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Speeding Tree caught in Lincolnshire!
Speeding Ticket FAQ

A tree caught speeding in Lincolnshire?
Gatso Flash
Yes it's true.  And the police said it was travelling too fast to be allowed on a speed awareness course!  Sam Spruce was caught by a speed camera doing 73 mph in a 60 mph speed limit.  Now I'm not proud of it (er... how truthful is this article going to be?) but 73 mph on a quiet country road late at night in the outback of Lincolnshire is certainly not an immoral thing to be doing.  Given that I have an advanced driver's certificate and have been trained by the police themselves I am also generally vigilant on the roads and regard this as a minor mistake in getting caught.
Initially I was depressed and anxious when I was first informed of the allegation.  I was hoping there had been no film in the camera or that some other glitch might occur to prevent further action being taken.  But after I recovered from the initial shock of that dreaded official letter I was informed by a friend that they offer a speed awareness course instead of the fine and points nowadays.  So I waited with some hope in my tree soul.
I responded to the allegation by admitting guilt, partly because it was true and partly because the risk of getting caught lying does carry a heavier penalty.  I did consider saying it was the au pair who was driving and that she had been visiting friends before leaving the country.  I know of two cases when this has worked with no questions being asked.  Once when it was true and once when someone was genuinely mistaken.  When the whole thing had blown over and they remembered it was not the au pair they couldn't bring themselves to volunteer the information to the police in spite of the fact they were very middle class and very respectful of honesty and the law.  But the risk was too great and I admitted it.  Of course statistically I believe the odds are high that the camera was not legally maintained and calibrated but try taking that one to court when the suppliers of the incriminating information will be your accusers.  Not much hope there!
Eventually the reply from the police arrived in the form of a conditional offer of fixed penalty notice.  I read it and there seemed to be no mention of a speed awareness course.  I became glum.  I continued examining the documents and read Page 2 the "Frequently Asked Questions".  This is the page illustrated here with the transcription below for the search engines and for your perusal if you want to know what the Lincolnshire police send out.  My heart lifted as I read the question "Can I attend a speed awareness course as an alternative to a fine and penalty points on my license?"  Yippee - here is the possibility of doing something more constructive and healthier for all concerned than simply suffering a minor beating by our oppressive culture which achieves little more than to spread resentment and non compliance with the law.  But as I read the answer my heart began to sink. However, it didn't get the chance to reach rock bottom.  This prejudicial, draconian, medieval, punitive culture of ours (see Cascading Oppression) had excelled itself again.  The irony struck me as so ridiculous and laughable that I cheered up no end.  The answer essentially stated that this tree was going too fast to warrant a speed awareness course.
Adding pretentious pompousness to the irony they stated that the "speed" was travelling above the threshold. Very science fiction. But then you wouldn't expect intelligent people to work for the police, just pretentious self important oppressors.  Here's something I wish I had read before admitting to the crime!

UK Driving Secrets

See the list of other related and useful websites at the bottom of this page and...
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a conditional Offer?
Sections 75 and 77 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended) provides that where there is sufficient evidence to justify commencement of criminal proceedings for certain offences, and no fixed penalty has already been issued, then a conditional offer of a fixed penalty may be made instead of prosecution. If you can fulfil the conditions of such an offer, you are discharged from liability to conviction for the offense and no proceedings will be instituted against you. If however you do not meet the conditions you will remain liable to conviction for the offense and proceedings will be commenced against you. The requirements/conditions of the offer are detailed on page 1.
What if I fail to respond to this notice?
Should no response be received within 28 days of the issue date of the notice, the offer to deal with the offence by way of the fixed penalty procedure will be withdrawn and the matter will be referred for court proceedings.
Can I pay a higher fine and receive no penalty points on my license?
No. The fine of £60 and 3 penalty points are fixed and not negotiable. You may however, choose to have the matter heard in the Magistrates' Court where the magistrates have the power to vary the fine and/or penalty points. You should be aware however, that they could impose a much higher fine, increase the number of points and/or order a short period of disqualification.
Can I attend a speed awareness course as an alternative to a fine and penalty points on my license?
No. The speed awareness course is only offered to drivers who are identified as travelling at speed within a threshold just above the speed limit. The speed of the vehicle in this case was travelling above that threshold.
I would like to accept the conditional offer but have misplaced my driving license?
You should write to the Central Ticket Office, P O Box 999, Lincoln LN5 7PH, provide your full name and address and date of birth and admit that you committed the offence and advise them that you have misplaced your driving license and are in the process of obtaining a replacement license. You should then apply for a replacement driving license as a matter of urgency. Application forms are available from most Post Offices or you can contact the DVLA on 0870 240 0009. You need to be able to produce a license for the endorsement whether the matter is dealt with by way of the fixed penalty procedure or by the court process.
My driving license was not issued by the DVLA. Can I still accept the Conditional Offer?
Yes, once your admittance and payment have been received you will be allocated a UK driver number by the DVLA. Should you be stopped by any UK enforcement officer, or involved in any further traffic offenses you must provide the UK driver number that has been notified to you.
I currently have 9 points on my license can I accept the conditional offer?
No. The matter can only be dealt with by way of a court hearing. You should complete the drivers' statement on page 3 and then "X" box 1. A summons will then be issued to you detailing the time and date of the hearing.
Can I pay the fine by instalments?
No. The fine must be paid in full.
How long will the points remain on my license?
Penalty points awarded for speeding offenses are valid for three years from the date of the offense, but will not be removed from your license until after four years.
Can I appeal against this notice?
You have the right to challenge the allegation in court. You should complete the drivers statement on page 3 and then "X" box 1. A summons will then be issued to you detailing the time and the date of the hearing.
Useful links - for information in relation to road safety in Lincolnshire - for information relating to driver licences - for information relating to court matters.
Here is a list of related sites that you might be interested in perusing:
UK Speeding
The Speed Trap Bible
UK Driving Secrets
Wikipedia: Traffic ticket
UK Speeding Laws and Speed Camera Laws at
The case of the lying camera.
Parking and Speeding Tickets at The Desktop Lawyer

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