In October 2018 I represented a new driver at a magistrates Court in South East London. He had been caught speeding at 82 miles an hour in a 50 mile an hour limit on a dual carriageway. One of his young children had become ill in the car, and he sped up on seeing how close he was to a service station. He and his wife were keen to get the child to a lavatory. They were concerned he might choke if he was sick. It was a quiet Sunday morning with no traffic about and the weather conditions were perfect.
The high speed was the problem.
At court, we argued “special reasons” in the knowledge that if that failed the court would hear the evidence that there was a genuine issue in the car, and take it into account nonetheless.
The court rejected a special reasons argument ruling there was no genuine emergency. I understood that but was confident they would understand the real problem that existed in the car and appreciate that six penalty points would lead to a licence revocation with significant knock-on consequences. Sadly, the magistrates did not see it that way and ruled my client should have six points and retake his test. It was a very harsh decision taking no account at all of the evidence we so carefully presented. Even the prosecutor thought it was harsh.
The sentence was the subject of an immediate appeal in early January 2019 in front of a Judge at the Crown Court where the position was corrected. The Crown Court understood the problem and substituted six penalty points with five. I had one very happy client.