Speeding fines are an annoyance and an aggravation, but that’s the point of them.
They’re designed so that you think twice about your driving, you alter your habits and then hopefully you make the roads safer for you and for everyone else.
What they are not meant to do is batter you around the head with a conviction and all the other serious problems that come with a criminal record.
In contrast, perverting the course of justice is meant to stop you in your tracks, sometimes within the confines of a jail cell, and make you question your life decisions.
Sussex police has highlighted two recent examples of people attempting to duck out of paying a penalty and ending up with criminal convictions.
In the first, 27-year-old Viki Carey claimed her number plate had been cloned when a motorbike was clocked travelling at 46mph in a 30mph zone.
In a separate incident, Carey’s car, which just so happened to have been provided with the wrong number plate by her garage – innocently, as it turns out – was snapped speeding at 69mph along a 30mph street.
Carey used this mistake to once again try and wriggle out of paying up, but it didn’t take long for the police to find out her pants were very much on fire.
In another case, Sussex taxi driver Erkan Mustafa tried to make out an imaginary person was using his car when it jumped red lights and sped through the Gatwick area on several occasions.
Both Carey and Mustafa ended up in court, pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.
The offence is so serious it carries a maximum term of life imprisonment, but they were lucky in that they received suspended sentences.
However, it depends how you define lucky.
If they’d ‘fessed up, they would have paid a speeding fine and picked up penalty points, or perhaps gone on a speeding awareness course.
In the event, as well as their convictions, Carey was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £535 in costs; Mustafa got 200 hours and £670 costs.
“People should be aware that a conviction for this offence comes with a criminal record which could affect future employment opportunities, travel to foreign countries such as America and Australia, and other aspects of your life,” says Paul Gray, of the Sussex Police Central Ticket Summons Unit.
“By comparison, offences detected by safety cameras – excess speed and contravening a red traffic light – carry a maximum of a period of disqualification from driving and up to a £1,000 fine, and does not come with a criminal record.
“If you are prepared to lie to us, then prepare to be caught out and face the consequences.”
If you have committed a motoring offence and need advice contact our specialist motoring solicitors on 0800 046 3066