This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Dorset PCN?” The wording of your Dorset PCN challenge must display your awareness of the relevant contravention code and the text of your appeal should also be backed by specific evidence to justify your mitigating circumstances or to prove that the traffic violation didn’t occur.  You need to collect evidence (including video recordings ) of your driving actions in Dorset Council on a daily basis in order to be prepared for being suddenly handed a PCN.

How Can I Challenge A Dorset PCN?

You can challenge a Dorset PCN by choosing a valid reason to contest your Parking, Bus Lane, or Moving Traffic PCN. As a driver on the roads of Dorset council, you must be well aware of the restrictions in place at parking zones, at road turns, and bus lanes across the region. You should make an effort to prevent breaching these restrictions and only end up with a PCN in rare circumstances which do not include being unaware of the traffic order being enforced at the location.

If you only end up violating a bus lane or a restricted street by a few metres and can use video footage to show that you had actively attempted to steer your vehicle back to the correct path you can mention your authentic mitigating circumstances in a formal representation to the Dorset Council. 

The council will not know that you had not habitually breached the bus lane contravention unless you share the video footage or photographs clearly showing your actions from inside the vehicle. It is also mandatory for you to attach proper evidence for your mitigating circumstances such as a serious health condition that prevented you from correctly operating your vehicle (with symptoms affecting your hand-eye coordination, vision, or limb movements)

It is necessary to formulate a strong and compelling appeal to your Dorset PCN in order to avoid being served a Notice of Rejection of Representations from the Dorset Council, which means that your appeal has been dismissed.

In many cases, PCNs are not enforceable and you may be able to win your case and avoid having to pay your fine.

You could begin the process by speaking to an online solicitor for as little as £5. 

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice is a monetary penalty issued to drivers or motorists for committing certain traffic contraventions including violating Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic restrictions. A PCN is issued for failing to follow Parking zone, bus lane enforcement, and moving traffic restrictions mentioned in the Road Traffic Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004.

A penalty charge notice can be handed to you by a Civil Enforcement Officer or dispatched to your (DVLA) residential address by post. Traffic contraventions are observed by CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement Officers before a violation is detected and the vehicle is charged with a PCN.

A PCN might also be issued for failing to pay road charges on time. You have 28 days to decide how and if you would like to challenge your Penalty Charge Notice. After 28 days if you have neither paid nor challenged your PCN, you will be sent a charge certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

If you don’t challenge a PCN, you should pay the fine within 28 days, otherwise, its amount will increase by 50%. A £70 PCN will be worth £105 if you pay it in the 14 days after receiving your charge certificate.

Can I Only Challenge A Dorset PCN on the official website?

Yes, you can only challenge a Dorset PCN on the Dorset Council’s Parking Portal.

Your Dorset PCN appeal can be initiated by clicking here. On this webpage you will see a chat window with the chatbot max. You need to interact with the chatbot by providing your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number. Once these details are verified by the virtual assistant, you can type in your PCN appeal with relevant reasons and evidence (which can be uploaded to the system).

You can view CCTV camera footage of your traffic contravention before constructing your PCN appeal. The reasons for you disputing the PCN can be typed into a word processing software first and related to the text of the relevant traffic contravention code as well as to the specific material evidence you plan to use in your appeal

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to Dorset Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at the traffic violation scene. The text of your appeal must state the relevant contravention code on your PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

Once you have proofread your appeal to eliminate any reasons for your challenge which might convey a disregard for traffic contravention codes enforced in Dorset Council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation.

Which moving traffic contravention codes are enforced in Dorset Council? 

The following moving traffic contravention codes are enforced in Dorset Council:

  • Code 31 Entering and stopping your vehicle inside a box junction or preventing vehicles behind you from moving out of a box junction. A vehicle may pause at a box junction for a certain period of time in order to make a right turn at the traffic signal.
  • Code 32 (Left turn) Failing to steer your vehicle or guide your vehicle in the direction of an arrow shown inside a blue-colored sign.
  • Code 32 ( Left turn ahead) Failing to slow your vehicle or steer it correctly into the approaching sharp left turn on the road. This direction is displayed on a traffic sign by a (left curved) white arrow enclosed in a blue-colored sign.    
  • Code 32 (One-way traffic) Failing to drive on the correct side of the road or approaching the (one-way) lane from the opposite side. This traffic sign is indicated by an upward pointing white arrow enclosed in a blue-colored sign.
  • Code 33 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a bus and cycle (only) lane. This traffic sign is indicated by a depiction of a bus and a cycle above it.
  • Code 33 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place)) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a tramcar-only road or street. This traffic sign shows a depiction of a tramcar, enclosed in a blue-colored sign.
  • Code 37 is applied to charge vehicles for failing to leave a space for vehicles moving in the opposite direction. The sign indicates a priority to be given to vehicles from the other direction on the road which means slowing down and keeping your car aligned to the left side of the road. The road sign shows a larger black-colored arrow pointing downwards to the right of a smaller red-colored arrow pointing upwards.
  • Code 37 (Giving way to oncoming vehicles) indicates drivers give way to vehicles moving in the opposite direction. The road sign for the contravention has the following sentence printed in black “Give way to oncoming vehicles”
  • Code 38 indicates drivers to keep their vehicles on the left or right side of the road. This moving traffic contravention is indicated by a downward pointing arrow tilted toward the left side or a downward pointing arrow tilted toward the right side.
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates no right turn for vehicular traffic. The road sign for the traffic contravention is shown by a red prohibition symbol on a right-curved black arrow 
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates no left turn fpr vehicular traffic. The road sign for the traffic contravention is indicated by a red prohibition symbol on a left curved black arrow.
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates the prohibition of a U-turn at the location. The road sign for this traffic contravention displays a red prohibition symbol on an (n-shaped) arrow which shows a vehicle making a u-turn.
  • Code 51 ( Not following a no entry sign) This contravention code indicates the breach of a no entry sign. 
  • Code 52 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a lane only used by non-mechanically propelled vehicles used by pedestrians. This traffic sign is indicated by a red colored circle.
  • Code 52 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on motor vehicles entering a certain street. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a motorbike above a car.
  • Code 52 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place)) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on all motor vehicles except solo motorcycles. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a car.
  • Code 52 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on all motor vehicles except cars. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a motorcycle.
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on goods vehicles exceeding the maximum weight limit.. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a goods vehicle with the weight limit, in tonnes stated inside the vehicle symbol
  • Code 53 (Using a street or road where restrictions are in place) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a pedestrian-only lane. This traffic sign is indicated by a sign displaying the words “Pedestrian Zone” above a circle containing a motorcycle and a car the days for the Pedestrian Zone restrictions to be applicable are stated under the sign. There are specific operational hours for loading vehicles under these restrictions stated under the sign.

How much is the PCN fine for each of the 3 kinds of PCNs served in Dorset Council?

A Parking PCN in Dorset Council is served for violating higher or lower level parking restrictions. You have to pay £70 for committing a higher level parking contravention and £50 for a lower level parking contravention. If you pay the parking fine within 14 days, you will just be paying £35 or £25 as a 50% discount is applicable to your payment.

For failing to comply with a bus lane contravention code or a moving traffic restriction in Dorset Council, you will be charged a £70 Penalty Charge Notice. The 50% early payment discount reduces both these types of PCN fines to £35 if a bus lane PCN is paid within 21 days and a moving traffic PCN is paid within 14 days

How Can I Pay my Dorset PCN fine?

You can pay your Dorset PCN fine on the Dorset Council’s parking pcn payments page or by calling Dorset Council’s automated payments hotline. 

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Dorset council website. After opening this webpage you can enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration number. You need to click on “Search” to search for your PCN details in the Dorset Council’s online database. After selecting to pay your PCN, you will need to enter your payment card details. TDorset Council accepts Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro Card and Visa Electron card for PCN fine payments.

You can also call on Dorset Council’s automated payments hotline for paying your PCN. To pay by this method, you have to call on 0300 7900 545. On the call, you will need to enter your PCN number and your payment card details. You can use the * key to enter the letters in your PCN number. This payment hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should wait to receive a confirmation code for your PCN payment before ending the call.

What will happen if I don’t pay my Dorset PCN within the 28-day limit?

You should not ignore traffic contraventions or the Penalty Charge Notices resulting from them or cultivate a careless attitude towards driving in Dorset Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Dorset Council.

If you neither pay your Dorset PCN within 28 days nor decide to appeal against it, you will be sent a charge certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The charge certificate increases your PCN fine by 50%, which means you will be paying £105 (or £75) now. You should pay the charge certificate within 14 days as it cannot be appealed and ignoring the charge certificate may result in the filing of a court order (for recovery of debts) against you by Dorset Council.

You will be sent a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, if you don’t pay the charge certificate amount within 14 days. The unpaid amount will be treated as a debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at the Northampton County Court.

The court order for debt recovery enforces that the charge certificate amount must be paid in full within 21 days or the county court will have to use additional powers to recover the money from your possession which means employing Enforcement Agents to (contact you or) visit your personal premises.

Can I Dispute A Dorset PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Dorset Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Dorset Council in your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal website requires you to enter details given on your Notice of Rejection of Representations, after opening this webpage

You can watch this instructional video here to learn about your challenge process. The video clearly explains how to use the online service offered by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. On the Traffic Penalty Tribunal webpage, you will first have to select the type of PCN you were served by the Dorset Council (shown on the bottom part of the page) .

After clicking on your specific type of Penalty Charge Notice, you should select “England” (Outside London). In the window which opens up, you should click on the orange box which reads “If you don’t agree with the PCN, you can make representations against it” .

After viewing the instructions on the following page, you need to click on “Start your appeal here” at the bottom of the webpage You will then be required to enter your Vehicle Registration Number, the reference number from the “Notice of Rejection” letter from the Dorset Council, and your PCN number for which the appeal was rejected on this page.

You can use the online service to challenge multiple “Notices of Rejection” simultaneously. You will require a valid email address to create an account on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website. You have to upload a copy of your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter to your application by using the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s online portal.

You can upload evidence such as video clips of your traffic violation scenes (taken from inside your vehicle), medical certificates from a certified General Practitioner, maps of the area showing the exact distance your vehicle travelled inside a no entry zone and scanned copies of “pay and display” tickets. You should construct a strong appeals case to communicate your mitigating circumstances or to deliver your assertion that the traffic violation never occurred.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal should be able to ascertain the legitimacy of your situation by viewing evidence material uploaded to the PCN appeals system.

Your appeal of the “Notice of Rejection of Representations” should be submitted to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal within 28 days of receiving your Notification of Rejection from Dorset Council. You must avail this chance of a free and independent hearing of your case. 

You will be able to contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator during the formulation of your appeal. The result of your appeal will be communicated to you within 14-28 days of submitting your representation. If the adjudicator decides the case in your favour, the PCN will be cancelled by the Dorset Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Dorset PCN?” You need to be aware of the contravention code mentioned on your Penalty Charge Notice and have evidence to challenge it ready with you by expecting to be given a PCN anyday. The best way to be prepared for challenging a PCN suddenly handed to you is by recording video clips of your road trips in Dorset Council, as these can be used as evidence for Parking, Bus Lane and Moving Traffic PCNs.

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