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 Post subject: Driver Identification
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 08:21 
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A "celebrity" driver has been cleared of speeding, as it could not be proved in court that he WAS the driver identified by police as travelling at 116 mph an the M6 near Carlisle.

Quote:
The joint boss of haulage firm Eddie Stobart was yesterday cleared of speeding after it was claimed he was not necessarily the man behind the wheel.

William Stobart, 44, from Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria, was allegedly clocked doing 116mph on the M6.

Police sergeant Stuart Campbell told Penrith magistrates the driver identified himself as William Stobart, but he could not recall asking for identification documents.

Lawyer Nick Freeman said someone else familiar with Mr Stobart's details could have been driving, and it had not been proved that the speed device had been checked properly.


Is this sloppy work by the police, or a loopehole which need closing?
Surely the policeman should be able to identify the driver in court - as a witness would in a murder case.
There is of course the issue over lack of calibration of the detection equipment, and I foresee drivers being detained for longer at the roadside in order to confirm ID in the future.

If I was a policeman, I might also be looking seriously in the future, at the driving and vehicle standards of Stobbarts vehicles, given a previous court case involving irregularities in record keeping and drivers hours!! :twisted:
I'm told by a Stobbarts driver that they are under a lot of pressure to keep the deadlines they are set. :oops:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 09:31 
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The identity loophole is one that Freeman has been exploiting for in excesss of 5 years now. If physical evidence of identity, license, creditcard or something else was not recorded at the scene he has a very compelling argument that he will use for a rather large fee.

Traffic now are very wise to this and you are likely to have your ID checked physically or potentially be arrested if your ID is in doubt by them as they know this game very well, the challenge is that we have provisional small town police without the specialist training attempting to enforce the most complex laws (RTA is far more complex than Assault for example). Think about just how much additional training (not driving) that a policeman used to have to undergo when specialising, it's is not offered to the masses.

What we do not need is this loophole "closing" by yet more legislation that removes the defence, what we need is police to do their jobs properly in the first place so that the "loophole" can not be used unless it iss genuine.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:28 
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It's a defence that works particularly well where the driver is a "celebrity": if the Policeman recognises him on sight he will tend to be less likely to bother actually asking for physical proof of his ID. He can't even visually ID him later in court as the defendant isn't compelled to attend.

Patch raises another good point. Traffic law is indeed the most complex thing that your average provincial policeman or indeed Magistrate ever comes across. I would agree that if they want to "close loopholes" they shouldn't be looking to add legislation to do so, what they need to do is the exact opposite and simplify the law so that everyone has a chance of understanding / obeying it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 13:45 
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What happens if you're one of identical twins? Proving who is who could be very tricky....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 19:38 
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One of their latest trucks, in a departure from the normal FEMALE name, was called "Optimus Prime" - a Transformer".

Now we know why - when pulled over for speeding, it merely transforms into something it was not!!!! :lol:

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