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Thread: using mobile phone whilst driving

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    Default using mobile phone whilst driving

    Morning everyone
    I was caught using my mobile whilst driving by an unmarked police car. He had me bang to rights - did all the checks on the car & was satisfied that everything else was OK.
    He told me to expect a £60 fixed penalty notice thru the post in a couple of weeks time but did not give me any paperwork.
    I did not receive the Fixed Penalty fine but got a Magistrates court summons instead.
    I called the court explained the position & was told to put all this in writing in the mitigating circumstances section, plead guilty & send it in. I should only receive the £60 fine.
    I have just received the fine this morning for £160 + costs £50 + £15 = £225.
    I called the fines dept of the court & was told the officer can decide at any time to send it to court instead of issuing a Fixed Penalty & the Magistrate can decide the amount of the fine, so that was that.
    I am trying to speak with the court to see if there is any appeal to the size of the fine, so in the meantime any advice anyone can help me out with please?
    The only slight mistake on the police officers witness statement is the year of the car ( one year out ) - does this make any difference?
    thanx
    Hector

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Quote Originally Posted by hector-go-go View Post
    I was caught using my mobile whilst driving by an unmarked police car. He had me bang to rights
    That pretty much sums its up.

    You comitted an offence and you got fined.

    Dont use your phone while driving in the future.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Dont use your phone while driving in the future...
    ...lest rather than suffering the slight inconvenience of a fine, you kill someone due to your inattention to the road.

    Absolutely no sympathy at all - this is an "Offence" in every possible meaning of the word.

    Tom
    I will not provide support by Private Message under any circumstances. This is for your protection and mine. Any advice I give is my own opinion and carries no legal weight. Check it before you use it!
    Over £1200 claimed in several actions against several organisations.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    I am not disputing the "offence" - I was in the wrong & accept the punishment - I am asking if I can appeal the size of the fine.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Don't think you can, tbh. But best thing to do is contact the court and ask them. Not sure what grounds you would have for appealing though.
    If you can't, then you could ask for time to pay, i suppose.
    Is no longer here

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    thanx for the reply Wendy B - nice to see not everyone is sitting in judgement.

    I have since spoken to the Criminal Justice Unit - they have told me that the reason the officer did not issue a Fixed Penalty fine immediately was that my driving licence was lost when being returned to me in the post by the City of London police. I did have the replacement in time for the court case.
    They then told me to request the case to be re-opened (& who to send the application to) they were very helpful so I am going down that route. I will advise how it goes in case it can help anyone else.
    I also now believe it is very difficult to get time to pay - the fine becomes a priority debt ( like mortgage etc ).

    thanx again

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Can you clarify what exactly happened at the scene, as some bits dont tally up, with what you have later posted.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    1)using mobile whilst driving
    2)flashing blue lights behind so pull over
    3)admitted the offence as I was in the wrong
    did not have docs with me so gave officer all details - he confirmed tax/mot/insurance/registration & current licence all by his system in the car & by radio
    4)explained I did not have my licence back from police from previous speeding camera fine - it was lost in post after they sent it back
    5)he said it would be a fixed penalty fine - however as he did not issue it there & then it went to court case ( a court error according to Criminal Justice Unit )
    6)it should then have been cleared through the court as a fixed penalty fine but for unknown reason was not
    7)so now I have been advised by the Criminal Justice Unit to get the case re-opened & explain the circumstances in the magistrates court - & hopefully it will then be set aside & revert to a fixed penalty fine.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    How many points you have on your license?

    The fixed penalty is a conditional offer. If you have more than 8 points already on your licence or you do not hold a UK driving licence your offence will be dealt with at court.

    It could be probable that due to the fact that you werent in a postion to produce your license (either at the scene or within 7 seven days to a police station), is the reason it went to court.



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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    I have 3 points on my licence currently with another 3 to be added for the mobile phone offence.
    The Criminal Justice Unit lead me to believe that the reason it went to court was because I was unable to produce my licence within 7 days even though this was unfortunate circumstance & not by design.
    However, they should have taken the mitigation information into account when the case went to court ( in fact it should have been noted when the case was reviewed before going to court & had a recommendation from the local office to issue a fixed penalty fine - apparently)
    I will advise the reponse from the local reviewing officer to see if they will re-open the case.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    This is just my opinion and I am in no way having a go at you hector-go-go. I have good reason to say that any driver caught on a mobile phone whilst driving should face an instant ban. I worked for British gas a few years ago and was working with four colleges on a busy road, a lorry driven by an idiot on his phone ploughed into three of my work mates killing all three, leaving 8 children fatherless and 3 distraught wifes. I had to get out of that job due to the trauma. So if a call is so important to you, pull over and take it. A car has the potential to kill dozens of people when driven without due care and attention. As for the fine and it increasing that is tough luck as you had already committed a speeding offence and you deserved what you got.
    Borrow money from a pessimist -- they don't expect it back.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    It is interesting to say you are not having a go at me & then tell me it is my tough luck. You do not know me - my life or my cicumstances.
    I have been driving for more than 35 years - I have never been in an accident that I was responsible for - I have been hit a couple of times - once when parked in a parking bay - once when sitting at traffic lights.
    I have had a total of 12 points over that period - 3 for going thru a changing red light - 3 for going at 45 on a unfamiliar dual carriage way when the limit dropped from 50 to 40 - 3 for going on Tower Bridge at 28 when the limit had been changed to 20 as it is a conservation area & now the 3 for the mobile incident.
    I am asking for legal advice which is what I thought this site was about - not moral judgements from unknown preachers.
    I am very sorry that the incident happened to you & your work colleagues - I have lost family & friends over the years to illnesses, accidents etc. All of these deaths seemed pointless & unfair.
    Should people be allowed to smoke or eat in cars? - should you be allowed to listen to the radio or talk to a passenger? how far do we go with curtailing personnal actions in order to try to account for every eventuallity?
    I have no idea - all I was asking for was for some legal advice for my own situation.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Quote Originally Posted by hector-go-go View Post
    Should people be allowed to smoke or eat in cars? - should you be allowed to listen to the radio or talk to a passenger? how far do we go with curtailing personnal actions in order to try to account for every eventuallity?
    I have no idea - all I was asking for was for some legal advice for my own situation.
    I am with you 100% on this.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    It sounds like you have done and are doing exactly the right thing with challenging the cock up with the FPN.

    The issue is a legal issue, same as if you had had a FPN for illegal parking etc so I completely agree that this discussion should not be about why you received the FPN but how to fix the inflated fee you have had to pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by hector-go-go View Post
    I am asking for legal advice which is what I thought this site was about
    It is.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    quick update - have been given a date for a new hearing at the Magistrates Court - quite happy to go & give my side of the case. Will advise the outcome.
    One legal point that I would like some clarification on.
    The policeman has on his witness statement an incorrect year for the vehicle age. Does this affect the validity of the statement at all?
    Any advice greatfully appreciated.
    thanx
    Hector

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    I wouldn't think so to be perfectly truthful, it's more than likely just a simple mistake that can be corrected.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    As above, this is termed a "slip error" and will be corrected. This type of error does not change the validity of the statement.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    thanx for the replies - pretty much what I thought to be honest - I am trying to bolter my case as much as possible so I only get the PCN fine (£60) - & no court costs - so any other advice would be gratefully received
    thanx
    Hector

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Hi all
    Can anyone advise me if the following is correct-
    The reason I was not given an immediate Fixed Penalty fine was because I could not produce my licence as it had been lost in the post when being returned by the police.
    I am using this in mitigation as to the fine being reduced to the Fixed Penalty amout of £60.00
    thanx
    Hector

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Quote Originally Posted by hector-go-go View Post
    Hi all
    Can anyone advise me if the following is correct-
    The reason I was not given an immediate Fixed Penalty fine was because I could not produce my licence as it had been lost in the post when being returned by the police.
    I am using this in mitigation as to the fine being reduced to the Fixed Penalty amout of £60.00
    thanx
    Hector
    How about this

    Quote Originally Posted by PKea View Post
    The fixed penalty is a conditional offer. If you have more than 8 points already on your licence or you do not hold a UK driving licence your offence will be dealt with at court.

    It could be probable that due to the fact that you werent in a postion to produce your license (either at the scene or within 7 seven days to a police station), is the reason it went to court.



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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    I will just be devils advocate here and say it how I see it

    The reason you couldn't produce your license at the time is because it was in the process of having points added to it for another motoring offence.
    To me this wont paint a decent picture to the magistrate of your driving charactersitics.
    Although it is procedure and your right to challenge it, it will boil down to a person to decide again, and basically disagree with their colleague.
    I would say that you wont avoid costs as this is 2nd court case for the offence.
    Anyway thats how i see it with no bias

    This next quote is just for reference to anybody who is unfortunate to get stopped by the Police.
    I have posted it before on the forum, but it could save you problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by PKea
    The Attitude Test

    Police Officers are human beings. They suffer from mood swings, delicate and sometimes over-inflated egos and an assortments off common human frailties. It will serve you well to remember this if you are stopped by a police officer for speeding or any other motoring offence.

    When an officer first approaches you you will be subjected to a test. This is not a test of motoring knowledge or skills or anything off the like – this is what the police call “The Attitude Test”.

    Fail this test and you are almost certain to receive a ticket. Pass it and you may still receive a ticket, but you surely reduce the chances. So use the fact that the police officer who stops you is a human being to your advantage. He or she is likely to respond more positively to a calm, courteous and reasonable motorists.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    just to conclude this thread
    spent all morning in Magistrates Court - it was an eye opening experience to say the least. The number of people who had no representation & clearly had no idea how to represent themselves was frightening!!
    I carefully explained my case to the Magistrates (with supporting paperwork for my lost licence) & my fine was reduced back to the Fixed Penalty amount (from £160) & the court costs were removed. No reason was given as to why this information was not taken into account at the postal hearing. I guess it is always better to be there in person, even though you are encouraged to keep it simple for the courts by pleading guilty by post.
    I still had the £15 extra costs to pay for the victims support tax but I was happy to pay the total of £75 rather then the previously judged amount of £225.
    I was thinking abou this after & despite having to pay extra (replacement cost of the licence that the police/post - time off work - travel expenses to court & the victims fund costs) I did feel vindicated that I had won a small victory in not allowing the charge to spiral out of control.
    Thanx to everone who offered advice - it was greatly appreciated.
    Hector
    ------------------------------- merged -------------------------------
    as a reply to PKea
    Totally agree regarding the attitude test - should apply to many meetings in life - not just with the police. The officer who stopped me was OK - I did not have a problem with him nor him with me.
    As regards the court costs - I believe that if you are charged & fined for one fixed penalty offence it should not be an influence over a future fixed penalty offence (there were approximately 8 months between the offences - which were my first points for 18 years)
    As you say , it is a matter of interpretation, my good fortune that it went in my favour.

    Glad you weren't on the bench PKea

    Hector
    Last edited by hector-go-go; 24th September 2009 at 15:58:PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Excellent, well done

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Well done Hector.

    My thoughts on this are, you committed an offence, you were caught, you did not dispute it, you were penalised accordingly and fairly. I am not judging you, as I have received the same FPN myself before. You have dealt with this maturely and not tried to dodge it on a "technicality", but fought your corner, quite rightly so as not to be fined in excess because of circumstance.

    On Monday, I accompanied my Nephew to court,(after only been given the full story Sunday night) to defend a summons where he had failed to notify the DVLA of a change of registered keeper to a car the DVLA never sent a log book for and had since been repossessed by the finance company after him losing employment.

    He was facing a possible fine of £1000 + costs, which he would have had no way of paying. He was not going to attend, but after an arse kicking from me he did with me speaking for him. He left the court after I managed to persuade the DVLA rep to drop the case with no fine, no costs and no further action.

    This stresses the need to attend court without fail and represent your case in a clear and concise manner. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS attend court.
    Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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    Default Re: using mobile phone whilst driving

    Excellent result Hector, I really am pleased for you.

    I also believe it is the right and just result. I see no reason whatsoever that you should have been penalised simply because you could not produce your licence through no fault of your own, which essentially is what was the problem here.

    I'm glad you got a magistrate who had a semblance of common sense; a trait I believe to be quite rare these days.

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