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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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At 16:00 on Wed 5/11 I stopped my moped at a red light on Trinity

Customer Question

At 16:00 on Wed 5/11 I stopped my moped at a red light on Trinity Street near Borough in London. I was not driving recklessly or fast (my moped has a speed limiter in it) and was wearing a hi viz jacket. A Policeman accosted me and said that I had ignored the red light because my front wheel was just over the solid white line at the back of the cycle only box. There were no other bikes or vehicles at the junction and I have no photographic evidence. I suggested that a £100 fine and 3 points was disproportionate but to no avail. The Police appeared to be stopping everyone because they were all doing the same thing! The ticket he gave me said I was doing 30mph when in fact I was stationary.
I am deeply unhappy and am inclined to go to Court but am not sure what the downsides of doing so are in terms of legal costs that I might incur or those that might be awarded against me. I do not know if there is any risk of my fine being increased if I lose.
Please can you advise?
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know how far you were over the line?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

I am not 100% sure as he pulled me over and asked for my licence and then another policeman told me I was over. My guess is that it was about a wheel

Alex Watts :

Ok - you have several choices

Alex Watts :

1) Pay it

Alex Watts :

2) Contest the ticket and it will go to Court

Alex Watts :

If it goes to Court you will have to enter a not guilty plea

Alex Watts :

The matter will then be set down for trial.

Alex Watts :

The Court would need to be satisfied that you were over the line.

Alex Watts :

But it seems to be that if you were stationary and not moving, it does not make an awful lot of difference whether your wheel was on or slightly over the line

Alex Watts :

You were stopped, that is all that matters

Alex Watts :

You should know though if you are convicted you will get a fine, points and Court costs of about £400

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

My complaint is that the penalty is disproportionate to the alleged offence. it is my word against his. I have no evidence to disprove him and he only has his fellow officer to support him.

Alex Watts :

I agree, but the penalty is set by government.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

The big concern is the downside. I am furious about it asa it is absurdly petty but the risk of £400 is a lot

Alex Watts :

You can't change that or the points.

Alex Watts :

Yes I agree with you, if you lose it is a lot - but that is the risk of taking it to Court.

Alex Watts :

£100 / 3 points is the law - you can't change that.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

so the court cannot/will not look at proportionality and move to a caution?

Alex Watts :

No.

Alex Watts :

They will need to be satisfied you had passed the red light

Alex Watts :

If you have then they will assess any fine, points and costs

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Physically I didn't pass the light as it was 5 or 6 yds ahead of me. I am accused of being over a line

Alex Watts :

Yes I understand, but again if you are slightly over but stationary I do not see what the issue is

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

`sorry the issue is for who, me or the piolice?

Alex Watts :

The Police can be over enthusiastic

Alex Watts :

But if you plead not guilty, then the process is outlined above

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Yes so what can I do about it?

Alex Watts :

You can contest it

Alex Watts :

It would then go to Court

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Sorry we are going round in cicles now!

Alex Watts :

You can plead not guilty and there will be a trial

Alex Watts :

You asked what you can do about it?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Can I send you a photo of the junction?

Alex Watts :

If it helps.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

How?

Alex Watts :

Is there a paperclip icon?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Full Size Image

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

You can see my moped, the lights and then line.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

I was way back form teh lights, no risk to anyone

Alex Watts :

Yes. The offence is committed if "any part" of the vehicle crosses the stop line when the red light is showing.

Alex Watts :

If there is any part of the vehicle over then technically there is an offence.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

So it os my word against them about being over?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

How will that play put in court?

Alex Watts :

Yes the Police must prove the case against you in Court.

Alex Watts :

You don't need to disprove anything

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

How can they without pictures? There were two of them bit one of me and I cant produce anything othe rthan this picture

Alex Watts :

It would be the officers word against yours.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

ll I can say is teh ang,e,of my bike suggest that i turned in form a distance back

Alex Watts :

But as I said, THEY have to prove the claim against you.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

How would they try and do that?

Alex Watts :

I can;'t say because I do not know what evidence if any they have against you.

Alex Watts :

The officer will attend and say you were over the line

Alex Watts :

You will say you were not over the line

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

what do they usually have?

Alex Watts :

The court would then decide whether they believe you or the officer

Alex Watts :

That is it

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

I don't recall seeing them taking pistures ofr havong a go pro

Alex Watts :

Ok

Alex Watts :

Well as I have said, its their word against yours and the Court decides who it believes

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

That doesn't really give me much chance of assessing whether to gamble £400 of costs

Alex Watts :

That is a matter for you. I can only tell you what procedure is

Alex Watts :

But bear in mind they need to prove the case against you.

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

In your experience what evidence do they brig to court in these cases?

Alex Watts :

The officers oral evidence

Alex Watts :

That is it

Alex Watts :

The office will say you were over.

Alex Watts :

You will say you were not

Alex Watts :

The Court will then decide who it believes

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

Does the oral evidence of two officers trump the oral evidence of one plaintiff?

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

How useful is the picture showing the angle of the bike?

Alex Watts :

No. It depends on who the Court believes for oral evidence.

Alex Watts :

Its hard to say whether the picture is useful or not

JACUSTOMER-sivfw0qq- :

It shows where the police pulled me over. If you look at the angle it wold have been impossible to get it there if it had started over the line

Alex Watts : You rated poor service?
Alex Watts : why?
Alex Watts : if that photo was taken straight after and shows the angle then it assists you and you are likely to win in court
Alex Watts : does that clarify?
Alex Watts :

Why have you rated poor service? I have given you the legal answer

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