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Second motorist beats speed camera charges

A SECOND driver has held on to her licence after being clocked seven times by the controversial Great Harwood speed camera.

A SECOND driver has held on to her licence after being clocked seven times by the controversial Great Harwood speed camera.

Carol Harrison, of Hesketh Court, Great Harwood, followed pensioner Rod McLennan in being cleared by Hyndburn magistrates after falling foul of the Whalley Road camera.

The community care worker was stunned when she received seven speeding tickets last November, claiming she was totally unaware that the limit had been reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

Ms Harrison pleaded guilty to three offences of speeding where the camera recorded a speed of over 40mph.

She was clocked on 9 November driving at 42mph and on 10 and 11 November at 41mph. She faced a further four charges, where she had been driving under 40mph, but the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew them at the beginning of the hearing.

Mr Carl Gaffney, defending, pointed out that Ms Harrison did not have any speeding endorsements on her licence before these incidents.

He added: "The speed limit on that stretch of road had been at 40mph for many, many years. It's a stretch of road that many local people travel along day in day out. This lady believed wholeheartedly that she was within the speed limit.

"Technically she was over the speed limit on three occasions but not extravagantly. This was 41 and 42mph and if the speed camera had been set to 40mph it would not have been picked up."

Mr Gaffney said that Ms Harrison was a woman "not prone to going to court" and "not prone to complaining" and said that the day of the hearing had been very difficult for her.

He added: "It's important for Carol Harrison to feel that she has had her say in court today and has had an opportunity to put forward her concerns."

Chairman of the Bench, Mr Geoff Knowles, said: "We have given full consideration to what Mr Gaffney has said. We are fully aware of the circumstances and know the area very well. We have given full credit for the guilty pleas.

"I am aware that the road had a speed limit of 40mph for many years and I appreciate it's hard to break a long-standing habit."

Ms Harrison was given a total of nine points on her licence - three for each offence - and fined a total of £240 with £90 costs.

  • Mr McLennan, 68, of Whalley Road, Great Harwood, was cleared of three speeding charges last week.

He claimed that he did not encounter any speed camera signs on his short drive to a nearby newsagents.

Police admitted it would have been better if 40mph signs had been placed on all the approach roads and it was stated that the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to pursue a number of cases against drivers caught between October and the beginning of December.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist