Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saved from a driving ban by a burger and a boffin

I hope you are outraged by the statements by the Police and the Safety Camera partnership. We used to live in a country where you were innocent until proven guilty by a court!
Dr. Phillip Tann's GPS tracking device could have proved that the journey was impossible in the time between the two speed camera flashes ... yet 'back office procedural issues led to them dropping the case.' How convenient. Is the back office fit for purpose or have others suffered similar injustices?

'Speeding' woman is let off by police
Apr 16 2009
by Sam Wood
The Journal

A HUNGRY woman caught speeding twice by the same camera in just over three minutes, despite stopping off for a McDonald’s in between, has been let off her fine and penalty points by the police.

On August 22 last year, Gill Whitmore was twice clocked by a mobile camera going at 38mph in a 30 zone on Ryhope Road in Sunderland.
She had travelled a distance of around three-quarters of a mile up and down the road and bought a snack at the Drive Thru hatch in three minutes, 23 seconds, according to the police speed gun.
Miss Whitmore, a single mother from Waldron Square in Hendon, contested the tickets and points.
And Northumbria Police have now written to her to say they have decided to let her off with a warning.
The 45-year-old, who works as a kitchen assistant at South Moor Secondary School, said: “It’s such a relief seeing these charges dropped. I have been beside myself with worry.
“The journey in between the two speed camera flashes could not have been done in the timeframe indicated by the police evidence and I can now stop worrying. It is just impossible that I could have driven that distance and been to McDonald’s in that amount of time.
“I had nipped out to get some food for my kids and then I decided to get a sausage and egg McMuffin from McDonald’s.”
The police said the dropping of the ticket was nothing to do with the timing of the offences, or because of problems with the camera.
Pamela Oliver, co-ordinator of Northumbria Police’s Fixed Penalty Unit said: “These particular cases were dropped due to a back office procedural issue. They were not dropped because of any doubts over the timing of the offences, which were initially raised and investigated.”

The letter from police to Miss Whitmore said: “Following consideration of this matter it has been decided a warning is an appropriate action in the circumstances. However the details of the offence have been recorded.
“No further action will be taken. However the same lenient steps will not be taken in future.”

Last night Neil Herron, who has tested the route with special tracking equipment designed by Dr Phillip Tann, whose speeding case was dropped by Sunderland magistrates in 2007, said:

“These allegations have not been proven in a court of law and the police should not be issuing such threatening and intimidatory communications. It is outrageous that they have set themselves up as judge and jury. Is it any wonder that motorists are becoming increasingly sceptical that speed cameras are nothing more than a stealth tax.
“How many other motorists are afforded the ‘luxury’ of a warning instead of a fine and points?”

Jeremy Forsberg, of the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative, said: “The cameras have not been proved to be at fault this case, they are still very reliable. Hopefully Miss Whitmore will be more careful in future.”

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