Would you try and dodge a speeding fine? Some drivers think they can get away with it but a South Yorkshire operation shows that drivers who provide false details will be caught.
On 24 January a private hire taxi driver was the latest in a line of offenders caught as part of Operation Obstruct, an initiative led by South Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership which identifies repeat offenders and those who provide false or incorrect information.
The taxi driver's vehicle was recorded speeding through temporary road works on the M1 in South Yorkshire. At the Crown Court hearing on 24 January he was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months after he named a fictitious person as the driver. He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service and to pay prosecution costs of £535.
His excuse? He did not want his insurance to go up as it was already expensive and his friends had told him to make up the name.
The success of Operation Obstruct highlights the work of the Safety Camera Partnership Enquiry Team that actively follows up cases. If individuals are found to have given false information, Court action will be taken for any perjury or falsification offences. Offenders may face criminal prosecution and therefore could receive a larger fine or even a prison sentence.
Other highlighted outcomes as a result of the operation have included:
- A Rotherham man was given a five month sentence and disqualified from driving after messaging on Facebook for someone to take his speeding points in return for £250 cash. A second man who agreed to take the points received an 11-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12 month supervision order.
- A taxi driver was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months after falsely nominating another person as the driver of a speeding offence. In addition to the prison sentence he was also ordered to complete 250 hours community service and fined a total of £300.
- A motorcyclist was fined a total of £260 and had six penalty points added to his license after he broke the speed limit a number of times.
- A Rotherham man was twice recorded speeding and falsely nominated people from France and USA as the drivers. He was charged with two counts of Perverting the Course of Justice and sentenced to two months in prison.
- A Sheffield man was found guilty of Perverting the Course of Justice and sentenced to 28 days imprisonment. He nominated another driver but he had actually found someone else’s driving licence from which he had copied details to try and avoid the fine.
Chief Inspector Stuart Walne, Head of Roads Policing for South Yorkshire Police explains: “The Enquiry Team is at the cutting edge of speed enforcement and in targeting repeat offenders and drivers who are prepared to provide false details they provide an essential role. All offences are closely monitored and action will always be taken in cases where incorrect information is supplied, if a driver thinks they can get away with a speeding offence they should think again.”