcrank wrote: 14 Sep 2021, 11:23am Re Mr Loophole etc, I've made the point more than once (cries of "endlessly") that his consummate skill has been in giving the impression - on the basis of little more than a couple of high-profile cases - that there's generally a defence to any motoring charge just so long as you go to the right solicitor. He's done little actively to promote this, other than being the "go to" source for lazy hacks looking for a good quote.

The point I was trying to make - and it seems utterly failed to make - is that there's a mistaken impression that there's generally a way to escape enforcement. Another reason this is undesirable is that it can encourage people to devise their own loopholes based on deceit, rather than legal advice.

I don't think I've ever suggested or implied that in a criminal case, the duty to prove the charge lies on anybody but the prosecution. FWIW, the ticket received by the OP sounds as though it was for a de-criminalised offence, which involves a different system - hence some of the confusion.
All so the so called Mr. Loophole does is examine the case and see if the prosecution has complied with the law. A lot of his high profile "getting people off speeding" cases are because a Notice of Intended Prosecution wasn't sent within the correct time period. Almost any High Street solicitor's firm will do exactly what Nick Freeman does and charge the client a lot less for doing it. I don't understand why you think this gives an impression there's generally a defence to any motoring charge because it doesn't.
thirdcrank
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by thirdcrank »

Nick Freeman doesn't really have a lot of high profile cases at all, but they generally attract stacks of free publicity. One of his strokes of genius was to register the trademark Mr Loophole (rather than Diligent Defence Solicitor.) And he was lucky that Sir Alex Ferguson was one of his earliest successful cases. I'd agree that he does no more than a competent solicitor should do and AIUI, he no longer does even that, if his wikipedia entry is to be believed, as he apparently no longer speaks to clients before he meets them in court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Freeman

I've read several of his mini-autobiographies in the media and I'm only repeating what he's written, but with my own spin. IIRC he was a prosecuting solicitor (in Manchester?) pre-CPS. He lost a breathalyser (?) prosecution through a "loophole" and thought, "that's the future for me."

Taking this back one stage in the process, once upon a time more police training on traffic law and more thorough supervision meant fewer flaws.

In case anybody still reading has missed the point, de-criminalised fixed penalties don't normally involve solicitors or court.
pwa
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by pwa »

I do have some sympathy with people who accidentally stray into a bus lane in a moment of confusion on city roads, because they can be quite confusing to a stranger. Information overload, with signs left right and centre at the same time as paint on the road and all those other road users to look out for, the latter at the top of the priority list. My daughter turned into a street and spent about 10 metres in a bus lane before realising and correcting, but still got the fine of course. I once did an illegal right turn, having failed to see a sign when I was looking at other things I was meant to be looking at. We both paid up and didn't grumble too much, but it did make me realise how easy it is to make a mistake in a cluttered city environment. You need more than one pair of eyes to take it all in quickly enough.

But neither of those incidents generated points on our licences, just simple fines.
lescargo
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by lescargo »

Ref.Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?
Post by Pete Owens » 13 Sep 2021, 10:16pm

I don't understand what point you are trying to make???

---**-If you read my original post I was seeking numbers of drivers "banned" but still, unpunished and allowed to drive, to argue that
the legal process allowed reduced or even cancelled penalties and that my "mitigating circumstances" had been ignored because here
"Joe public" didn't have the might/ eloquence of a posh brief to get me off the hook.

As I understand it you are not disputing the facts of the case.-----------correct- they provide photos- no contest, guilty.
You drove in a bus lane - you got caught - you got a fine - pay up.---- No I drove in two bus lanes in 5 minutes, two fines.

The only grounds for appeal would be if you hadn't in fact driven in the bus lane. Perhaps you could provide witnesses to testify that you were in Aberdeen on the day in question, or the car in the photo was not yours, but someone using fake plates or, the signs indicating the bus lane were missing. But you seem to be offering a sob story about your circumstances and claiming to be a nice person (though rather denting that image by your nasty victim-blaming reference about pedestrians with phones).

Do you drive?
You do seem more familiar than myself about possible grounds for fine cancelation?

Actually in one case on second set of photos they sent, with more details of my offences which I wasn't denying anyway, a pedestrian is shown crossing immediately in front of me as I entered the bus lane.
I might have been in a lot more trouble if I had been looking at bus lane sign!!

"Sob story"? that's my truth , that's what happened.
You can accept or discard it.

Do you support /endorse jay-walking pedestrians stepping into traffic while using their phones?
I most definitely don't
Darkman
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by Darkman »

As I understand it you are not disputing the facts of the case.-----------correct- they provide photos- no contest, guilty.
So why are you so hellbent on trying to wriggle out of it?
pwa
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by pwa »

If I understand it correctly, the query was not about points but about fines. So the fact that some folk still get away with being able to drive after exceeding the notional max number of points is irrelevant. Nobody is trying to take the licence away in this case, or prevent the person being able to drive. All that is at stake is money. What could possibly be the plea that would result in a fine being cancelled? Hardship? I've not heard of anyone getting off a fine of this sort because they can't afford it. As far as I know, the system is that if you are guilty, you pay up. If you are not guilty, you can appeal and make your case.
thirdcrank
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by thirdcrank »

I presumed that part of the confusion relates to what I posted about different types of fixed penalty.

I've no personal experience of de-criminalised fixed penalties ie those generally issued by or on behalf of local authorities but I get the impression that the adjudicator (link above) can be quite receptive to pleas based on ground such as confusing signs.

When something like this came up a couple of years ago I dug out Leeds City Council's internal guidelines but the link is now broken and I'm not going digging again. From memory, the guidelines were strict with no waggle room. eg Running out of petrol didn't qualify under "broken-down vehicle" exceptions as that's not a breakdown but poor planning. OTOH, there have been a couple of cases where the appeal adjudicator - independent of the issuing councils - has allowed appeals eg because bus lane signs were confusing. The location around here which received most publicity was Lendal Bridge in York and there's been at least one other. Another example mentioned IIRC by Edinburgh Fixed was from the Scottish equivalent who had ruled that a car parked entirely on the footway wasn't contravening yellow lines - even though in most TROs the parking restriction applies equally to the carriageway and footway.

I watched a documentary about this tribunal a while ago and it's very informal: the appellant meets an adjudicator in private face-to-face, explains their grounds for appeal and gets the thumbs up/down on the spot. The only case I remember was a distraught lady who had paid to park got a fixed penalty when the notice from the machine had fallen from the inside of her windscreen. Her appeal was dismissed before she had finished her first sentence on the grounds that displaying it properly was the driver's responsibility, end of.
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simonineaston
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by simonineaston »

If anyone feels they need light relief from bickering on the subject of life being unfair, do visit the hugely entertaining UTube channel featuring the webcam feed from the infamous 11 foot 8 inch bridge in North Carolina. About as fabulous an example of schadenfreude as one could possibly hope for... !! :lol:
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lescargo
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by lescargo »

simoneaston thank you for this timely suggestion to escape all this bickering and bloody-mindedness.
I don't have access to facebook but must be more entertaining than al the conflict which has evolved from a fellow cyclist seeking information to present best possible response to charges.
Also your earlier, so sensible post.
Pay up and shut up, that's next job.

Damascene reversal was inspired by Pete Owens!

This is a forum so we must expect widely different opinions.
Here you challenge every point in jonathan's post supporting me.
Do you, have you ever driven?

Why are you so "hell bent" on fellow cyclist not having penalties reduced after he has admitted UNWITTINGLY twice driven in bus -lane while we have over 4000 drivers convicted on totting up procedure yet still allowed, because they have expensive brief to reduce sentence.

To those of you who were interested enough to reply thank you.
I shall try to reply to different points.
Jdsk
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Re: Drivers over penalty points allowed to drive?

Post by Jdsk »

lescargo wrote: 16 Sep 2021, 1:46amHere you challenge every point in jonathan's post supporting me.
Good morning.

I wasn't supporting your choice of action. I was suggesting a way to maximise your chance of success if you chose to appeal.

Jonathan
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