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To appeal or not - Fine for overloaded van - Rashid
To cut a long story short, I pleaded guilty to a charge of 'Exceeding the Maximum Permitted Weight'. (15% Overloaded)

I apologised for the offence, and stated clearly that I had learnt a valuable lesson and also explained that there were mitigating circumstances.

I am not a professional haulier or 'tradesman'
The goods I picked up were for personal use, (flooring for my house)
I was advised by the company whose goods I was buying to rent a specific van. (Mercedes 3500 kgs Sprint Van)
I misunderstood that a 3500kgs van can't carry 3500kgs.

The officer stated in his statement that he prohibited the vehicle from continuing on,
however in actual fact I was allowed to continue home with the load intact.

I also added that I was to be made redundant, so would be without an income for a period of time.

I had a clean driving license and asked for leniency.
I got a £800 fine + £50 costs!

Now personally I thought this was extreme, having googled other people fines the vast majority of them being haulage firms who should know the law, they averaged between £75 - £700, even when they were 35% overloaded.

The maximum fine is up to £15,000 !!!

So Should I Risk An Appeal?????

Edited by Pugugly on 20/06/2009 at 21:37

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Armitage Shanks {p}
Wait for one of out resident legal eagales to comment, or get legal advice. In what court were you convicted - magistrates or higher? Were you represented and how did you plead?
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Lud
I hope one of our lawyers will advise you Rashid. That does seem a bit severe. Courts can be quite accommodating about time to pay when people are out of work and so on, but of course that just prolongs the agony in a drip, drip, drip sort of way.

How did anyone come to notice that you had a 15% overload? I often see totters' and breakers' trucks that must be a lot more overloaded than that, judging by their poor-old-tired-horse demeanour...
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - ifithelps
Rashid would have been dealt with at the magistrates' court.

Any appeal would be to the crown court, and would be heard before a judge who sits with two magistrates - it's their big day out.

He should bear in mind the appeal tribunal can increase the penalty as well as reduce it.

What we need here is someone who has dealt with lots of overloading cases and has an idea what the going rate is.

That could be a problem, because it is a relatively uncommon prosecution, compared to, say, drink driving or speeding.





To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Rashid
Thanks for the replies so far.

It was dealt with in a magistrates court.

I pleaded guilty by post and therefore wasn't represented bar my letter of mitigation.

I was stopped on a Motorway by the kent police, i think they're extra vilgilent re immigrants and booze runs?

Re the increase in penalty, that's what i'm scared of.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - ifithelps
...Re the increase in penalty, that's what i'm scared of...

You're right to be aware of that, but it rarely happens.

The penalty may be left alone, but you could be hit with a few quid in costs, or it could be reduced.

I appreciate you are to be made redundant, but what did your statement of means to the magistrates say?

Fines are means tested to a limited extent and I wonder if the bench formed the impression you had a few quid.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Rashid

By law I had to fill out the Statement of Income & Expenditure.
(''...because we don't want to give you a fine you can't afford.')

It stated that I was only just meeting my liabilities, Mortgage, Bills Food.

The fine is about a third of my income before Tax.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - bell boy
i was going to say that the $800 fine was excessive for 15% overloaded ( i assume this is total and not just one axle??)
but forgot as a private individual they were fining you on income

anyway it must be one hell of a party you are having

are we all invited
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - GroovyMucker
It would be worth getting in touch with one of the court's legal advisers to check they had all the relevant info (something along the lines of "I pleaded guilty but I wasn't able to attend court. The fine seems a bit high. Did you have all my financial info? [then give them income and outgoings]").

I presume you DID give them your financial info, and didn't just ignore the forms. They have a formula for fines. It's based on the info you give them. If you don't fill in the forms, assumptions are made.

You'll have been given 28 days to pay, I assume. You can at least tell them that you can't afford to pay it all in one go (assuming it's correct) and ask to pay monthly.

Then, when you are made redundant, you can go before the court again and explain the situation. It will help if you've been paying regularly up to that point. You can ask the court to reduce the fine.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - R75
I would agree with GroovyMucker, double check your letter was actually submitted!! From very recent experience I know that letters that should end up with a magistrate do not and as a result the hear the case as if you submit no plea!!!! Then it is a whole load of hassle to get the case relisted!!
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - b308
anyway it must be one hell of a party you are having
are we all invited


He said it was for flooring in his OP, BB.

I used to tow caravans so am used to working out MGWs, but the average man in the street probably doesn't even know that his car has a maximum it can carry, let alone what it is... and he was also given duff info by people who should have known better. I know that it is the drivers responsibility, but...

Edited by b308 on 20/06/2009 at 21:39

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - bell boy
ok seen that now b308,i put two posts together
however as one who passed an overloaded transit this weekend that vosa had pulled ,i ask this,
if you stand away from the vehicle you have just loaded to the gunnels and asses it when loaded , do you run the risk or abort mission because its overloaded?
if you fail the test by the way keep to cars,this is in my opinion what happened the OP took the overloaded risk
fines great
overloaded vehicles kill
trust me on this
im not an expert
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Rashid
I was given a week to pay, deadline is this Monday, so I either pay by telephone or phone the court and say I wish to appeal, hence my posting.

They had all the financial info which is why I was doubly shocked at the fine.

I knew the van was carrying a heavy load, but I honestly didn't think it was overloaded. Stupidly (in hindsight, and now having been correctly informed) I thought the van could carry 3500kgs, and as I said before that's what I was advised to hire.

What annoys me is that, it was a genuine mistake, I know technically I am guilty but a caution would have done the job. Now I feel totally resentful towards the courts and the police. (5 months for the summons to come through)

The fact that the officer let me continue my journey (although his statement said I wasn't allowed to continue) albeit at a reduced speed surely has some bearing on the risk I posed as being overloaded and the seriousness of the offence.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Alby Back
I once got most of my front lawn in the form of turf in the back of my Volvo 940 estate. It was quite difficult to drive like that in fairness.

Came back from that journey with the car full of rocks too. ( "She" wanted a rock garden ) It was even harder to drive with them in.

Probably shouldn't have done that really.

Good luck Rashid. Hope it ends well for you. Did you get the floor finished by the way ?
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Dave_TD
As a rule of thumb when you've loaded a Sprinter van, stand back and look at it side-on from a distance. When empty the back end should be much higher than the front (you are looking at the gap from the wheel to the top of the wheelarch). When it's full it should still be slightly higher at the back. If it's level, or worse pointing nose up, you are overloaded.

For the 7.5t truck which I drive, two rules to follow are:

1) Look at the rear leaf springs. The ends are higher than the middle when empty. When fully and correctly loaded the springs should still have a slight curve in the "right" direction - if they are straight or slightly curved upwards, it's time for a rethink.
2) If the pairs of rear tyres are bulging at the bottom to the point where they touch each other, again it's time to find someone with a forklift.

VOSA inspectors look at hundreds and hundreds of vehicles every day and soon develop a gut feeling for spotting the overloaded ones. They can also tell at a glance which vehicles are likely to be committing myriad other offences.


I was stopped about ten years ago on the M25 in Kent whilst driving a SWB Sprinter, as the police suspected it was overloaded. They took me to a weighbridge at a Tarmac depot near Tonbridge and sure enough I was 290kg overweight. (It wasn't a 3500kg van but a 2800kg version - it weighed 2250kg empty which gave it a payload of 550kg - about the same as an Escort van!! Not impressed.) The policeman gave me a lecture about how the brakes and tyres etc are only designed to perform correctly when loaded within their parameters, and that in an emergency situation it could become unstable or not react as I expected.

They made me park on the industrial estate outside the Tarmac depot and issued me with a prohibition notice which could only be lifted once some of the load had been transferred to another vehicle. They told me I could not leave the load at the roadside as this was, in effect, fly-tipping. I approached the manager of one of the nearby industrial units and asked if I could leave a pallet in his yard for a few hours until I'd delivered some of the weight, he was more than happy to let me do this and even made us a coffee (I had taken a young lady out for a ride for the day, oh the embarassment!) whilst we waited for the police to return.

Once the van had been found to be now within its weight limit the prohibition was lifted and we could carry on. Luckily, no further action was taken.

These days I am told VOSA are red-hot on axle overloading, which can be a problem if you have to carry a small, heavy, indivisible load. One of our 26-tonne truck drivers was find £600 for being overloaded by 500kg on his front axle last year, despite the overall vehicle weight being within the set limits. His fine was £600 IIRC, and these days we're not on a vast wage. So £800 for your overloading ticket does sound within the realms of reason I'm afraid.

Dave TD
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - 1400ted
I presume you weren't weighed at the scene ? If not, I might have put in a ' not guilty ' to that one, after being allowed to drive home.
Pal of mine was stopped driving a Rover P6 estate. He was carrying a bulky but light item. The P6 esatate always looked as though it was dragging it's bum along the road, even unloaded. due to the roofline. He unloaded the back on the spot and the car sprung up about a quarter of an inch ! It can only be an opinion of the officer unless a weighbridge is used. £800 seems an enormous amount when you consider penalties given for more serious stuff.
Just taken the Vitara on 2 trips to the tip with about 100 housebricks each time...didn't handle or brake any worse for the load.

Ted
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Dave_TD
I presume you weren't weighed at the scene ?


Must have been Ted, to know he was 15% overloaded.

Dave TD
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Dwight Van Driver
The decision to appeal must rest with the Poster. The following may give some indication as to how the bench reached their decision

Firstly, because a Guilty plea was entered, then any appeal can only be made in relation to sentence which on the face of it does appear to be severe but we do not know what was put forward by the Prosecution when the case was heard. We have only heard one side.

Last year an 'updated system' was adopted in the Magistrate's Court Sentencing Guidlines For the first time, there is a statutory obligation on every court to have regard to this guideline in a relevant case and to give reasons when imposing a sentence outside the range identified. This guideline is the result of an intensive and consultative process.

The amount of a fine must reflect the seriousness of the offence. The court must also take into account the financial circumstances of the offender; this applies whether it has the effect of increasing or reducing the fine. Normally a fine should be of an amount that is capable of being paid within 12 months. Has there been a clerical error on the financial statement? I don't know.

The aim is for the fine to have an equal impact on offenders with different financial circumstances; it should be a hardship but should not force the offender below a reasonable ?subsistence? level.

The seriousness of an offence determines the choice of fine band and the position of the offence within the range for that band. The offender?s financial circumstances are taken into account by expressing that position as a proportion of the offender?s relevant weekly income.
.
Starting point Range

Fine Band A 50% of relevant weekly income 25 ? 75% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band B 100% of relevant weekly income 75 ? 125% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band C 150% of relevant weekly income 125 ? 175% of relevant weekly income

It woukld appear that the bench have decided a very serious case and worked from Band C ?

The offence is listed in the Guide:

Overloading/exceeding axle weight

Starting points cater for cases
where the overload is up to
and including 10%. Thereafter,
10% should be added to the
penalty for each additional 1%
overload (15% over adds and extra 50% to fine)

Penalty per axle (both by the sound of it.)

A Prohibition on use can include a direction to drive home only and no further. Extreme cases an immediate prohibition is generally issued.

dvd
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - bell boy
A Prohibition on use can include a direction to drive home only and no further.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>interesting thats why ive never heard of that before if its new
to add to the overloading concerns, when i had my current body built for my transit the overiding concern at all times was to keep the unladen weight to a minimum so i can carry more

Edited by bell boy on 21/06/2009 at 11:11

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Rashid
Thanks everyone for the advice, and thanks Dave for the tips, however not planning on carting any more loads for a long long time.

DVD many thanks, I think i'm probably going to bite the bullet and pay; worry about the money situation when it comes.

I know I could pay in dribs and drabs but as someone already pointed out it would annoy the hell out of me and be a reminder every month for the next year.

If someone has any positive? reasons to appeal, i'd love to hear them.

I feel well and truly fleeced by the system.

Some objected to the original word used, Rob

Edited by rtj70 on 26/06/2009 at 15:49

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - GroovyMucker
If someone has any positive? reasons to appeal i'd love to hear them.

As has been pointed out above, appeal can (only) be against conviction and/or sentence.

You pleaded guilty so you may as well ignore an appeal against conviction.

And you don't want to appeal against sentence, it seems.

That would seem to cover both of your options.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - R75
Positive reason to appeal???

Who loaded the van? Did you load it or did the place you got the flooring from? Could it be argued they should have known the weight and therefore knew the van was overloaded?

I personally think the above is very unlikely, but it has been known for hauliers to get away with overloading if they did not load the trailers themselves and a warehouse was responsible.

Would be a longshot and very difficult to prove in your case I would think, but you did ask!
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Rashid

I would love to appeal, not against being guilty because i've already admitted it, but the fine is another matter.

The flooring company loaded the van, it probably won't make a difference, but good point.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - rtj70
If the flooring company advised on the van type and loaded it that might be grounds to appeal the fine at least. I also wonder how many other vans are overloaded by them because they do not understand what load a van can carry.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Harleyman
I have to ask the OP; did the bobby take you to a weighbridge, and do you have a copy of the weighbridge ticket? If so, what was your gross weight?

My reason for asking this is that fifteen per cent is not a particularly massive overload for a panel van of this size; I owned a LWB Sprinter myself for a while, they carry about a ton and a half and that's an awful lot of flooring, assuming he meant wood and not ceramic tiles. If the authorities pull someone for this sort of thing, it is fairly common practice to insist that the load is reduced before they allow the vehicle to proceed; this of course would have been possible since it wasn't an indivisible load.

My suspicion is that the OP got pulled because the load was not distributed evenly (a common mistake with "amateurs") but I too am surprised by the size of the fine and have to ask the OP if there's something he's not told us?

I very much doubt if appealing on the grounds that the company overloaded the vehicle would succeed; it is the driver's responsibility in cases like this to ensure that the vehicle wis not overloaded, and as in all cases like this ignorance of the laws is no excuse for non-compliance.

Edited by Harleyman on 22/06/2009 at 23:26

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - grumpyscot
I actually find it quite strange that manufacturers state a 3500Kg van when this actually means the total weight of the vahicle loaded.

Years ago, Austin sold the A50 Half Ton Van - i.e. it could carry half a ton.

Then Ford sold the 18cwt and 22cwt Transit - i.e. they could carry 18cwt and 22cwt respectively.

So it's hardly surprising people get confused.

Edited by grumpyscot on 23/06/2009 at 07:30

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Harleyman
I actually find it quite strange that manufacturers state a 3500Kg van when this actually
means the total weight of the vahicle loaded.
So it's hardly surprising people get confused.

>>
True, but the clue is in your posting; tons and cwts versus kilograms. The system changed in the 1980's when lorries were classified by GVW (Gross vehicle Weight) as opposed to maximum payload.

I do agree that the old system is less confusing for the layman.
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - NorfolkDriver
May I have a slight drift at this point please.

Does this mean that a 44ton HGV is 44ton including the unit and trailer?

Apologies for being thick.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Fullchat
Unit, trailer, load, fuel, coolant, etc etc AND Yorkie bars.

Edited by Fullchat on 24/06/2009 at 20:32

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Cliff Pope
I have to ask the OP; did the bobby take you to a weighbridge and
do you have a copy of the weighbridge ticket? >>



Can they do an accurate roadside test? Put bathroom scales under each wheel in turn and add the readings?
If they can, what is its rated accuracy?
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Armitage Shanks {p}
For aircraft they just put a 'device' between a jack and the jacking point(s) and get an accurate reading. Accuracy is about 0.5% and the kit is very expensive! Presumably something similar could be used at the roadside. If the roadside bods thought the vehicle was illegally loaded it couldn't be driven to a weighbridge - or could it? If they took stuff out to make it legal then the weighbridge would not be measuring the illegal load!

Edited by Armitage Shanks {p} on 23/06/2009 at 08:20

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - jc2
At our company,we had devices similar to bathroom scales-they were calibrated and acceptable to the Ministry of Transport and other regulatory authorities.

Edited by jc2 on 23/06/2009 at 08:21

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - ijws15
Yes they can, set of 4/6/8 that weigh each wheel at the same time.


To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - b308
I do wonder if this is a case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted (or however it goes!) - surely what we are suggesting should have been used before/rather than pleading guilty?!
To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Another John H
Speaking as somebody that knows nowt about the subject...

I'd bet the recommendation of a 3500kg van would be on the grounds that anyone with a car licence can drive it, rather than it's suitability for the job in hand - "I thought you'd make two journeys mate.."

AFAIK, us old-uns can drive up to 7500kg on our car licences, but newer licences are "only" good for 3500kg. (licence held before 1997?)

Edited by Another John H on 26/06/2009 at 14:07

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - Harleyman
Another John H;

Don't think you'll find many (if any) hire firms these days who rent out vehicles over 3500kg gross to private individuals, due to issues with operators' licences.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal - Fine Overloaded Van - bell boy
thats interesting harleyman
always couldnt understand how these were rented out and they didnt even supply an old type disc
i assume its because they are all digital
how do i go on with grandfather rights then?
To appeal or not - Fine for overloaded van - tony01895
In the case of a Driver and in some cases the Owner Driver of a vehicle up to 3500kgs, the Magistrates Sentencing Guideline for this offence is a band A fine, which falls between 1/4 and 3/4 of relevant weekly income (RWI), normally defined as net weekly income, after stoppages. In most cases, the start point of a band A fine is 1/2 of RWI. However, in the case of vehicle overloading, up to 10% overload is the start point (i.e. 1/2 RWI) with a further 1/10 added to the fine for each additional 1% above the 10%. So in your case, at 15% overloaded, that could be 1/2 as much again added to the starting fine. By my calculation, that would suggest they calculated your relevant weekly income as being 1067.00 pounds. If that was a significant over estimate, I'd suggest you had grounds to appeal against the sentence.
To appeal or not - Fine for overloaded van - Another John H
>>Don't think you'll find many (if any) hire firms these days who rent out vehicles
>>over 3500kg gross to private individuals..

my defence is the opening gambit "speaking as somebody that knows nowt about the subject"

Edited by Another John H on 06/07/2009 at 18:50

 

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