'We don't need this stress'

August 27 2020

A KINGSWOOD couple have expressed their frustration at being wrongly accused of a speeding offence that occurred after their vehicle was sold.

Dennis and Pat Ludwell

Dennis and Pat Ludwell

Dennis Ludwell sold his Ford Mondeo on February 18. A change of owner form was sent to the DVLA, which sent him a cheque for the balance of the tax outstanding on the car for £125.

In April he received a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police’s Speed Enforcement Unit (SEU) for a speeding offence which took place on February 28. He filled out the attached form, explaining he had sold the car and enclosed a copy of the Change of Owner form originally sent to DVLA, with a covering letter explaining a cheque had been received, which proves they had received it. 

Dennis and his wife Pat also tried phoning the SEU, but a recorded message said that all lines were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He then received another Notice of Intended Prosecution in May, so once again the couple completed the form and sent it off with a copy of the DVLA change of ownership form.  They also wrote to the DVLA asking for an explanation as to why he was still registered as the owner.

In June Dennis received yet another Notice of Intended Prosecution, having had no response at all from the SEU, and has now received a Single Justice Procedure Notice to appear at Bath Magistrates under two charges: The first one being "Failing to give information relating to the identification of the driver/rider of a vehicle when required", and the second "Exceeding a 40mph speed limit in contravention of a Local Traffic Order".

Dennis is 73, has emphysema, COPD, and is diabetic.  Pat said: "I am hoping that common sense will reign and it never goes to court, my grievance is that despite our many attempts to give the information, by post, email, phone, a visit to Kingswood Police Station and a call to 101, one of the charges was not giving information!  I just want to get this ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money to be put "out there" and not be “fobbed off" by an MP or councillor.

“Den's health is not good and I have planned surgery for September 4 so all in all we could really do without the stress. What also bothers me is what if it was a more serious crime like hit and run?"

A spokesman for the DVLA told the Voice that it received the notice of disposal from Dennis and Pat on February 20 and that the record was updated the same day. The authority has now written to the couple confirming that Dennis hasn’t been listed as the keeper since February 17. 

A spokesman for Avon & Somerset Police also said: “While we can't comment on an ongoing case we would always encourage people to raise any concerns with the SEU through the online form: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact/contact-a-department/contact-speed-enforcement-unit/.

“It's important to follow the guidance on the notice and to seek advice at the earliest opportunity if you are at all unsure what to do. If you no longer own the vehicle in question you have a legal requirement to provide details of the person to whom it was sold.”