Can a loophole get me off the hook?

Can a loophole get me off the hook?

I received a letter from Thames Valley Police asking me to name the rider of my motorcycle at the time of an offence. It was me. The speed was detected as 67mph in a 60 and I have been offered a speed awareness course.

My dad took one of these courses after he got done in a 30mph zone in his van, and he then got an insurance loading after he told his insurers that he had been on a speed awareness course. With this in mind I’m a bit reluctant to attend.

I’m thinking about trying to run a defence as the internet is full of stories about how you can get off a speeding ticket with ‘loophole’-type defences. I have about £1500 savings which I can use to contest the charges. Should I be spending this on a lawyer to try to beat the charges?

Answer

Honestly, keep your money and go on the course, Loophole defences are more expensive than your £1500; these lawyers are very skilled at what they do, but you will be paying for it. They challenge every aspect of the evidence and use procedure to trip up the prosecutors. It is perfectly lawful. They create reasonable doubt in any single element of the case which the Crown has to prove. This is a high-risk strategy, which is why it is the method of the wealthy.

You might be able to challenge the calibration of the device, the training of the operator, the dates of notices sent out, the type approval of the laser device or the guidance for its use on a motorcycle, but most of these will call for detailed representation by a skilled practitioner and/or expert evidence (you won’t be able to put the identity of the rider in issue as you have already, properly, named yourself). So, in so far as a loophole defence is concerned, you don’t have enough money. Sorry.

Insurance loading for having been on a course is only carried out, as far as I am aware, by Admiral Insurance, who say they will take a course into account for loading. Odd, really, as the accident rate for people who have been on such a course is lower than the average driver’s. As a private consumer you only have to answer the questions your insurer asks you. Most insurers do not ask about speed awareness courses as it does not adversely affect their risk assessment of you. Your dad, in his van, may be on a commercial policy so he will have to declare his course, as commercial policies have much stricter rules.

Andrew Dalton

RiDE Magazine

December 2014

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Last modified: March 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

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