Getting someone to “take” speeding points for you is a very serious matter - but motorists can't help but try.
Most drivers now know that getting someone to “take” speeding points for you is a very serious matter.
It could not only lead to a possible criminal conviction for perverting the course of justice but it'll almost definitely result in a spell in prison.
I've no doubt that many otherwise law-abiding citizens have tried this very dangerous and illegal strategy to avoid those dreaded penalty points.
After all, it only takes 12 points in three years to be subjected to a six-month ban under the totting up rules.
It still amazes me when I read about the level of inventiveness some drivers will go to fool the police and courts into believing they weren’t behind the wheel at the time in question.
Most constabularies have special teams of officers to investigate suspected fraud. Here the top five most stupid attempts to avoid penalty points:
1. The moving road sign
John Hopwood physically moved a 40 mph speed sign from a road in Manchester, to a road in Rochdale that was actually a 30 mph zone after he was caught by a speed camera twice.
He was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice and was given an intermittent custodial sentence of 56 days.
2. Fictitious drivers
Michael Bogdal was convicted of nine counts of perverting the course of justice. Bogdal wrote to the police blaming five different fictitious drivers.
He was caught out when the police noticed the same address was being used with different names. Bogdal argued that he had done it as a "joke".
As the 10-month prison sentence he received shows, the courts do not see this kind of thing as a laughing matter.
3. Taking the rap
Abdul Musa was found guilty of earning £24,000 by taking the rap for more than 100 speeding drivers.
Musa charged clients who had been caught breaking the limit £200 a time, in return for which he would lie and confirm to police that he had been behind the wheel.
His scam resulted in 120 drivers evading speeding tickets. He was jailed for 16 months.
4. Interpol involvement
Surveyors Stewart and Cathryn Bromley spent more than £11,000 from lies they told police that a driver from Bulgaria was responsible for speeding in their car.been speeding.
As police grew suspicious, 42-year-old Mrs Bromley travelled the 1,400 miles to Bulgaria to send a faked postcard from the fictitious driver they had named to back up their story.
The police were unconvinced and contacted Interpol and the British embassy in Sofia in an attempt to track down the driver.
The Bromleys eventually pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Mr Bromley, was ordered to pay a £7,500 fine and £700 costs, while Mrs Bromley was ordered to pay a £1,700 fine and £1,200 costs as well as all defence costs.
5. The speeding solicitor
Neall Simmons was found guilty in 2011 of two counts of perverting the course of justice after trying to evade fines from speed cameras.
After getting notices from the Safety Camera Partnership Unit about prosecution for speeding offences, Simmons downloaded letters designed to help motorists unlawfully escape prosecution.
There are many lawful ways of avoiding a conviction or a driving ban for speeding offences. But if your strategy involves lying in any way, you're risking your liberty.
Lawyer and legal blogger Jeanette Miller is managing director at motoring law specialists Geoffrey Miller Solicitors.
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