8 January 2019

Lewisham Council - automated stupidity

The scene is set, above. Note that the no entry signs are set a metre or two back from the give way lines. It was, in the adjudicator's view, when the Traffic Management Order is read, ok to drive up the road towards the camera and then reverse (the van in the picture is a handy illustration of the point near which the motorist in this case changed direction from forwards to reverse) as the prohibition is on driving along Giffin Street, which is to your left and right, and turning away from the camera into Frankham Street.

Here is the decision on the Appeal and on costs.

There is an unhealthy amount of automation in the world of moving traffic PCNs. this is because council's wouldn't make any money if they employed real people instead. This leads to an unhealthy reliance on computerised decision making which Lewisham have been brought to book over.

Additional points on which the adjudicator could have found for the motorist are that the PCN did not accurately describe the alleged contravention. 'Failing to comply with a no entry sign is a contravention but it was there in support of a prohibition on 'causing a vehicle to enter Frankham Street from Giffin Street' so the contravention as alleged had not taken place.

The council said about the PCN that it 'cannot be withdrawn' which is a pack of lies. The council can cancel what they issue, for any reason, even if they accept that there was a contravention.

Councils are always keen to warn motorists that false statements can lead to a Court fine of £5,000. Lewisham have got off lightly in this case.

The adjudicator boots out of the window the idea that costs should not be awarded because the motorist could have had his case heard on the papers. One of the good things about the tribunal (unlike outside London at the TPT nowadays) is that the motorist gets the chance to put their evidence in person and the adjudicator gets the chance to ask all the questions they need to in order to refine the arguments & fact find. Lewisham are lucky that the adjudicator did not order them to turn up to argue their case, a power which he opted not to exercise.

Mr Mustard finds all the time that enforcement authorities bend or misrepresent the evidence to suit their position, they often answer a different point to the one argued in order to try and negate the argument. They will say things like 'the  PCN was properly issued' which it was, when the real argument is about the facts of the parking which led to the issue of the PCN.

Before a PCN is issued a human being is meant to check the cctv to check that a contravention did occur. Mr Mustard is fond of parking up for 10 seconds in the middle of an empty yellow box at midnight to make sure the cctv verifier is awake and doing their job properly and not just ticking yes to a PCN. However, in this case, he thinks that a checker would be so mean that they would issue a PCN to anyone who went a metre past the back of the no entry signs and then reversed, which is not the reason why the signs were installed, taking a purposive approach.

We'll see if Lewisham learn. If they don't things could go badly for them.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

For experts; decision 2180445409

1 comment:

  1. WHat do you mean about the ten seconds in a YBJ>>>???


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.