Every driver is entitled to challenge a fine or penalty notice that they receive, if they are accused of breaking a motoring law, but they are encouraged to accept the decision through the offer of halving the financial penalty that is levied. For a number of motorists in Glasgow, however, challenging the tickets they have received for the unauthorised driving of a car in bus lanes has saved them a few pounds.
According to figures, 28% of those people that challenged the tickets were successful and had the tickets cancelled. This means that they did not have to pay the £60 fine, although local council bosses are eager to point out that, in many cases, the drivers that challenged the tickets were taxi drivers, or drivers of other vehicles that are, in some cases, entitled to travel within the bus lanes.
Different bus lanes have different regulations, and this means that while some may allow taxis to drive within them, others do not. The lanes should be clearly marked to let people know whether cyclists, too, are allowed to enter the area while riding around cities and towns. Emergency services vehicles, including plain police cars, are also allowed in the lanes, but cameras and wardens are not always able to determine whether a vehicle falls into one of these categories.
The council said that the majority of people challenging their bus lane tickets were taxi and emergency service vehicle drivers, but also pointed out that any driver is free to challenge a ticket that they receive for this or any other offence. When a ticket is issued, for driving in a bus lane illegally, the driver is given a £60 fine but are given the opportunity to pay early and without contesting the ticket in exchange for a reduction in the cost of the fine to £30.
Several thousand tickets were issued, and more than a quarter were cancelled, which clearly indicates that it may be worthwhile for drivers to challenge more of the tickets that they receive. Many solicitors, specialist law firms, and motoring groups, have recently championed the action of challenging tickets.