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Police officer sacked for failing to check speed camera equipment

August 7th, 2014 by Marcus

A police officer has been sacked for incorrectly using speed camera equipment – meaning hundreds of motorists in Teeside may have been mistakenly charged with speeding offences.

The police constable was dismissed from the force for wrongly calibrating equipment.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police confirmed the officer was found to have ‘breached the standards of professional behaviour expected of him.’

The spokeswoman said: ‘He had failed in his duty by not calibrating equipment as required, he had been dishonest with regards to claims he had calibrated the equipment and overall his actions had brought discredit on Cleveland Police and the police service as a whole.

‘Following a thorough investigation into processing evidence of alleged speeding offences, which was overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the officers were cleared of any offences and no formal disciplinary action was required.’

With more and more officers making similar mistakes, it is incredibly important to check the accuracy of the devices used.  If you have been caught speeding and suspect mistakes have been made, please contact our office for free initial advice.

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Labour to ban mobile phone using drivers for a year

August 4th, 2014 by Marcus

 

Motorists who are caught using a mobile phone while driving are to be banned for 12 months if Labour win the next election.

 

The proposal comes after shadow roads minister Richard Burden accused the Government of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ as numbers of accidents caused by the offence soared.

 

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is considering raised penalty points from three to six after offences soared over the past five years.

 

However Mr Burden said motorists who are caught using a mobile phone while driving should also be banned for a year.

 

He said: ‘The penalties have got to be appropriate.  Increasing the number of points will be part of that and doubling to six sounds sensible.  It needs to reflect the seriousness of the offence.’

 

If you are accused of using a mobile phone while driving please contact our office to discuss your case.  Speeding Solicitor deal with a number of mobile phone offences weekly and have managed to maintain a 100% success rate for the past five years due to the number of errors police officers make.

 

With the number of penalty points set to double, it is especially important that you protect your licence.

 

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M6 speed cameras to introduce 50mph and 40mph limits

October 16th, 2013 by Marcus

Motorists using a stretch of the M6 will have to go to 50mph between junctions 10a at Wolverhampton and 12 at Cannock – and then down to 40mph up to junction 13 near Stafford.

The Highway Agency have confirmed that new average speed cameras on the seven and a half mile stretch went live earlier this month.

The work, costing £121 million, is intended to open up the hard shoulder to traffic and impose variable speed limits at busy times.

A spokesperson from the Alliance of British Drivers said: ‘Average speed cameras are usually set at 50mph.  That’s also the speed at which drivers are normally asked to travel along a section of motorway with roadworks in order to protect the workers.

‘Changing the speed limit to 40mph for small stretch appears on the surface to be a cynical attempt to catch unsuspecting drivers who are used to adhering to 50mph limits when work takes place on a motorway.’

The new speed limit comes after more than 6,400 drivers were caught breaking a 50mph speed limit in four months on the M54 in Staffordshire.

The speed limit could be in place for up to 18 months.

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Deputy police commissioner fined for speeding at 90mph

October 16th, 2013 by Marcus

Paul Robinson, deputy police and crime commissioner for Humberside Police has been caught speeding at 90mph on the M180 while he was on a work related matter.  He was pulled over for speeding in his vehicle by a traffic officer from his own force.

Robinson released a statement in which he admitted the offence;

‘It’s clear to me I need to give greater attention to my driving and the fine and penalty points will serve as a reminder to me that I have broke the law and been punished for it.  This is the second occasion this year when I have committed a driving offence.’ said Mr Robinson.

He went on: ‘On the afternoon of Thursday September 19, 2013, I was at work and driving on the M180 in North Lincolnshire when I was stopped by a Humberside Police traffic officer who had registered my speed at 90mph.  I admitted the offence and he reported me for prosecution.’

‘I have now received a fixed penalty notice carrying a £100 fine and three penalty points.  I have paid the fine and sent my otherwise clean licence for endorsement.’

 

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Fine and three points for UK drivers found wearing Goggle Glass while driving

August 6th, 2013 by Marcus

Drivers could face a £100 fine and three points on their licence if they are caught wearing Google’s latest gadget behind the wheel.

Google Glass is a ‘wearable computer’ with a small screen over part of the right eye which allows users to read messages, take pictures and record video.

However, the Government has warned it will fall foul of driving regulations that ban people from using a mobile phone while driving.

Although the technology has still under development, the Department of Transport has said it is in discussion  with the police amid fears the product may divert drivers’ attention from the road.

This could result in drivers incurring a fine as well as three points on their licence.

This is the same penalty given to people who use a mobile phone while driving.

The current fine will go from £60 to £100 from August 16.

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East Sussex workmen to wear headcams to catch anti-social driving at roadworks

August 6th, 2013 by Marcus

Workmen at roadworks are to be given helmets fitted with cameras in an attempt to prevent motoring offences such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone and dangerous driving.

Any evidence collected will then be passed onto Sussex Police who will then make the decision to take offenders to court.

East Sussex County Council highway chiefs decided on the action in an attempt to keep workers safe.

The authority will display signs warning motorists that inconsiderate drivers could be reported to the police for prosecution.

Councillor Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Our highway crews work in all weathers to keep county’s roads in a good state of repair and they are entitled to expect drivers to be mindful of their safety.

We hope the warning signs and the realisation that bad driving could be captured on camera and details passed to the police, will encourage the inconsiderate few to moderate their driving.”

It is unclear how many of the cameras will be provided and how much they cost.

The scheme will be part of the Operation Crackdown initiative which enables members of the public to report crimes by submitting mobile phone photographs and footage.

Currently, more than 1,000 reports are received every month.

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Drivers in Wales more likely to be breathalysed

July 23rd, 2013 by Marcus

Drivers in Wales are more likely to be breathalysed than in most areas of England.

Latest figures on the numbers of motorists breathalysed for being over the drink drive limit and handed fixed penalty notices for driving offences have been released by the Home Office.

The figures released show that North Wales and Dyfed-Powys police forces breathalyse more motorists than anywhere else in the England and Wales.

In Dyfed-Powys, one in 29 people have been breathalysed, and one in 26 in North Wales.

The overall rate of motorists being breathalysed in Wales in 2011-12 was more than twice that for England.

However, in England, there is a higher percentage of tests giving a positive result for alcohol or being refused by the driver.

Drivers in Gwent are most likely in Wales to be handed a fixed penalty notice for driving offences, with 46 per 1,000 – the third-highest in England and Wales.

This is because Gwent Police Force still has the responsibility for handing out parking tickets, with most other forces handing the responsibility over to local authorities.

Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, Dyfed-Powys police saw a 150% surge in the number of motorists caught using mobile phones while driving, with 2,160 caught in 2011-12.

Seatbelt offences were also up 60%, with 2,783 penalty notices handed to motorists in 2011-12.

North Wales Police has surprisingly cut down on the use of fixed penalty notices in recent years down from 42,000 handed out in 2007-08 to 11,000 in 2011-12.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said the force runs a number of campaigns to tackle drink and drug driving, seatbelt offences, mobile phone offences, speeding and careless driving.

Chief inspector Darren Wareing of North Wales Police said the force proactively stops drivers during its Christmas and summer anti-drink driving campaigns, adding: ‘As a result of this tactic last Christmas there was not a single alcohol related road incident in North Wales. Not one. No one injured and no one killed.’

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North Wales speed cameras targeted in series of arson attacks

July 18th, 2013 by Marcus

An investigation has been launched following a series of arson attacks on North Wales speed cameras.

The first camera was targeted shortly before 6.30am on Tuesday in Pentre, near Deeside.

Yesterday another two were set alight half-an-hour apart.

Just before midnight n the A5119 near Mold, a car tyre was place on top of the Gatso camera to assist the blaze.

At 12.30pm a similar device on Chester Road, Sandycroft was also set alight after rubbish was placed around it.

North Wales Police are treating the incidents as linked and are currently working with the fire service and the arson reduction team.

Insp Ceri Hawe said: “The cameras are there to ensure the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and deliberate attempts to damage them will not be tolerated”

 

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Less than one per cent of police officers caught speeding or going through red lights are prosecuted

July 16th, 2013 by Marcus

It has been revealed only a handful of police officers caught speeding or going through red lights are prosecuted.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that 75,434 officers were caught speeding in the past two years. Unsurprisingly just 753 were ever prosecuted.

It has led to accusations that police officers are routinely ‘let off’ without proper checks while ordinary motorists automatically face three penalty points and a £60 fine or perhaps worse.

 

Road safety charities have said the high number of fines cancelled was ‘worrying’, showing concerns senior police officers are not carrying out proper checks before letting police off.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: ‘These figures paint a worrying picture. We recognise that in emergency situations, especially where lives are at stake, police need to be able to respond rapidly, but this must be weighed up against the danger posed to the public.

Overall, police have been caught by speed cameras nationwide 75,434 times in the last two-and-a-half years with only 753 prosecuted. However, the figures are likely to be far higher as just 19 out of the 45 police forces provided a full response to the request.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police force said that officers had to justify their speeding before tickets are cancelled.

‘All officers are required to adhere to the policy for driving standards.  If a notice of intended prosecution is issued to the driver of a police vehicle the officer is then required to justify the use of the police exemptions used,’ he said.

‘A supervisor of at least Superintendant rank will quality assure the matter and either support the officer or not.  If the matter is not supported the driver is then required to deal with the NIP as a member of the public.’

What are your thoughts?

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Motorists face drink-drive temptation during summer months

July 15th, 2013 by Marcus

A survey has revealed motorists think there are twice as many temptations to drink-drive in the summer months than in winter.

Of the drivers surveyed, young drivers (aged 18-24) are most likely to be tempted to have summer drinks before getting behind the wheel.

‘We must continue to remind motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving.  It is crucial that drivers and their friends and family consider the hazards of driving and driving on all occasions throughout the summer.’ AA president Edmund King said.

‘Twice as many people agree that there are more temptations to drink-drive in summer than in the winter but it is worrying that a significant number of people would still accept a lift from a drink driver.’

Of the 24,450 drivers polled, females were more likely than males to take away the keys of a driver who was over the limit.

Drivers in the North-West of England were most likely to drink and then driver during the summer months.  In contrast, drivers in Scotland and Northern Ireland were the least likely to do so.

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