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    • rosey157
    • By rosey157 17th May 19, 1:47 PM
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    rosey157
    Congestion Charge fine 17:59
    • #1
    • 17th May 19, 1:47 PM
    Congestion Charge fine 17:59 17th May 19 at 1:47 PM
    Hi, I have just received a congestion charge fine for entering the zone at 17:59. My phone, car and the news said it was 18:00 at the time of entering. I have spoken to TFL and their attitude was "Our clocks are set by GMT and doesn't matter if its 5 seconds early, so the fine is final" I find this very unfair, does anyone have any advice on how I can get out of this very unfair fine??
Page 1
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 17th May 19, 2:10 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #2
    • 17th May 19, 2:10 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 19, 2:10 PM
    Hi, I have just received a congestion charge fine for entering the zone at 17:59. My phone, car and the news said it was 18:00 at the time of entering. I have spoken to TFL and their attitude was "Our clocks are set by GMT and doesn't matter if its 5 seconds early, so the fine is final" I find this very unfair, does anyone have any advice on how I can get out of this very unfair fine??
    Originally posted by rosey157
    In short, you can't. The line has to be drawn somewhere and setting it at exactly 1800 GMT is the fairest way of doing it. It doesn't matter what a radio station said the time was, there has to be a centrally-set point, otherwise everyone would have their own interpretation of the time and TFL would be inundated with appeals like yours.

    Oh, and it's not unfair. It's absolutely fair because they've adopted a centrally set and agreed time.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 17th May 19, 2:28 PM
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    • #3
    • 17th May 19, 2:28 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 19, 2:28 PM
    You could challenge the calibration of their clocks against the GMT master, but the cost in doing so would make the fine seem a pittance.
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    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th May 19, 8:05 PM
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    agrinnall
    • #4
    • 17th May 19, 8:05 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 19, 8:05 PM
    When did this happen, GMT ended over 6 weeks ago, and we are now on BST?
    • Supersonos
    • By Supersonos 18th May 19, 7:13 AM
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    Supersonos
    • #5
    • 18th May 19, 7:13 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 19, 7:13 AM
    When did this happen, GMT ended over 6 weeks ago, and we are now on BST?
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    GMT never ends - BST is simply an offset of GMT.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th May 19, 8:05 AM
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    agrinnall
    • #6
    • 18th May 19, 8:05 AM
    • #6
    • 18th May 19, 8:05 AM
    GMT never ends - BST is simply an offset of GMT.
    Originally posted by Supersonos

    Semantics - 17:59 GMT is not the same as 17:59 BST in the real world.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 18th May 19, 8:35 AM
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    marlot
    • #7
    • 18th May 19, 8:35 AM
    • #7
    • 18th May 19, 8:35 AM
    Hi, I have just received a congestion charge fine for entering the zone at 17:59. My phone, car and the news said it was 18:00 at the time of entering. I have spoken to TFL and their attitude was "Our clocks are set by GMT and doesn't matter if its 5 seconds early, so the fine is final" I find this very unfair, does anyone have any advice on how I can get out of this very unfair fine??
    Originally posted by rosey157
    In the same way that the police have to show that their speed guns are routinely calibrated, if you wanted to challenge this, I guess you could be asking TfL to show that they take steps to show that their computer time is accurate.

    My computer is set to synchronise its time regularly, but when I go to https://time.is/ I see that it tells me that my clock is 0.7s behind. To an accuracy of +/- 0.033 seconds.

    But to challenge it would mean pleading not guilty and letting it go to court. Its up to you whether you're prepared to do that.

    I don't think it reasonable for them to issue a fine for 17.59 unless they can show to the satisfaction of the judge that it absolutely was before 18:00. What if the time was 17:59 and 50 seconds - but their clock was only accurate to +/- 1 minute?

    Otherwise what's to stop them if their clock is ten minutes out? Or an hour out?
    Last edited by marlot; 18-05-2019 at 8:45 AM.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 18th May 19, 8:43 AM
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    marlot
    • #8
    • 18th May 19, 8:43 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 19, 8:43 AM
    In short, you can't. The line has to be drawn somewhere and setting it at exactly 1800 GMT is the fairest way of doing it. It doesn't matter what a radio station said the time was, there has to be a centrally-set point, otherwise everyone would have their own interpretation of the time and TFL would be inundated with appeals like yours.

    Oh, and it's not unfair. It's absolutely fair because they've adopted a centrally set and agreed time.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    This is predicated on TfL being able to accurately synchronise their computer clock to the international standard. The best they might be able to guarantee is that their clock is within (say) 1 second of being right.



    Every computer is slightly out. It's just a question of how far out. And whether its fair to penalise someone when their alledged infringment is within the margin of error.
    Last edited by marlot; 18-05-2019 at 8:45 AM.
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 18th May 19, 8:46 AM
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    Herzlos
    • #9
    • 18th May 19, 8:46 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 19, 8:46 AM
    Is there another level of appeal? They may be strictly adhering to Greenwich but I don't think it's fair for your clock to be so accurately calibrated.

    Imho a 2 minute or less overlap should just be a warning of "hey, you're cutting it a bit close, be careful".
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 18th May 19, 8:47 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    This is predicated on TfL being able to accurately synchronise their computer clock to the international standard. The best they might be able to guarantee is that their clock is within (say) 1 second of being right.



    Every computer is slightly out. It's just a question of how far out. And whether its fair to penalise someone when their alledged infringment is within the margin of error.
    Originally posted by marlot
    Agreed, but OP would have to take this on at their own risk and cost.
    • Supersonos
    • By Supersonos 18th May 19, 8:48 AM
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    Supersonos
    Semantics - 17:59 GMT is not the same as 17:59 BST in the real world.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    The OP said TFL told him "Our clocks are set by GMT". That's not to say they are the same time as GMT.

    And in fact, GMT hasn't been the standard since the seventies or eighties. It is now Universal Standard Time. But it still doesn't change the point TFL are making.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 18th May 19, 8:49 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    Is there another level of appeal? They may be strictly adhering to Greenwich but I don't think it's fair for your clock to be so accurately calibrated.

    Imho a 2 minute or less overlap should just be a warning of "hey, you're cutting it a bit close, be careful".
    Originally posted by Herzlos
    What's not fair about the OP's clock being accurate?

    As to a "grace period" or similar, you can see where that leads.

    "I've just been fined for entering the congestion zone at 18:03 when my clock and the car radio said it was 18:02....."
    • marlot
    • By marlot 18th May 19, 8:50 AM
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    marlot
    Just done a google and found this: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5435117/Fines-quashed-130-penalty-overturned.html
    • Supersonos
    • By Supersonos 18th May 19, 12:05 PM
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    Supersonos
    I guess the problem is, what proof does the OP have? Unless they are absolutely certain it was after 6pm, it could be an expensive appeal.

    There's quite a delay these days between the radio studio and you hearing the presenter - not sure if radio stations try and compensate for that and there's a chance the OP was hearing it a minute or so earlier than intended?
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 18th May 19, 2:16 PM
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    robatwork
    Try an FOI request regarding the calibration of time on that particular camera.
    • johnsmith1890
    • By johnsmith1890 18th May 19, 6:21 PM
    • 308 Posts
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    johnsmith1890
    You'd think the scroungers at TfL would at least have a leeway of, say, a couple of minutes, just to avoid this type of misunderstanding.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 18th May 19, 8:07 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    You'd think the scroungers at TfL would at least have a leeway of, say, a couple of minutes, just to avoid this type of misunderstanding.
    Originally posted by johnsmith1890
    You'd think drivers would delay entering the congestion zone for say, a couple of minutes, just to avoid getting fined.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 18th May 19, 8:16 PM
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    DUTR
    I guess the problem is, what proof does the OP have? Unless they are absolutely certain it was after 6pm, it could be an expensive appeal.

    There's quite a delay these days between the radio studio and you hearing the presenter - not sure if radio stations try and compensate for that and there's a chance the OP was hearing it a minute or so earlier than intended?
    Originally posted by Supersonos
    Nope the stations do not compensate for it, if anything the listener would hear the time late, listen to a station on DAB compared to FM and there is a few seconds delay, also TV vs radio or Terrestial vs satellite broadcasts..
    The OP informs they had various time sources, however irrespective they need to act on the source standard.
    • stator
    • By stator 19th May 19, 9:53 AM
    • 7,149 Posts
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    stator
    As to a "grace period" or similar, you can see where that leads.

    "I've just been fined for entering the congestion zone at 18:03 when my clock and the car radio said it was 18:02....."
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    Not at all, since you advertise the cut off as 18:00, you just don't send people fines if they were within the grace period of say 3 minutes.


    It works the same way with speeding limits. There's a small window above the speed limit where you don't get fined, but if you're caught over that you have to pay. Some people take their chances and drive at the speed slightly above the speed limit, but if they get caught above that, they get fined. They might whine as much as they like, but nothing changes.


    It's all just common sense.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 19th May 19, 10:14 AM
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    sheramber
    In the same way that the police have to show that their speed guns are routinely calibrated, if you wanted to challenge this, I guess you could be asking TfL to show that they take steps to show that their computer time is accurate.

    My computer is set to synchronise its time regularly, but when I go to https://time.is/ I see that it tells me that my clock is 0.7s behind. To an accuracy of +/- 0.033 seconds.

    But to challenge it would mean pleading not guilty and letting it go to court. Its up to you whether you're prepared to do that.

    I don't think it reasonable for them to issue a fine for 17.59 unless they can show to the satisfaction of the judge that it absolutely was before 18:00. What if the time was 17:59 and 50 seconds - but their clock was only accurate to +/- 1 minute?

    Otherwise what's to stop them if their clock is ten minutes out? Or an hour out?
    Originally posted by marlot
    My computer is bang on with that site
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