Anda di halaman 1dari 27

2008 Get More Credit.

No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 1

Avoid Paying Parking Tickets and Speeding Fines

Chapters: 1. Introduction 2. The Law for Motorists 3. Parking Tickets 4. Speeding Tickets 5. Other Offences 6. Letter Templates

(Page) (3) (4) (11) (15) (23) (25)

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 2

1. Introduction
You may be surprised to know that every year in England and Wales over 3 Million fixed penalty notices and 7 million penalty charge notices are issued! You may be even more surprised to know that this means that YOU have a 1 in 3 chance of being charged with a motoring offence. In recent years i am sure you have seen the news about the increase of revenue generated by parking tickets, speeding tickets and other minor offences, are you aware just how big an increase that is? Well, from 1997 to 2004 there was an increase in revenue from 13 Million to a staggering 112 Million! During this same period the number of deaths and injuries on our roads actually increased leading people to wonder where all this revenue has gone and what it was used for. This surely suggests that motorists are now paying an extra form of tax, although already paying high road tax and extortionate fuel taxes, congestion taxes and even toll charges. What most people dont realise, and is VERY important, is that the system mainly relies on people like you and me just handing over our money to pay the fines! Very few people actually realise that there are many ways you can LEGALLY fight back and drastically increase the chances of NOT having to pay the fine. This report is your first step in fighting back read this report now to discover ways you can LEGALLY avoid paying that parking ticket or speeding fine, and, many other minor offences. Just in case you are thinking Im sure I cant beat the system or everyone would be doing it you need to know a little secret: APPROXIMATELY 66% OF APPEALS AGAINST PENALTY CHARGE NOTICES MADE TO THE NATIONAL PARKING ADJUDICATION SERVICE ARE SUCCESSFUL. This report is designed to show you how you can LEGALLY fight back!

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 3

2. The Law for Motorists.


This chapter is designed to give you an overview of the law for motorists. In Britain this area of law has more regulations and laws than any other area so it is well worth a chapter all to itself! If you are caught breaking any of these laws (knowingly or not) you can find yourself being given a fine, points on your licence, banned from driving or, in extreme circumstances, even imprisoned. Most motoring offences are dealt with in one of four ways as shown in the list below: (most serious first) Summons Fixed Penalty Notice or Penalty Charge Notice (FPN or PCN) A Notice under the Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) A Verbal Warning There are National Guidelines set by the Association of Chief Police Offices (or ACPO) and local policies or guidelines to determine what action a police officer should take in any of the above circumstances. SUMMONS The following types of offences are generally dealt with by a Summons: Drink Driving Prosecutions resulting from road accidents Driving at speeds in excess of limits for a FPN to be issued Cases where evidence needs to be collected before a decision can be made Other offences where a FPN or VDRS were issued but the fine was not paid or repairs not made If you receive a court summons and, providing you wish to plead guilty, you do not need to attend the court hearing in person (unless the summons states otherwise). In this case you simply complete and return the tear off slip on the summons, include your driving licence and, if appropriate, a letter of mitigation

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 4

a letter to the magistrates explaining any relevant extenuating circumstances. Shortly after your hearing you will be informed of the decision and your licence will be returned to you with any points added on. Should you decide to plead Not Guilty, simply complete the tear off slip (indicating your plea of not guilty) and enclose your driving licence, your initial hearing will not go ahead it will be adjourned to a later date as witnesses will need to be gathered. You also do not need to attend this initial hearing. Please be aware that fines issued by the courts instead of an FPN are usually higher. Should a Police Officer issue you a court summons when you know the offence can be dealt with by a FPN, ask the officer why he is doing this if he still issues a court summons tell the magistrate at your hearing that the offence could have been dealt with by a FPN and that you feel no further fines should be made against you other than under the FPN system.

FIXED PENALTY NOTICE The main purpose for introducing Parking tickets in 1988 was to reduce the burdens on the courts. Fixed penalty notices may be issued by Police Officers or, in some cases (such as parking tickets), Traffic Wardens. A summons will not be issued if you accept the FPN and pay the penalty. Over 1000 FPNs and PCNs are issued an hour or over 10 million a year! This alleviates a huge burden on the courts; however, as most people simply accept the FPN and pay without question, this means a huge expense for usually law abiding citizens like you and me. FPNs are becoming big business. They now cover a massive array of offences such as; Speeding, Illegal Parking, Breaking seat belt laws, Holding a mobile phone whilst driving, not complying with traffic signs and leaving your vehicle ina dangerous position. Whilst most people agree that many of these examples are quite justifiable, many are not and some are issued illegally or incorrectly. FPNs can be split into two main categories: Endorsable and Non Endorsable. An Endorsable FPN is a Yellow document and is issued for offences that can mean points added to your licence. Speeding or ignoring a red light is two examples of an endorsable FPN. An endorsable FPN cannot just be left on your vehicle, the

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 5

Driver must be seen and spoken too. Typically a Police Officer will ask to see your Driving Licence and possibly your Vehicle Insurance and MOT Certificate. If you do not have these documents with you, the officer will most likely ask you to present them at a police station within 7 days. The FPN will have details as to what documents you will need to produce at a police station. A Non Endorsable FPN is a white document and no points can be added to your licence. The Penalty (as with an Endorseable FPN) is required to be paid within 28 days. Alternatively, you can appeal the FPN within 28 days and a court hearing will be set. For Non Endorsable FPNs the penalties are usually 30, 40 or 60, whilst the standard penalty for an endorseable FPN is 60 (these figures may change since the time of writing). Parking Tickets are Non Endorsable FPNs and they do have a few differences than other FPNs. The main differences being that they can be left on the vehicle without the driver being seen or spoken too and are often issued by Traffic Wardens rather than Police Officers (although Police Officers can also issue them). Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are also non endorsable and are issued by Council Parking Attendants under the Decriminalised Parking Enforcement introduced in 1991. PCNs are not a criminal matter, but a civil matter, so you cannot be sent to prison. However, ultimately, you may receive a visit from the bailiffs to seize your assets! The Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) The Vdrs deals with offences relating to the condition of a vehicle and was introduced at the same time as the FPN system. A VDRS can be issued for many offences such as: No Seat Belts fitted No Windscreen Wipers No Speedometer Mirrors not conforming to requirements

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 6

Should you be given a VDRS ticket you are required to make the necessary repairs as outlined on the ticket within fourteen days and have the repairs inspected by an official MOT centre. Once satisfied with the repairs, the MOT centre will stamp the form for you to return to the police station to prove you have had the repairs done to a satisfactory standard. With a VDRS you do not pay a fine nor have points added to your licence, however, failure to comply within the allowed 14 days will result in a court summons. In some cases a Police Officer may issue an FPN whereas VDRS should have been issued. Should this happen, please use our template letter to write to the Police Superintendant for the area the FPN was issued and request that the FPN (or even court summons) be cancelled. Endorsable FPNs Below is a list of MOST Endorsable FPNs Those that carry a fine AND points on your licence. Contravening Traffic Lights Contravening a Stop Sign Contravening a No Entry Sign Contravening an Automatic Level Crossing Contravening a Double White Line Driving on a motorway with a Provisional Licence Making a U Turn on a motorway Travelling in a wrong direction on a motorway Reversing on a motorway Driving on a motorway hard shoulder Excess Speed Failing to comply with a Police officer or Traffic Warden whilst on duty Using a Vehicle in a designated play street Stopping on pedestrian crossings and approaches Driving with a dangerous or insecure load Excess number of passengers on a motorcycle Passenger not sitting astride motorcycle Using a vehicle for a dangerous purpose There are many types of endorsable offences and as these will probably be subject to regular changes not all are listed here but this list gives you a good idea of the types of endorsable offences as at the time of writing.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 7

Non Endorsable FPNs Unattended Vehicle whilst engine running or brake not set Opening door so as to cause injury/danger Reversing an unreasonable distance Driver able to see TV screen fitted in vehicle Failing to display excise licence Registration mark obscured Registration mark not conforming to regulations Windows not cleared or obscured Mirrors not conforming to requirements No Windscreen Washers No Windscreen Wipers No Horn Two Tone Horn Petrol Tank not leak proof or secured No Seat Belts Fitted Contravening Temporary Speed limit Stopping on Hard Shoulder Failing to stop for a Police Constable Contravening Give Way/Stop/Mini Roundabout signs U-Turn where prohibited Contravening experimental traffic regulations Driving Vehicle on Footpath Contravening free on street parking order Overstaying after excess charge Charge not duly paid Incorrectly parked at bay Returning to park within prohibited period Parking at suspended bay Class of vehicle not permitted to park in bay No Waiting Limited Waiting Parking LGV on verge or footpath Parking on offside at night Wilful obstruction Unnecessary obstruction Stopping on a clearway Parking on a cab rank Parking without displaying permit/disabled badge These are a few of the Non Endorsable FPNs there are many more.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 8

Penalty Points If convicted of an endorsable offence Penalty Points will be added to your licence. If you accrue 12 points or more in a three year period you will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of six months or, if you have been disqualified in the 3 years preceding your last offence, a minimum of 12 months and, if you have had 2 or more disqualifications in the last 3 years then you will receive a disqualification for a minimum of 2 years. Usually after serving a disqualification the slate is wiped clean. Typically if your offence is dealt with under the FPN scheme you will have to pay the fine and be awarded 3 penalty points on your licence. However, if this is dealt with by the courts you could well receive more points than just 3, although for speeding offences you could be given 2-6 points even under the FPN system, depending on how much over the speed limit you were. There is a guide set down for magistrates to use to cover most motoring offences, some examples are shown below. Dangerous Driving 3-11 Points Failing to stop after an accident 5-10 Points Refusing Roadside Breath Test 4 Points Careless or Inconsiderate Driving 3-9 Points Driving while disqualified by order of court 6 Points Failing to report an accident to the police 6 Points Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks 6-8 Points Courts can also impose a period of disqualification for specific offences, if this happens you do not normally have points added to your licence as well. If you are disqualified you may be able to get the period of disqualification reduced or completely quashed by pleading Special Circumstances. Special Circumstances usually apply if the hardship of being disqualified outweighs the offence, for example, if being disqualified would mean losing your job. This would usually mean you receiving a larger fine and you can only plead Special Circumstances once, as the courts see it as you being given a final chance to reform. How to have spent endorsements removed from your licence To remove spent Endorsements from your licence simply obtain form D1 (Application form for a driving licence) from your post office, complete and return with your old licence, ID and the requested fee. Your licence will be returned to you with any spent endorsements removed!

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 9

How to get your licence back after a disqualification 56 days prior to your disqualification period ending you should automatically receive form D27 from the DVLA. Simply complete this form and return to receive your new licence. If for some reason you do not receive these forms you may use form D1 from the post office. In some circumstances the DVLA may make medical enquiries, this depends on why you were initially disqualified and are usually for the following reasons: Disqualified from driving, or being in charge of a vehicle when the alcohol level in your body equalled or exceeded the following: 87.5 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 200 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of blood or 267.5 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of urine or 2 disqualifications within a 10 year period for drink driving or being in charge of a vehicle whilst unfit through alcohol Disqualified for refusing or failing to give a specimen for analysis If you are unsure when your disqualification ends, simply contact the court that disqualified you. How to get your disqualification period Reduced If your disqualification is for 2 years or more, you are entitled to apply to the court that disqualified you to have your disqualification period reduced. This can only be done under certain circumstances, as follows: If your disqualification period was for more than 2 years but less than 4 years you can apply to have your disqualification period reduced once you have served 2 years of your disqualification If you were disqualified for less than ten years but more than 4 years you may apply for a reduction after half your disqualification period has been served If your period of disqualification is for 10 years or more you can apply to have the period reduced after you have served 5 years or more of your disqualification Having now covered in some detail the law for motorists, the next few chapters will explain how you can maximise the chances of having any case brought against you dropped!

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 10

3. Parking Tickets
What to do when you receive a parking ticket Once a parking ticket has been issued it cannot be cancelled, so arguing with the person who issued the ticket is completely pointless. However, if the person issuing the ticket is a Council Parking Attendant, provided they have not handed the ticket to you or placed it on your vehicle it is perfectly legal to just drive off and the ticket cannot be issued. PLEASE NOTE this does not apply if the person issuing a ticket is a traffic warden or police officer! If possible ask the person issuing the ticket why they have issued it and, if you feel you have a legitimate reason for parking there explain this to them and have them make a record this in their notebook. Then collect any necessary evidence (discussed later in this chapter), for the purpose of collecting evidence we recommend keeping a cheap disposable camera in your car for taking photographs a digital camera, like the one on your mobile phone, may be considered as inadmissible evidence as digital photographs can easily be tampered with. If you feel you have sufficient grounds to appeal you should now write to the issuing authority, include any evidence (photographs witness statements etc) that you have and enclose them with your letter, we recommend sending photocopies only and keeping the originals yourself. With PCNs you are usually given a 50% discount if you pay within 14 days. Dont pay this if you are going to appeal, this will be seen as an admission of guilt. However the time limit will still remain once you appeal, and if unsuccessful, you will still be given time to pay at the discounted rate. Should your appeal fail and you still refuse to pay the fine you will receive a court summons. If the matter goes to court your chances of appeal are greatly reduced and you will probably face further costs. At this point you will also receive a Notice to Owner. All PCNs are issued to the person believed to be the owner of the car, and the owner is therefore responsible to pay the penalty. The Notice to Owner form will include reasons that you are able to appeal against the decision, these are as follows: I was not the Owner/Keeper at the time of the contravention (Should you have recently sold the vehicle before the contravention happened you will need to have proof of the sale) The Vehicle had been taken without my consent at the time of the contravention (If the vehicle had been stolen and then illegally parked. You will need to provide a crime number from the police, a letter from the police or a copy of the insurance claim) We are a Hire firm and have supplied the name of the hirer (this can only be used if the hirer has signed an agreement to accept liability for any penalty charges.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 11

The hire firm will supply the name and address of the hirer and a copy of the hire agreement. The Contravention did not occur (if the contravention did not happen as described on the PCN, Parking restrictions not properly signed or the reason for stopping was lawful i.e. unloading or vehicle had broken down. In these instances it would be better if you can provide evidence such as a delivery note or garage report) The Traffic order was invalid (for example a sign stating that a vehicle can be clamped and/or removed immediately after the issue of your ticket this is wrong as lawfully a vehicle cannot be clamped until 15 minutes after a ticket has been issued, making the PCN legally flawed. Or an improper/missing sign, sign or markings obstructed/not in clear view even leaves covering double yellow lines so that they are not clearly visible can result in your ticket being cancelled!) The penalty exceeded the relevant amount (The PCN was issued for the wrong amount or the council say that you paid later or a lower amount than you actually did) Most appeals have historically fallen under the category The Contravention did not occur, in more recent times with councils not maintaining road signs and markings a growing number of successful appeals are now falling under The Traffic order was invalid. By now Im sure you are beginning to realise that there are many reasons why a ticket can be cancelled through an appeal. Most of the reasons are through mistakes by the council, or the person who issues the ticket. These mistakes could not only save you money, but possible points on your licence. It also goes to show that the law can sometimes be to your advantage! The following page will show the most successful reasons for having your ticket cancelled on appeal as used by many people already.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 12

Here we come to what you really want to know what reasons actually work when you appeal against a ticket! Read on....... Leaves on the Line Im sure you remember the excuses of train companies blaming the lateness of their trains on leaves on the line. If Lines (double yellow lines, single yellow lines etc) are obscured from view by leaves, snow, roadworks or even natural wear and tear (they may need repainting as they are very difficult to see), then parking restrictions cannot be enforced! Inadequate Signs and/or Markings The laws on signs and markings that must be displayed in restricted parking areas are very strict after all it would be unfair to have parking restrictions in an area and not tell you about it! Councils often do not properly maintain their signs or markings this can win your appeal and get your ticket cancelled! Yellow Lines must end in a T-bar. If the beginning and end of Yellow lines do not have a T-bar then they are not legal and a PCN cannot be enforced. Always check and take a photograph as evidence. For Single Yellow Lines there must be a sign on either side of the road at every access point to the restricted area, if there is no sign the ticket cannot be enforced. PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to Double Yellow Lines. As Double Yellow Lines apply At any time the need for signs was dropped in 2003. Always check all signs and markings. Any mistakes, defaults, hidden or missing signs can result in your ticket being cancelled! Loading and Unloading You are allowed to wait for as long as is required on yellow lines if you are loading or unloading your vehicle, unless there is a yellow stripe on the kerb. Many councils state that this must be uninterrupted loading or unloading, however, this is incorrect as it is unreasonable to expect delivery or collection of goods without the goods being checked and necessary paperwork being completed. If a traffic warden sees a vehicle parked on Yellow lines without any loading or unloading taking place they will usually issue a ticket. This gives you good grounds for successfully appealing your ticket especially if you have paperwork confirming you were loading or unloading. The shorter the time between the vehicle being spotted and the ticket being issued the better your chances, as this only helps demonstrate that you were having paperwork checked for example.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 13

Ticket Incorrectly Issued For a Parking Ticket to be Valid it must also be correctly issued. Human error can be a huge reason for tickets not being issued correctly and therefore provides a huge amount of tickets being cancelled on appeal. When a ticket is issued the following information should be on your ticket: Ticket Reference number Time and date of issue Vehicle registration number Vehicle make and colour Date, time and location of alleged offence Warden or Attendant number Contravention Code and description The relevant Statute The Penalty including discount for prompt payment If any of the above information is missing you have very good grounds for appeal. In particular check that a date of issue AND date of offence are on the ticket. Thousands of motorists have had tickets cancelled because of one or the other was missing. Also, and, very surprisingly, if a parking attendant or Warden is not wearing a hat when issuing a ticket, although not enough grounds for appeal on its own this can significantly increase your chances of appeal.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 14

4. Speeding Tickets
Speeding Tickets are a far more serious offence than parking tickets. Firstly, the fines are much higher, up to a maximum of 1000 or, if on a motorway, 2500. Secondly, speeding is an endorsable offence meaning you can have points added to your licence, resulting in higher car insurance or, even banned. From 1997 to 2000 the amount of money raised from speeding fines in the UK more than doubled from just over 13 million to just over 28 million. Whilst the government will have you believe that they are necessary to help reduce the amount of accidents on our roads, official figures, including results from the governments own Transport Research Laboratory shows that speeding is NOT a major factor in road accidents. In fact, from 1997 to 2000 the amount of road accidents actually INCREASED from just over 166000 to just over 171000! I am not trying to say that speeding should be condoned, it still can cause accidents and is still dangerous however, the Transport Research Laboratory concluded that only 6% of road accidents were as a direct result in speeding so why are we being fined so much through more and more speed cameras? Police Detection Methods The police have many ways of detecting people who are breaking the speed limits. Although there methods are very effective they all have their own weaknesses leaving the door open to be legally challenged. Radar Traditionally Radar has been the favoured method used by police to catch motorists speeding, however this is gradually being replaced by laser detection. Radar uses a method called the Doppler Effect. How a radar works is by sending a beam of high frequency radar waves at your vehicle, the beam bounces back from your vehicle to the gun and measures your speed. When your vehicle is moving either away from or toward the radar gun then the beam bouncing is back is moved a lower frequency if your vehicle is moving away, higher if your vehicle is coming towards the radar gun your speed is then calculated from the difference in frequencies from the outgoing beam to the incoming beam. In practice there are several situations where a radar gun will not work or at least give an incorrect or false reading. These are as follows: The further away the object from the gun, the more a beam spreads out, therefore if another object (i.e. another vehicle) is moving faster than yours within the beams area it will show the reading of the faster object.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 15

If the Gun is pointed at an angle it will give a false reading.

Radar waves cannot pass through solid objects, so a tree or street lamp or anything else that is in the way will cause an incorrect reading. Even wind and rain can cause false readings. Nearby electrical equipment such as Radio and TV masts, mobile phone masts and CB radios can all lead to false readings. A Police Officer moving his arm too quickly to point the gun at you can cause a false reading as the speed of the arm movement can be added to your speed! Movement of air from a cars air conditioning can also affect the reading so, readings are not allowed to be taken whilst the radar is in a vehicle. All these readings go to show that just because the police officers radar gun says you were speeding; it doesnt necessarily mean that you were. As a result NEVER admit the offence when a police officer stops you for speeding and he/she was using a radar gun! Because of the flaws in a radar gun ACPO (the Association of Police Commissioners) have set national guidelines for the police in using radar guns. The main points are: An Officer must be trained in the operation of any speed detection device The device MUST be operated by an officer on foot and NOT in a vehicle All checks must be made visible to the public and oncoming motorists A device should not be used where more than 1 vehicle is in the devices field of view The device must not be pointing at the road whilst waiting for a vehicle to appear. The device should only be used to corroborate the police officers belief that the vehicle is exceeding the speed limit The device should be pointed directly at the approaching vehicle, parallel to the road eliminating any significant up or down tilt Once a reading has appeared on the radars display the radar should be held steady, pointing along the road for duration of no less than 3 seconds. After this period a trigger is pressed on the device and the reading is locked in and may then be used as evidence It follows from this last point that the distance a user of radar can see along the road must be long enough to observe the vehicle and assessment of its speed,

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 16

the distance travelled in its 3 second check and, the vehicles stopping distance when ordered to do so. Therefore if a vehicle (to simplify the point) is travelling

At 50 MPH, it would travel 67 metres in 3 seconds, and would need a stopping distance of 53.3 metres a total distance of 120.3 metres. With another 3 seconds for initial assessment this gives a total distance of no less than 187.3 metres. So, for radar gun to be used correctly there must be a clear view of 187.3 metres. (When travelling at 50mph) Also Radar guns must be professionally calibrated at least once a year and a certificate issued. Before and after any radar is used for a tour of duty they should be checked against a police vehicle fitted with a certified calibrated speedometer at a speed compatible with the sites that are to be checked, although an error margin of plus or minus 2 mph is allowed. This test requires 2 officers 1 to drive 1 to use the radar and the results must be recorded in the officers notebooks. There are often instances when this check is not performed but the radar is still used to catch people speeding. If ANY of the above requirements have not been met then you could argue in court that the reading is incorrect. Introducing some doubt may leave the magistrate with no choice but to find you not guilty. Laser Laser or Lidar (Laser Infra-red Detection And Ranging) is the latest speed detection device used by the police. To measure a motorists speed the Lidar measures how long it takes for a series of infra-red pulses to travel from the gun to the vehicle and back again and calculating the distance the vehicle has travelled between pulses. This is a very accurate measure of speed, but there are still flaws: Lidar guns must be aimed at a vehicle with extreme accuracy, are more complex than radar guns, require more training for the operator and therefore are open to a lot more human errors. Simply proving the user didnt have enough training on a lidar gun can have your case thrown out of court. Lidar guns CANNOT be used through glass, so the officer cannot have used the Lidar through his car window or the case will be thrown out of court. Lidar guns cannot be used properly in rain, fog or snow, although they CAN be used at night. Lidar guns must also be professionally calibrated at least once a year and a certificate issued. Like the radar gun, a lidar gun must also be tested before each tour of duty.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 17

As Lidar guns are becoming more popular with the police there are some basic measures you can take to avoid being caught by one:

Go for a sleek more aero dynamic car these cars have fewer flat surfaces for the laser to be aimed at. Try and choose a darker coloured vehicle black, blue or green. These colours are much harder to target and reflect less especially in overcast conditions. Many operators aim at the number plate of the vehicle as it is flat and more reflective if possible tilt your number plate up or down slightly this will deflect the laser into the air or road NOT back at the Lidar! Operators are also told not to point their device at bright lights as it can burn out the circuitry, always try and have the brightest lights you possibly can (legally of course!) Vascar Vascar or Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder are basically stop watches. They work on the basic formula that speeds=distance/time, and are therefore sometimes referred to as time/distance devices. These devices are fitted inside a police car or on a motorcycle giving easy access to the controls, and can also be linked to video cameras giving a visual record of any alleged offence. There are currently two main methods for the Vascar: Following check: When a police car is behind or sometimes in front of another vehicle. The Vascar is turned on/off at a starting and finishing distance/point and the Vascar is then able to calculate the speed of the vehicle ahead/behind. Pre fed distance check: This is the more common use of a Vascar. By recording on the Vascar the distance between two points and then the officer sitting in the vehicle where the start and end points can be clearly viewed, the officer simply switches the Vascar on when a vehicle passes the first point and off when the vehicle reaches the second point the Vascar then calculates the speed of the vehicle by the time it has taken for the vehicle to pass between the two points. The distance between the two points must be greater than 0.125 miles but less than or equal to 1 mile. A court will generally accept the reliability of evidence from a Vascar, but this does not mean that there are not loopholes. Officers using a Vascar need a high degree of skill and good reflexes they should be well trained and their abilities tested and certified.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 18

When using the Following check officers must be careful so as not to entice the driver into breaking the speed limit. A Vascar should not be used in fog or snow and should always be used in well lit and clear conditions.

A Vascar should be calibrated once a year and a certificate issued. Also the unit should be tested before each tour of duty. Pacing Pacing is probably the most basic method used of determining if a vehicle is speeding. A police car will stay at a certain and constant distance behind the vehicle, this is usually done for a distance of about of a mile but there are no set regulations on the distance required. Using the police cars own speedometer and keeping at the same distance from your car will inform the officer as to your speed it will obviously match that of the police car. No other car can come between the police car and the car it is following during this time. Although you can inform the court if you feel the procedure was not followed properly it is usually a better defence to request the calibration of the police cars speedometer. All traffic patrol cars (not the normal police car) are fitted with highly accurate speedometers in increments of 1mph. Most police forces insist on having the speedometers calibrated once or more a year and as with previously mentioned devices they should also be tested at the start and end of any tour of duty. If the calibration reports and tests cannot be produced a court may have no alternative but to rule in your favour. Speed Cameras Speed cameras came into effect in 1992, there are now over 6000 speed cameras in the UK and have proved a very lucrative method of collecting speeding fines from motorists. The most common type of speed camera is called Gatsometers, or Gatsos, named after the inventor Maurice Gatsonides. A speed camera works in the following way: Traditionally a radar gun projects a narrow beam across the road to measure the speed of every vehicle passing through it more recent Gatsos use an inductive loop under the road. A camera installed in the Gatso is then used to take 2 pictures of every vehicle breaking the speed limit; usually these are a second apart. The pictures are usually taken from behind the vehicle and not in front. Using the White lines on the road beside the Gatso to calculate the speed relative to the distance travelled from the 1st picture to the 2nd picture confirms your speed at the time u passed the Gatso. Older Gatsos are loaded with film of about 800 frames, while newer Gatsos now have digital cameras and Optical Character

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 19

Recognition (OCR) to analyse the images for Vehicle registrations (your number plate) The Very latest Gatsos can also be linked to an external computer so that the ticket can be printed off and sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle automatically.

According to the distributors of Gatsos because of the expense to maintain them especially with the older type that require film, approximately only 1 in 8 work at anytime, however, we dont know which ones are working and which arent. The Guidelines issued by ACPO state that to be prosecuted for speeding you must be travelling at 2mph over the speed limit + 10% : 20 mph Speed limit 24 mph 30 mph Speed limit 35 mph 40 mph Speed limit 46 mph 50 mph Speed limit 57 mph 60 mph Speed limit 68 mph 70 mph Speed limit 79 mph There has been a lot of call for these limits to be reduced to just 10% - this could triple the amount of motorists prosecuted and could well happen in the future. How to defend against a Speed Camera Ticket When caught by a speed camera you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) in the post. For the NIP to be valid it MUST be issued within 14 days of the alleged offence. If however, you were driving a hire car or company car the police are allowed more time to track you down. Once you have received a NIP you must respond within 28 days stating that either you were the driver, nominating someone else to be the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the incident, or that someone else was driving the vehicle at the time. Usually if you admit the offence within the 28 days you will be asked to accept a conditional offer. This gives you the opportunity to avoid court and in most cases just pay a fine of 60 and receive 3 points on your licence. Should you refuse or ignore the offer then the matter will be dealt with by the courts. Although speed cameras are considered as reliable by both the courts and the police, they are still capable of producing errors:

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 20

Larger vehicles (i.e. Lorries, Vans and caravans) are well known for producing false readings usually when vibrating excessively. Also vehicles that they cause to vibrate as they pass can cause a false reading. Tests have also shown that loud noises can provide inaccurate readings playing your car stereo too loud can theoretically cause a camera to show you were doing over 100MPH when you were actually doing a steady 30MPH!

A duck in Germany flying low was recorded by a speed camera as it was travelling at 24 mph in a 19mph zone! For these reasons and more, if you genuinely believe you were not speeding as per the information on the NIP then you should proceed in the following way: Firstly contact the prosecuting authority stating that you are contesting the allegation and request both copies of the photograph a template letter is included for this purpose later in the report. Once you have both photos you can calculate the actual speed you were travelling in the following way: Re-visit the site of the speed camera and measure the distance between the lines painted on the road; they will be 1.5 or 2 metres apart. Check on the 2 photos to see how many lines you passed if for example the lines are 2 metres apart and your vehicle travelled a distance of 3 lines then you have travelled 6 metres. (Number of lines crossed x distance between lines or in this case 3x2) By using the formula S= (3600/T) x (D/1609) you can calculate your speed. S is your speed (MPH) D is Distance travelled by your vehicle (metres) T is the time between both flashes (0.5 seconds) so, in this case, (3600/0.5) x (6/1609) = 26.84 MPH. If you were driving in a 30MPH zone then you were not speeding! If this were the case, then you should write to them and point this out and your speeding ticket should be cancelled. Also if you have a tachograph in your vehicle that shows you were not speeding you should submit this as proof you were not actually speeding. In the unlikely event that the case is not dropped then you should go to court and present all the evidence at your hearing. Other Defences against Speed Cameras Identity Many speed cameras take a photograph from behind you, this means that the camera cannot take a photograph of your face so it is possible to get the ticket cancelled if you can show doubt as to the identity of the driver. If you are to use this defence it will work best if your car is insured for more than 1 driver to prove that other people do use the vehicle.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 21

Camera sighted incorrectly Fixed speed cameras should be placed under strict circumstances, so it it s worth knowing what these circumstances are in case the camera that caught you speeding has been sited incorrectly which will lead to your ticket being cancelled. The site must be from 400 to 1500 metres in length In the preceding 3 years the number of injury accidents must be 8 or more The number of fatal or serious accidents in the preceding 3 years must be 4 or more 85% of vehicles travelling on the road must be at or below the speed as set out by ACPO guidelines Apart from during congestion periods, 20% of drivers must be exceeding the speed limit No other speed reduction methods are appropriate such as speed humps The site conditions are suitable Inadequate Lighting In 2005 a driver had his speeding conviction overturned by setting a landmark ruling that a speed camera cannot be operated at night on a road without street lights. This lead to 2637 drivers previously penalised for speeding at night having their 60 fine returned to them and their points wiped from their licence. This was mainly because by law a speed camera must be clearly visible to passing traffic.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 22

5. Other Offences
Bus Lane Contraventions Bus lanes are now quite commonplace in the UK. It is illegal for motorists other than buses or taxis (not minicabs) to drive in a bus lane. Bus lanes are more often monitored by CCTV by the local authority. If caught by the CCTV you will usually receive a PCN for the alleged contravention. By law the PCN must be issued within 14 days of the alleged offence or it is not valid. You are then given 28 days to pay the charge or make representation to the authority. Your appeal will usually be upheld for the following reasons: You were using the bus lane in an emergency You were rounding a vehicle that was broken down A police officer instructed you to use the bus lane You were taking in petrol/diesel, water, air or oil at the kerbside You had broken down Also there is generally an acceptable tolerance. This is usually if a vehicle was driven in a bus lane for less than 20 metres. Bus lanes should also have a sign informing you of the bus lane beginning and a sign at the very start of the bus lane. If either of these signs is damaged, vandalised, facing the wrong way, unclear or missing your appeal should be upheld. You should always request photos (normally video prints) of the alleged offence. If the local authority cannot produce them, your appeal will certainly be upheld. Also the photos should clearly show your registration mark if this is not clearly visible, again, your appeal will be upheld. Other reasons are: The The The The recipient of the PCN was not the keeper/owner offence did not occur vehicle had been taken without consent police had already issued a Fixed Penalty Notice

Accidents with an Uninsured Driver In the UK an estimated 1.25 million people are driving vehicles without any insurance. If you were to be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver you will be unable to claim costs or compensation from them if they are to blame.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 23

Help is available through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). The will MIB deal with claims against an uninsured driver in almost the same way as an insured motorist. Losses which may be claimed include: Loss of Income Pain and suffering Replacement vehicle hire Vehicle repair costs Medical expenses including prescriptions Loss of amenities of life To make a claim with the MIB against an uninsured driver you will usually need to obtain judgement against the uninsured driver by commencing civil proceedings against them and legal advice should be sought. Luckily since 2003 free legal expenses have been made available through the MIB for up to 100,000. It is very important to report the accident to the police. Any personal injuries should be reported to the police within 14 days and any property damage within 5 days. Initially you may visit their website for more information on making a claim www.mib.org.uk

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 24

6. Letter Templates
Letter 1 Parking ticket issued while unloading: RE: Fixed Penalty notice N0. 123456789 Dear Sir, On the [Date] I was issued with the above ticket for parking in an unrestricted area. At the time of the alleged contravention i explained to the traffic warden that i was making a delivery to a nearby shop (or office). Confirmation of this can be obtained from [name and address of shop/office] As a result of this i would request that this ticket be cancelled. Yours Faithfully,

Letter 2 Fixed Penalty Notice issued under VDRS RE: Fixed Penalty Notice No. 123456789 Dear Sir, On the [Date] I was issued with the above ticket for the alleged offence of failing to maintain the silencer on my vehicle. It is my understanding that this offence could have been dealt with under the VDRS scheme. As this option was not offered to me, and I now have had the silencer replaced, I request that this ticket be cancelled. Yours Faithfully, Letter 3 PCN issued for invalid parking ticket when you have a valid ticket RE: Penalty Charge Notice No. 123456789 Dear Sir, On the [date] I was issued the above ticket for parking in a pay and display car park without a valid ticket. I was extremely surprised to receive this as I was displaying a perfectly valid ticket. I have enclosed a photocopy of the ticket and request that the Penalty Charge Notice be cancelled. Yours Faithfully,

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 25

Letter 4 Parking on Double Yellow lines RE: Penalty Charge Notice No. 123456789 Dear Sir, On the [Date] I was issued a Penalty Charge Notice for parking on double yellow lines at [location]. On this particular date the road was covered in leaves and i was unable to see any yellow lines at all. There were also no visible signs indicating that any parking restrictions were in place. I have enclosed a photograph taken on the day in question and ask that the penalty charge notice be cancelled. Yours faithfully,

Letter 5 Speeding ticket Dear Sir, On the [Date] A police office reported me for exceeding the speed limit. It is my understanding that a Vascar device was used along with a video camera to obtain evidence against me. I am writing to inform you that I have entered a not guilty plea and would like to request, under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 that copies of all evidence which you intend to rely on in court, including video evidence, be sent to me not less than 7 days prior to the hearing. Yours Faithfully,

Letter 6 Notice of Intended Prosecution Your Reference: [Reference number on NIP] Dear Sir, I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for an alleged speeding offence committed on [Date] by my vehicle [registration number]. I am writing to inform you of my intention to contest this allegation. Under the Criminal procedure and investigations act 1996 I am requesting that copies of both photographs of the alleged offence be sent to me along with the exact time interval between photos, be sent to me no less than 7 days prior to the hearing date.

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 26

Yours faithfully, Letter No.7 Notice of Intended Prosecution Mobile Camera Unit Your Reference: [Reference number on NIP] Dear Sir, I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for an alleged offence committed on [Date] by my vehicle [registration number]. I understand that the alleged offence was detected by use of a mobile camera using a laser speed detector. I am informing you that I will be contesting this allegation and, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I will need copies of the following items: Calibration and maintenance records of the items used The training record of the officer concerned in the use of the equipment used and a copy of any certificate of competence issued to the officer Written details of the partnerships procedures for the use of mobile speed cameras, and/or laser speed detectors. In accordance with the above mentioned act I will require this information within 20 days. Yours Faithfully,

2008 Get More Credit. No Liability is taken by Get More Credit for the actions or results of any person using the information contained in this document. All information contained in this document is correct at the time of writing. Page 27