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Seat belt fine in Lowestoft: MP writes to police chief

PUBLISHED: 11:33 07 January 2011

WAVENEY MP Peter Aldous has written to Suffolk chief constable Simon Ash, after a Lowestoft man complained to the force about what he described as an "over the top" fine.

Last week, The Journal reported that Austin Musgrave-Brown had received a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for “driving without a seat belt” after he was stopped by police.

However, he says he had only briefly taken his seat belt off while sat in his car in stationary traffic, with the engine switched off and handbrake applied, as he waited for the bascule bridge to come down.

After belting up again as the bridge opened, it was less than half a mile later when he was pulled over by an unmarked police car and issued with the fine.

This week, Mr Musgrave-Brown has been in touch with Mr Aldous on this subject, and the MP told the Journal he had written to chief constable Simon Ash on the matter.

“I have been contacted by Mr Musgrave-Brown who was fined £60 for removing his seat belt for a brief period while stationary in his car while the bascule bridge was up,” Mr Aldous said. “I have written to the chief constable to seek an explanation. The police do a very difficult and very good job in Suffolk, but in situations like this it is important that some common sense is used.”

l Your views: Journal Postbox, pages 18 and 19.

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