London Borough of Harrow: No Right Turn – WIN

SUMMARY

Council ticket.
WIN at London Tribunal stage.

PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN) DETAILS

Reason: Contravention Code 50R – Performing a prohibited turn, no right turn
Enforcement Authority: London Borough of Harrow 


SITUATION

The driver did a right turn when they were not supposed to. A CCTV camera then caught the driver turning into the road.


FIRST APPEAL (FORMAL)
The initial strategy on this one was 2 things: 

1) No CCTV sign was present – this is not the law but is best practice.
2) The CCTV footage merely shows the vehicle turning into the road. It does not show the vehicle passing the no right turn sign and then making a turn. 

Harrow Council are a member of the CCTV code of practice which states CCTV signs should be present where CCTV footage is being recorded. This was not the case in this instance. However this alone is not enough. It is not required by law. 

Believe it or not cases have been won in the London tribunal due to the simple fact of the CCTV footage not showing the vehicle passing the apparent sign it did not comply with. 

So the appeal was submitted.

Yep you guessed it right…the appeal was rejected and a Notice of Rejection was issued. At this point a decision was made to go all the way to the London Tribunals, which meant a further 28 days to submit the appeal.

LONDON TRIBUNAL
We armoured ourselves with previous cases where appeals have been allowed purely due to poor CCTV evidence and was ready. 

We did the usual tactic of, waiting until the last day of the appeals process to send the appeal, to bait the council in doing something silly and illegal…guess what they did (tut tut silly council). 

They sent a charge certificate during the 28 days appeals period. Result! This is completely illegal and is seen as an instant win in tribunals. 

So we reworded the appeal and based it on an early charge certificate. 

Since it was a moving traffic offence, the ground “The penalty exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case” fitted perfectly.  

In preparation to the tribunal, we went on the hunt for similar cases where adjudicators have accepted appeals based on early charge certificates. Upon research, 2 cases were found where Harrow Council issued an early charge certificate which further helped the case. 

So when sitting down with the adjudicator, in fact it was the chief parking and road traffic adjudicator for London (what were the chances!), it was explained how an early charge certificate was sent and how the registered keeper was very distressed and scared of the court proceedings. 

The councils argument for this was:

“Our records show that due to an administration error, a Charge Certificate was issued to the appellant. However, the Charge Certificate has been cancelled and does not affect the current status of the notice”

Upon hearing this the adjudicator was shocked and instantly dismissed the case in our favour. They completely ignored the councils pathetic excuse and stated:

“The charge certificate was an entirely premature demand for a payment that the enforcement authority was not entitled to receive”


RESULT

A satisfying win we must say.

On a side note…we made a formal complaint to Harrow Council due to the lack of the CCTV sign. Which resulted in a sign being erected.