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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Alex, I received a NIP at an average speed

Customer Question

Hi Alex,
I received a NIP for travelling at an average speed of 57 mph in a 50 mph zone on the M4 at Port Talbot last week. I returned the completed NIP admitting I was the driver. A few days later I received a 'Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty', stipulating a £100 fine and 3 points on my licence. The alleged offence on this document is 'Exceed 50 mph speed limit in contravention of a Local Traffic Order - manned equipment'. Since that section of road contains average speed cameras (SPECS I believe),which I also believe are unmanned, have I been charged with the wrong offence? (manned rather than fixed equipment), and should I therefore contest this in court rather than accept the offer of a fixed penalty?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am not sure why you should be charged with the wrong offence? They are alleging speeding.
I do see your point that the particulars are wrong if they are alleging manned equipment when clearly this was not a laser gun. I suppose arguably all equipment is manned at least at some point.
Either way though, that doesn't go to the charge or to the punishment for that charge.
That said, even if you were charged with the wrong offence though there isn't generally a value in contesting it unless the punishments are different. If you do refuse the fixed penalty then they will only summons you to court and amend the charge to the correct one.
There is a chance that they could forget. That does sometimes happen. It is obviously a risk. There is a school of thought that nobody should ever be accepting fixed penalties because they may forget to summons and you only get the same number of points at court. The costs of doing so are higher though so it depends what priorities you have.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Many thanks for your swift reply. So, just to clarify - I know that as well as the 'Exceed 50 mph speed limit in contravention of a Local Traffic Order - manned equipment' offence with which I have been charged, there is also another offence 'Exceed 50 mph speed limit in contravention of a Local Traffic Order - automatic camera device'. Are you saying that if I were to contest the offence I have been charged with and win the case, I could potentially be re summoned and charged with the '.....automatic camera device' offence anyway?

Many thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, you could be charged with speeding which is what is alleged.
The rest of the wording just goes to the particulars of the offence that are arguably unimportant anyway.
The only issue here I suppose is that they are relying on a local traffic order rather than the automatic speed limits. It might be worth checking that is still in place with the local council and that it covers the location in question.
But basically this just alleges speeding.