Wife Swap

Wife Swap

If you find yourself contemplating passing your speeding claim on to your missus, don’t!

My wife and I both hold unrestricted motorcycle licences, and we both ride our CBR 600 RR. We have matching helmets and quite similar kit. One of us was caught by a speed camera, and when I, as registered keeper was asked to name the driver I provided both of our names.

I have now been summonsed for the offence of failure to name the driver, which I accept was probably me. I ride the bike more than my wife does. The stretch of road is one which I do ride, it was only 34 in a 30 and my wife and I both have clean licences.

My wife has not been summonsed. She is not a willing to say that she was the rider but I need my licence way more than she does. I am pretty pissed off with her for not taking the points. Should she say that she was the driver?

Answer

Your wife is a lot cleverer than you are. This started off as a minor speeding offence. Had you put your hands up and named yourself as the rider you would almost certainly have got a speed awareness course, which would have left your licence clean and cost less than a fine.

You are now facing the six point offence of failure to nominate the rider, and you have no prospect at all of getting a driver improvement course. Your wife saying she was the driver when it seems she was not goes into a whole new criminal enterprise of attempting to pervert the course of justice and your wife’s job would certainly be lost if this blew up. She would be unemployable in her profession with a dishonesty conviction.

It seems very easy to get your wife to ‘cough’ for points but less clever when she gets banged up for six months for perverting the course of justice, if the photos show a male figure on the bike, she’s nicked.

At the risk of explaining the birds and the bees to you, women have different body shapes to men. The photos on speed cameras are clear. If the rider has shapely hips and narrow shoulders then it may be your wife. But you know the rider will have a masculine body shape. By the way, you won’t be visiting your wife in prison for conspiracy. You’ll be banged up too.

You have committed the absolute offence of failing to name the rider.

The magistrates could acquit you if you had made reasonable efforts to find out who the rider was. Apart from naming the two people insured to ride the bike you did not do that. If you had a genuine reason as to not knowing who was riding the bike there is a potential defence to failure to nominate if you have genuinely made, and you can prove, that you have made proper efforts to find out who the rider was, and there is a genuine confusion.

However, because you cannot show that you have made any effort to identify the rider I am afraid that your licence is going to have six points on it; I cannot see any way that you are going to get away with this. The very least you should have done is asked to see the photos and then accepted the bloke on the bike was you.

As a general observation, pretty well all the ways of trying to slide off points have been tried. With respect, you are not a brilliant forensic mind running some as-yet untried loophole. You have tried to bluff, your bluff has been called and you are getting six points.

The magistrates see this particular try on every day. Don’t make it worse by committing perjury. And if contrary to this advice, you still want to perjure yourself, pack an overnight bag and make your arrangements for a prison sentence. You will get banged up for this, it is an easy prosecution and looks lovely on the prosecutor’s figures.

Judges like perjurers about as much as they like sex pests and sentence accordingly because perjurers fundamentally undermine the relationship between the courts and the rest of the population. Judges will often give the benefit of the doubt but if you are proved to be, put bluntly, taking the piss, it really annoys them.

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes Magazine May 2018

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Posted on: June 1, 2018 at 8:56 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.

Comments

  1. john faulknerJune 1, 2018

    There are muppets everywhere, but this is a real corker – real dumb!

  2. You’d be surprised how often some not particularly bright spark asks this question. I suspect it goes on quite a lot. Google Chris Huhne to see what happens if you get caught.

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