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Thread: NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

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  1. #1
    suitangi's Avatar

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    Default NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

    Hello All,

    The NIP was unfortunately received within 14 days of the alleged offence.

    Signs/LEDs enforcing the 50 MPH limit on the M62 aren't recalled, and maybe there was some type of incident five or ten minutes prior that required the speed limit to be lowered, but the person in the control room didn't increase it back to 70 or even 60, when it was perhaps considered safe to do so (as far as I was aware, the speed limit at the time was the usual 70). I know that proving this might be somewhat difficult.

    I measured the distance of the speed interval marking on the speedometer 40-50-60 etc., and it's about 6 or 7mm! I know that this is kind of irrelevant

    The traffic was good and free flowing. The photographic evidence on their web pages are really of poor quality (three images all 4x3cm at 100% view on the web page), but they depict very few other vehicles in the carriageway, clear weather and a dry road surface. Some text on their pages states: "Please note that the quality of photographs viewed on this site may differ from the originals seen within the Central Ticket Office, as we have the ability to enhance the images.".

    Whilst I kind of realise that nominating myself as driver and paying something like £75-90 to a Speed Awareness Course provider would probably be the safest route, I would love to somehow use the system to quash this thing.

    Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of S172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 are interesting. My Mum is the insurance's policyholder and I am named driver, but I am the RK & Owner of the vehicle. I wonder if I could write a letter to the Police stating this and telling them that the journey was shared and that we don't remember who was driving, and then asking them if they can provide better quality images of the vehicle so that we can help identify who the driver was.

    Edit: Last night, I sent a FoI request asking how many vehicles/motorists were captured speeding during the apparent 50 MPH speed limit, and received a reply this morning stating:

    "Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with this information as it is exempt by virtue of Section 31 – Law Enforcement. Please see appendix A for the full legislative explanation.

    Appendix A

    The Freedom of Information Act 2000 creates a statutory right of access to information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if permitted, state under Section 1(a) of the Act, whether it holds the requested information and, if held, then communicate that information to the applicant under Section 1(b) of the Act.

    The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information that is unsuitable for release.
    Importantly the Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.

    DECISION

    This letter serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

    Section 17 of the Act provides:

    (1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with Section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which:-

    (a) states the fact,
    (b) specifies the exemption in question, and
    (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

    REASONS FOR DECISION

    The reason that we are unable to provide you with this information is covered by the following exemption(s):

    Section 31(1)(a)(b) Law Enforcement

    This is a prejudice and qualified based exemption and as such there is a requirement to provide harm and conduct a public interest test.

    Harm
    The presence of speed cameras has had a positive impact upon road safety. It is widely known that speed cameras are not always active and the Police rely on the perception by drivers that a camera may be active and would therefore influence drivers to adjust their speed so as to not contract a fine. Variable speed cameras are present in a small number of locations across West Yorkshire. If we were to disclose the number of speed enforcement notices issued, the camera deployment pattern which results in variable speed cameras being operational could be identified which diminishes their road safety effectiveness. It would encourage speeding and individuals would gamble on the chance that the cameras may or may not be operational. This would endanger the life of drivers, other road uses and pedestrians. It would also result in an increased Police presence requirement in certain areas which would impact on resources. The impact of the deterrent effect of variable speed cameras would undermine police enforcement of the statutory speed limit and would therefore hinder law enforcement.

    The recent ICO Decision Notice Ref FS50653192 has similarities and provides a supporting rationale. Details can be found via the below link: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...fs50653192.pdf


    Public Interest Test


    Factors favouring disclosure
    Disclosure would contribute to openness, transparency and accountability which are principal objectives of the FOIA. It would also inform the public how West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership tackles the issue of road safety and confirm when speed is being enforced at camera locations.

    Factors favouring non-disclosure
    Disclosure would enable the public to establish when speed is being enforced at variable speed camera sites and when excessive speed is likely to result in a fine or not. It would encourage drivers to exceed the speed limit and break the law, undermining the deterrent effect of variable speed cameras, making roads more unsafe and putting lives at risk. Police resources would have to be diverted from elsewhere to deal with the impact. This would compromise law enforcement and hinder the prevention and detection of crime at variable cameras sites and other areas.

    Balancing Test
    When balancing, I must weigh the strongest reason for disclosure, which in this case is transparency, against the strongest reason for non-disclosure, which in this case is law enforcement and risk to life which is paramount. One of the core functions of policing is the prevention and detection of crime and by releasing this information there is a danger that crime would increase, putting lives at risk therefore I will not be disclosing this information."
    Last edited by suitangi; 6th December 2017 at 14:05:PM. Reason: FoI

  2. #2
    wales01man's Avatar

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    Default Re: NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

    Saying you don't know who the driver was will not be a defence withholding the info creates a more serious offence seems like they have the driver bang to rights

  3. #3
    suitangi's Avatar

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    Default Re: NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

    Quote Originally Posted by wales01man View Post
    Saying you don't know who the driver was will not be a defence withholding the info creates a more serious offence seems like they have the driver bang to rights
    What if I can show reasonable diligence that I tried to ascertain who was driving?

  4. #4
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

    Maybe you could ask the time that the speed was varied and what to during that day ? To check if the time when you were doing 63mph the speed limit had been varied to 50mph ?

    Even if there was no accident/weather etc if the speed limit has been varied to 50, without any reason at all, then that is the speed limit, so that you think it should have been put back up to national speed limit by that point wil be irrelevant.

    ( and yes, likely best option is to pay the £100 and do the speed awareness course IMO )
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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  5. #5
    suitangi's Avatar

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    Default Re: NIP (13 MPH over a 50 MPH variable speed limit on the M62)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    Maybe you could ask the time that the speed was varied and what to during that day ? To check if the time when you were doing 63mph the speed limit had been varied to 50mph ?
    Do you mean ask the Police this in my letter that I've drafted, or ask the Force Disclosure Team in a new FoI request, or both even?

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