Sunday, 26 February 2017

Fun Online Polls: In-car entertainment & Responding to a speeding ticket

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What do you usually listen to when you're driving your car? (You can choose more than one if appropriate)

* Music (excl. radio) - 58 votes
Nothing, just the engine noise - 47 votes
Radio (spoken word) - 43 votes
Radio (music) - 42 votes
** Other, please specify - 9 votes

* "Music" consists of the following sub-categories:

iPod or Bluetooth etc - 19 votes
CDs (shop bought) - 18 votes
USB data sticks with MP3s - 17 votes
CDs with MP3s - 4 votes
Eight-track - 0 votes
Cassettes - 0 votes

** "Others" were mainly audio books or podcasts, with one vote for MiniDisk.

122 voters in total. Thanks to everybody who took part.

I'm surprised how many listen to nothing. I go for USB sticks with MP3s myself, being the maximum amount of music in the least space, you can leave the stick permanently plugged in so you don't need to remember to take your iPod with you, plug it in, take it with you when you park the car etc. One of the greatest inventions of the 21st century IMHO.
Turning to more unpleasant topics, we drove to Liverpool in Mrs W's car last weekend and it was my turn to do the last bit on the M62. There was a long 50 mph section because of roadworks/narrow lanes, fair enough, stick the speed limiter on. Getting nearer town, the roadworks ended and the lanes were normal width again.

Conditions dry, good visibility, normal amount of traffic. All the other cars shot off like bats out of hell, so I took off the speed limiter and started speeding up a bit so that nobody would rear-end us. "Oo-er," said Mrs W, "I think we just got flashed."

Sure enough, a fixed penalty notice turned up a couple of days later, 61 mph in what is allegedly a 50 mph stretch at 10.22 in the evening.

My options appear to be:

1. Go to court and try and talk my way out of it, I suppose the only thing I can argue is that the speed limit was not clearly signalled. That's at least half a day wasted and might backfire on me.

2. Take three points on the chin and pay £100.

3. Go to grown ups detention a Speed Awareness Course which also costs £100.

I think we can consider the £100 a sunk cost.

In my position, what is the best course of action?

That's this week's Fun Online Poll.

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


Steven_L said...

A few years ago I did a two day legal process / evidence / procedure course with a good tutor and experienced prosecutor. One of the examples he used was the paperwork associated with his brother getting clocked at over 90mph at 4am one morning. His brother was on 9 points so he advised him.

Basically he picked holes in all the cops statements and prosecutors paperwork and sent a long snotty reply to the CPS pointing out all the mistakes. Most of the mistakes were things like cops not completing their pro forma statements correctly. They were all just sloppy mistakes, nothing that actually cast any real doubt on the evidence.

The CPS dropped it. The other one that I'm told confuses them is if you have more than one person insured on your car, and you can't remember who was driving and nobody owns up. Apparently you can write to the CPS and explain this, and ask for the photo the police took of incident so you can identify the driver for them. Of course, if it's not possible to ID the driver from the photo it makes it very hard for them to proceed without a confession.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SL, thanks. I'm not doing the second tactic, that seems like cheating.

As to evidence? It was a deliberate speed trap. A bit of a coincidence that there's a camera exactly there at the end of the roadworks but before there's an official sign saying you can do 70 mph again.

With lots of roadworks, there simply isn't a sign saying you can do 70 mph again, it is just implied by the lack of roadworks and the lack of signs saying 50 mph.

So I shall have to ask them
a) Why is the camera there in the first place?
b) How many other drivers fell into their cunning trap?
c) After a roadworks ends, it is not reasonable to assume that the 50 mph limit is also lifted?
d) If I had done the whole roadwork stretch at 60mph, that is clearly a speeding offence, funny that they caught otherwise clearly responsible motorist (and presumably hundreds of others) right where they did.

And so on.

James James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven_L said...

The south west safety camera partnership had some pretty effective traps. I fell into on where you come out of a 60 into a 40, then about 400 yards later the 40 changes into a 30, right at the top of a steep hill.

Your brain picks up the 30 as another 40 sign (because its not normal to have 2 changes within 400 yards, in fact I'd told its against the rules) and the hill stops you slowing down any more anyway.

BTW, the camera partnership jobs are funded by the speed awareness course 'fines' from the speed traps.

Bayard said...

"(because its not normal to have 2 changes within 400 yards, in fact I'd told its against the rules)"

Can you cite chapter and verse on that? because I went past a 40 limit sign and then a 30 limit within 100 yards (at least that's how it seemed) at the weekend. (also in the South West of the country)

Steven_L said...

I can't. My old man was a civil engineer who did roads and he said I should challenge it based on some rulebook or other. But I decided I'd rather pay £60 and go to detention than fight a court case with a fool as a client.