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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there ,I was on my way to work back in January , when

Customer Question

Hi there , I was on my way to work back in January , when I was waiting at Dartford Toll booth to pay the toll and preceed with my journey, when a man claiming to be vosa run to the side of my window and asked me to pull over to the side of the road. He showed me no ID at this time and as I had never heard of Vosa I panicked as I carry my lively hood in the van and had heard in the past of previous experiences similiar to what had just happened to me of people being hit and robbed of their van or money. So i decided to drive of until I could find somewhere safe to pull into. The Vosa agent continued to trail me often undercutting my self in his pursuit with his flashing headlights, This panicked me further and as I suffer from anxiety I continued to just drive until eventually the highway agency helped the Vosa agent buy both coming from either side and forcing me into the hard shoulder. I immediately called the police as the vosa agent had failed to show his id at the initial time of asking me to pull to the side of the road and, the way he had undercut me and driven irratically I still didnt beleive he was who he was saying. The police then informed me on the phone that the incident had been noted and that an officer was on his way and that if I felt unsure in anyway to stay in the vehicle which i preceeded to do. Even on sitting in the vehicle I continued to ask to see his id to which he quickly flashed his card explaining that he wouldnt pass it to me thru the window incase in his words I decided to drive of ! I sat in the vehicle with my doors locked as I was still in doubt due to his mannerisim and commemts, and lack of proffessnalism, and as I was worried about my vehicle and self I thought this was best until the police arrived. Once the police arrived they explained that he was infact a vosa agent and that I was to escort them back to the weighbridge at Dartford where they continued to weigh me and I was infact 30.60% overweight. They told me they would send a summonds in the post which Ive only just got with a court date of 17-7-14 : the charges are 1) exceed maximum permitted gross weight (reg66) manufacturers plate- fine level 5 2) resist or wilfully obstructs a stopping officer: one month or level 3 fine or both. Number 1 I except as I was overweight, but number 2 due to his lack of proffesional duties on the day I disagree with as had he shown his id I wouldve not panicked and happily pulled over to the side. Could you shed any light on this for me please as I know there are cctv cameras at the booths and along the motor way which would back up what I am saying in terms of ID and lack of good driving skills which someone like the vosa agent should have been displaying. Many Thanks Lee.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On charge 1 I will go guilty, but on charge 2 I was wondering if I had a case as he failed to show I'd and was also wondering if it's possible to ask for the CCTV to be called to back up my statement , and how this would stand in court ? Any thoughts ? Would be appreciated
Lee
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

I see you were displeased with my previous answer so I wonder if you would like me to opt out for others?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry what do you mean ? I was just after a few bits if advise , can't recall saying I was displeased with anything ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Sorry if I'm wrong. I presumed you were displeased with my previous answer because you didn't leave feedback.

If I'm wrong I'm happy to carry on?

Are you asking if you have a defence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry didn't leave feedback because Indidnt receive an answer , you just asked me a further question ? But basically yeah I'm asking if I have a defence and if so how would I go about calling for CCTV to be called as evidence in what I'm saying ?

Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

On your specific points above.

You do not have a defence to the driving overweight points obviously. The vehicle was overweight.

In terms of obstructing an officer, it depends which version of events are accepted. On your account you may have a defence. In truth its not very likely that a court would accept that. VOSA officers are distinctive enough and he will be saying that he showed you ID and was wearing distinctive clothing. In any event, the difficulty is that driving away gives rise to an inference in a case where your vehicle was found to be overweight. When the highways agency stopped you though its really game over as it was obvious at that time that this was one emanation of the state or another.

I would offer a plea to the dangerously overweight charge in exchange for discontinuing the other. That may be acceptable to the Crown as its the more serious offence anyway.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks , just one last thing , he may say that he showed me his ID , but if I could. Pull the CCTV at the toll booth it would , show that he ran to my window when it was still quite dark and never showed me ID but just waved for me to pull over , would this not stand ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not really. Its very unlikely the CCTV would be conclusive on the point of whether he showed ID or not.

But anyway, if this is the Dartford Toll Tunnel then there is a fairly permanent VOSA and highways agency presence there and they are in disctinctive vehicles.

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