Motoring activist who helps strangers escape traffic fines for FREE reveals little-known legal loophole that some traffic cameras are not Home Office-approved
- Ivan Murray-Smith, 35, from Norfolk, helps people appeal their traffic fines
- This year his advice has led to three drivers escaping nearly £400 worth of fines
- The former Conservative candidate wants councils to ‘follow rules’
A man who helps people get off traffic fines has helped three complete strangers avoid nearly £400 worth of penalties this year using a little-known loophole in the law.
Ivan Murray-Smith, 35, from Norfolk, has been offering his services for free to drivers in London who are appealing fines after being caught out by traffic cameras.
Ivan, who was a Conservative candidate for Norfolk County Council in the 2021 Local Elections, has brushed up on the London Local Authority Act 1996 to help drivers out.
Ivan Murray-Smith, 35, from Norfolk, has helped drivers in Waltham Forest, east London, escape fines for driving in bus lanes
Ivan has helped three people escape fines after they drove in a bus lane and were picked up by a particular camera in Leytonstone, east London
According to the Act, traffic cameras must be ‘ministerially approved’ by the Home Office in order to be valid sources of evidence against drivers.
So far, Ivan has taken Waltham Forest Council to task and won three times.
In particular, he has helped three drivers appeal against £130 fines after they were caught driving in a bus lane by a particular camera in Leytonstone.
MyLondon reports the camera in question has helped bring in almost £3million in traffic fines from 2019 to 2021.
Speaking to the newspaper Ivan said he reckoned hardly any traffic cameras in London have been approved by the Home Office.
He said: ‘For the past 20-odd years, [councils have] been enforcing these penalties and the only reason they got away with it is that no one questioned it.’
In justifying his work, Ivan said he believed in the ‘rule of law’ and agrees people should not drive in bus lanes, but he added councils trying to enforce traffic fines should follow the rules themselves.
In February, Ivan managed to help driver Mohammad Ayub escape a fine after traffic officers from Waltham Forest Council could not prove the traffic camera had been approved by the Home Office.
He won a similar case in April when council officers did not clarify the type or model of the traffic camera.
Ivan also helps out people who have been pulled up on other issues while driving and has even taken police accounts to task over traffic fines on Twitter.
He recently clashed with the Essex Roads Policing account over a 4×4 that was being written up for parking on a double yellow line.
Ivan argued that, although the car was clearly parked on a double-yellow, it could not be considered an obstruction because other cars were able to drive around it.
He wrote: ‘I doubt an obstruction charge would stand up in court. It’s a civil contravention. Hopefully the driver doesn’t know.’