I ended up with a £200 fine and a 6-month ban! Was the police in the right? And was the judge too harsh? Well, it’ll be interesting to know what you think.
It was 7 in the evening when my dear friend, Michael, called. He wanted me to drive down to Rochdale, about 200 miles from London, and pick him up! Well, he also wanted me to pick up his pregnant wife and his son, and bring them to London. It was a bit of an emergency. So, I agreed.
As I didn't have my car with me, I borrowed my sister's VW Polo (1.0 litre, also slightly modified!). I enjoy long drives, so I didn't really mind. Anyway, I made it to Rochdale fine. It was 11:30 pm when I got there. I had a bit of rest and we all made our way back to London.
On our way back, on the M1 (somewhere near Leicester), the motorway police started flashing their lights. So, I pulled over. It was about 3 am by then. The officer wanted me to come out and show me something. He asked me to explain what this really bright light was doing at the back of the car. You see, there was an LED screw light on the number plate!
This LED light blinds speed cameras from seeing one digit of the number plate! So, naturally, they thought someone really dodgy must’ve modified this car in this way. Honestly, I didn't know anything about it. [But, my sister did! I'll come back to her later. J ]
Anyway, I told them I knew nothing about this modification. (Even if I did, I wouldn't know how to remove it.) So, I tried to break the LED light in an effort to put things right. But, things were just developing.
The officers did a number plate check. They found it was under my sister’s name. They asked me if I was insured. I told them the truth. My insurance policy covers driving another vehicle under exceptional circumstances. The officer asked me what happened to my car. I told them that I sold the car, but the log book hasn’t changed names yet. The car was actually sold just a few days ago.
The officers then made some enquiries. They then told me that selling the vehicle invalidates insurance. So, they won’t let me drive on the basis that I am not legally insured to drive on public roads. So, I argued my points, and they argued their position. In the end, they decided to tow the car to the compound. They did give me the opportunity to get someone else to drive it. But, at 4 am who’s up that late!
Anyway, we were dropped off to the nearest service station. The police gave me a £30 fine for having the LED light, a court summons, and a courtesy card!
We got home at about 10 am the next day. I came back with my sister to get the car from the compound, and paid about £180 on charges! And another £60 went on fuel costs (for two cars)!
A few months later, I was summoned to the court. I told the judge what happened. I even wrote to him. At the end, I got awarded a £200 fine and a ban for 6 months!
So, what do you think? Was I dealt with too harshly?! I certainly felt so..
Oh, about my sister. She actually knew about this modification. Apparently, she was even warned by a police officer at one point! But, she didn’t know how to take it off!