Speeding ticket avoidance advert banned
Wednesday 28 March 2012
An ad for a website promising the "top 10 tricks" for getting out of speeding tickets has been banned by a watchdog.
The website for a membership scheme offering advice and legal representation to drivers who have received a ticket said: "Get your free copy of our top 10 tricks to avoid speeding tickets" and added: "Our top 10 tricks and loopholes to get out of any UK speeding ticket will be automatically delivered to your inbox within minutes. Tell your friends about us - but not the Traffic Police!"
A reader complained that the ad was irresponsible because it suggested that drivers could avoid being prosecuted for driving offences.
Defending the ad, Drive Protect Ltd said the email course being advertised taught people "a legitimate means of being able to disprove or create legitimate doubt on whether or not the offence happened".
It said drivers avoided being prosecuted when a court decided that there was not enough evidence, or where evidence pointed to the fact that the offence did not occur, and believed that the ad was therefore not irresponsible.
Upholding the complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that those accused of speeding offences were entitled to be made aware of legal advice and that it was not irresponsible or illegal for some or all of that defence to be based on legal loopholes.
However, it added that consumers would understand the ad's wording to mean that they could escape the consequences of speeding offences regardless of whether or not the alleged offence took place.
The ASA said: "We considered that although the ad was unlikely to encourage reckless behaviour, it could encourage some individuals to take risks they would otherwise not take because they believed that they could exceed some speed restrictions with impunity and could be seen to minimise the dangers of speeding."
It ruled that the ad should not appear again in its current form.
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