This is a common problem and is getting worse. Basically someone with the same make, model and colour car as you copy your number plate and fix it to their car and hey presto they can go through all the speed cameras they want and guess who gets the tickets? – You!
I spent this weekend helping a great family who have suffered with this.
The father of the family received a summons for speeding, he knew that he couldn’t have gone through that light at that time because he knew where he was at that time and he wasn’t anywhere near the camera.
He had evidence from about 10 witnesses confirming where he was. He co-operated with the police from the start and sent all the details he could.
You would think that this would be enough, but no. He was pursued by the police to court. This despite various letters offering witness details, proof of purchases showing he was somewhere else and even a visit from the police to check his car against the photo taken from the speed camera.
His daughter decided they needed the help of a specialist motoring solicitor and called me last week in a panic, her father was very stressed about this, he was a proud man who had never been involved with the law before. He could not understand why they wouldn’t accept his and his witnesses word that he wasn’t the driver who went through the camera.
We spent sunday going through the case and playing a game of spot the difference, armed with the photo from the camera and his car. We spotted 4 minor differences, a sticker in the back window, a slightly different colour bumper etc. We also got all the witnesses together and got his case fully prepared ready for trial the next day.
Despite all of the evidence we provided the police at court still didn’t accept it was a different car. Fortunately the court did and it was thrown out and the fees he had paid me were ordered to be repaid to him by the court forthwith.
The relief was visible, he had had 6 months of stress, at times questioning whether it wouldnt just be easier to pay the £60 fine but he was a man of principles and refused all offers of help to pay the speeding fine insisting that he was not going to admit something he hadn’t done.
He was lucky in many ways, he is a well known character and lots of people were able to confirm where he was. He had evidence of purchases and was determined not to give in.
But how do we avoid this happening to us? It is so easy for someone to copy our number plate and you may be faced with having to remember where you were 10 days earlier. The only thing that you can do is make your car distinctive, I’m not suggesting you ‘pimp your ride’ but something like a sticker in the back of the car and a dated photo or maybe something distinctive on the number plate.