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I’ve been caught

I could only be stealthy for so long. A speed camera finally caught me in the act.

As far as I can tell, I ran afoul of one of the weirdest of the speed limits. In a “built-up urban” area, the national limit is 30 mph, unless posted otherwise. And when it is not posted otherwise? The only thing that indicates this limit is the presence of lamp-posts – you will never find explicit signage.

So, apparently, on our way out of Wales, on a road that I would not deem urban, my brain did not register the lamp-posts. And now, I have received an official letter, advising me that the driver of my car “is alleged” to had driven at the speed of 41 mph in a 30-mile zone. “This allegation is supported by photographic and/or video evidence”, solemnly states the letter.

Pedantic as the British are, the letter is not yet a ticket, but an “advice of the intent to prosecute”. At this point, as the owner of the vehicle, I am only required to respond with the name of the person who was driving the car at the time. The actual summons will follow soon after my response is processed, I am sure.

The letter is an accompanied by a nicely produced FAQ sheet. The questions on it range from practical to things like “Will my previously clean record be considered?” (no) or “This is a blatant money-grabbing exercise, right?” (the money goes into Her Majesty Treasury and police dept that enforces the laws on that particular road will see none of it). The idea clearly is to tell me something along the lines of “We’ve heard all of the stupid questions you can ask, so don’t waste your breath”.

The FAQ also provides a useful nugget that the fine will be £60 plus three points on the license, no negotiation. And the police will not be involved in the case, if I choose to take this to court. It will be me against the camera, so why bother?…

Well, I managed to avoid this for almost a year and a half, and I do not have any plans to drive around the country anymore (and I know our immediate area well enough to be safe from making a similar mistake). I also suppose that I may not even need to renew my UK car insurance…

Posted in Expat Archive