I Would Like To Do The Speed Awareness Course

Question:

I was in touch with you last year regarding a Speeding Offence where I was uncertain if the speed in question (68 in 50mph) would generate a court summons or not. Thankfully as you advised it didn’t.

I currently have 3 points on my license.

I recently received a NIP for exceeding a 30mph (Attended) at allegedly 40mph. This was a local road where during a 2 week period mobile enforcement vans were located. Drivers traveling between 35-39mph were given the opportunity to accept roadside education, anyone traveling at 40mph or above were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices.

I don’t recall seeing the vehicle so am uncertain of its exact location, however I was approaching a right turning and slowing down. I accept my speed was still above 30mph, probably in the range of 36-38mph which according to the newspaper cutting (copy enclosed) would then have suggested I should have received the roadside education.

I have completed the NIP with my details and sent a letter arguing pretty much the above scenario. I received a response (scanned copy attached) which acknowledges my comments but suggests the speed recording was accurate & if I wish to challenge this then it will be dealt with through a Court Hearing. Alternatively if I am eligible I may get a Speed Awareness Course – given that I did one in June 2009, I suspect I won’t be offered another one so soon so the only other option is the Conditional Offer of 3 points and the £60 fine.

I am keen where possible to avoid totting up any additional points – I guess this would suggest I need to slow down when driving!

Given that the difference between driving at 39mph and getting roadside education as opposed to driving at 40mph and being issued with a NIP is so marginal coupled with my belief that I would probably be on the cusp here, I’m wondering whether I should go to Court.

Clearly before I consider opting for a Court Hearing I’d like to understand the consequences and costs if:

a) the Police can accurately prove I was driving at 40mph or

b) if there is scope to argue/reading suggests I may be doing 39mph

Also presumably by going to court I would need to appoint a lawyer/solicitor to represent me & would also incur such costs as well.

Could you perhaps clarify the above situation for me & whether you feel I have sufficient grounds to pursue this or not?

Louise says:

I’m afraid the police will take the view that their evidence in relation to your speed is correct and they will issue a court summons if you don’t accept the fixed penalty offer.

The speed awareness course as an alternative to prosecution/points is entirely at the discretion of the police and nothing you can say will persuade them to offer it if they think the speed was 40. The police will also only let you do the course once in any three year period.

The only way you will avoid the points in this case is to ask for a court hearing and cast a doubt on the suggestion that you were speeding. If you admit that you were exceeding 30 mph you will be convicted and you will get 3 points – even if the court agrees that you were not doing 40mph. the court does not have the power to order the police to offer you the course.

I afraid that if you accept that you were speeding the only think to do is take the ticket – unless you want to gamble that the officer makes a mess of his evidence at court. this would be your only hope.



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