Q. I was out with some mates for a blast up the coast near where I live on my new MT-09. I went for an overtake, and in all honesty I was doing about 45mph in 30mph when I spotted a speed camera van parked up in a well dodgy position on the side of the road. I have since been offered a speed awareness course as an alternative to prosecution. However, my mates reckon I should defend the case because we think the camera van was parked illegally on the footpath. What do you reckon?
A. Firstly, at that speed the likely punishment if you plead guilty or are found guilty at Court would be a penalty points endorsement of 4-6 points and a maximum fine of £1,000.00, in addition to Court costs. Further, for offences where a fine forms part of the punishment, you would usually be required by the Court to pay a Victim’s Surcharge of £15.00. Alternatively to points you could be disqualified for up to 28 days.
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Secondly, there is no legal defence to speeding simply if the camera van was parked illegally. By all means you are entitled to challenge the prosecution to provide the evidence that they say substantiates any offence, but if they have their evidence in order you could be stumped. As such, unless you are up for a gamble, because you know you were speeding my advice would be to strongly consider accepting the speed awareness course as you will avoid points on your licence, which is to your advantage.
White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column very month, offering our readers essential motorcycle legal advice. www.whitedalton.co.uk