On x I was driving along an x on my way home and at the junction just before my home address was a Police traffic car sitting at the junction. I passed the police officers and then took the next left turning and pulled in outside my house.
As I opened the door to my vehicle I was surprised to see an officer standing there and he instantly said do you know why we stopped you I said no and then he said he and his colleague saw me texting on my mobile, I said sorry but you are mistaken because I haven’t used my mobile, he then asked have I been drinking?
I said no but he then asked me to take a breath test in his vehicle, one officer filled out the fixed penalty notice and the other officer carried out the breath test, the test showed 0 as I expected, I felt in a very threatening situation, the officer explained to me the options to take with the penalty notice and said to produce my licence at Flint police station.
I said I have the card part on me now and I can get the paper part as we were outside my house but he said no and to produce it, I then left the vehicle.
It then dawned on me what they had seen, as I am a retained Firefighter and an Auxiliary Coastguard officer I have to carry a pager for each service, they are not transmitters but just a pager to respond, I do remember checking one of these pagers to ensure it was switched on as sometimes the batteries fail without warning.
I can easy see how this could be confused with texting so I decided to be dealt with by the court and let them decide on whether I had committed an offence or not.
I produced my licence at my local station and told the officer at the desk what had happened and I wanted to be dealt with by the courts. I have today received my summons, the offence is I used a hand held mobile telephone but on reading the witness statement from the officer I couldn’t believe it, It reads –
DRIVER USING MOBILE PHONE WHILST DRIVING: PHONE IN RIGHT HAND TO RIGHT EAR, LIPS MOVING IN CONVERSATION. I INFORMED THE DRIVER OF THE OFFENCES AND CAUTIONED HIM. I TOLD HIM THE FACTS WOULD BE REPORTED. HE REPLIED ‘YEAH! IT JUST RANG. I ASKED HIM TO PRODUCE HIS DRIVING LICENCE. HE FAILED TO PRODUCE HIS: DRIVING LICENCE.-
Please give me your views on this? I have been driving for 23 years and have a clean licence, also I am right handed so if I pick up any phone either mobile or house phone its always in my left hand so I can write with my right hand. If I had been using the phone and admitted it to the officer like he said then why would I have suggested to go to court and increase my fine and costs.
It sounds as though the officer has added all the standard phrases that they always out in when they are trying to prove use of a phone.
If you can produce phone records to show that you were not using your phone at the time of the alleged offence then you will have a good argument. You should also exhibit the pager at court to show the court that the officer made a mistake.
You have a defence to this matter and you should plead not guilty. You seem to know the risks regarding increased fines and court costs if you lose.