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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70524
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty of

Resolved Question:

I have received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty of £100 and 3 points on my [ clean] diving licence for driving at 36mph in a 30 limit . I understand the same penalty is awarded for speeds up to 55 mph. Is there any case law challenging similar decisions on the basis that the penalty should be proportionate to the speed ? Bruce Purgavie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there any reason why you think you should not have to pay this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Only that I think the combination of a licence penalty and a large cash fine for a relatively small excess over the limit is not proportionate .I wonder whether there is case law on this where councils have been successfully challenged.?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thanks.

 

Have you committed the offence?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes . I accept I was 6 mph over the 30 mph limit . for a distance of 100 yds approx. I was obliged to do so because the lane ended abruptly and I needed to move into the inside lane . I accelerated into that lane to avoid the upcoming traffic on my off side . But only accelerated for a very short distance.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the information and the time.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

I do understand your frustration about this but I'm afraid you have no defence.

There is a requirement that punishments reflect the offence. That is why travelling at 6mph over attracts a fine of £100 and 3 points. The fact that you only accelerated for a short distance is a point in mitigation but 3 points is the minimum that can be imposed anyway so mitigation is pointless here.

There is no case law that supports the proposition that you want to raise because it is not the law I'm afraid.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought I had read that a new key principal of European law was that the punishment should fit the crime ie. establishing the principle of proportionality. In an example where the same penalty is meted out for widely differing crimes eg. 6 mph v 15 mph over , it does not seem that the principle is being executed !

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, its a long standing principle of domestic law that punishments should fit offences.

That is why this offence attracts 3 points not 20 years custody.

In fact, the guidelines say that for speeds of 31-40 mph in a 30 mph zone the appropriate penalty is 3 points and a fine.

For speeds over 40 mph but under 50 mph the guidelines say 4-6 points or a ban of between 7 - 28 days.
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