Van driver Dave Benson was surprised when he was slapped with a £30 fine for driving in a Bristol bus lane and then handed a further five fines – despite not having Been in town for three years
Image: Dave Benson)
Dave Benson spends his working days driving across the country helping people move.
He knows the streets of his home town of Blackpool well and is proud of his clean license despite spending a lot of time on the roads. He was therefore surprised to receive a fine for illegal use of the bus lanes.
To add to the confusion, he noticed the fine was from Bristol City Council – a place he hadn’t been to for at least three years – and showed a white Mercedes rather than his removals van.
And the letters didn’t stop, and soon Dave, 49, had opened six different letters, each with their own £30 fine.
He realized there had been a mistake, but he soon realized that correcting it wasn’t going to be easy – especially once he came up with a theory about the cause of the confusion.
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Dave emailed Bristol City Council telling them he thought their camera was in the wrong place, catching an ‘N’ when it was actually an ‘M’ on the plate license plate, but he says they never got back to him.
However, the council told the Mirror that was not the case and believe his number plate was copied.
Speaking to The Mirror, Dave explained: “I started getting these letters about three months ago. Of course I was shocked. I also found it humorous because any fool can see that it’s wrong.
“After the fourth, I called the town hall – the phone number can’t be found by the way – and the guy told me that I had to answer each one and basically prove that it wasn’t me! I work 90 100 hours per week.
“The cameras are clearly in the wrong place making Ms look like N
“I’ve had something like this before, got a clean license without even having had a parking ticket for years. Dealing with Bristol Council is like talking to robots.”
He added: “I would love to have the white Mercedes back. We all know right from wrong, this guy obviously doesn’t care or is just oblivious so shouldn’t be on the road.”
A spokesman for Bristol City Council commented: ‘We have reviewed CCTV and the same number plate as Mr Benson’s van was recovered from a car using a Bristol bus lane. Therefore, it is possible that the license plate has been cloned, which Mr Benson should report to the police.
“We are canceling all fines that have been imposed on Mr. Benson.”
According to an RAC report published in January, complaints about cloned license plates are known to be on the rise.
A total of 1,105 drivers contacted the DVLA in March 2020 to object to their vehicle being wrongly linked to traffic violations, almost double the 656 complaints reported in April 2019.
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