Lowestoft: MP intervenes in seat belt fine row

WAVENEY MP Peter Aldous has written to Suffolk Chief Constable Simon Ash, after a motorist complained to the force about what he described as an “over the top” fine.

Austin Musgrave-Brown, from Lowestoft, received a �60 fixed penalty notice for “driving without a seat belt” after he was stopped by police.

However, the driver said he had only briefly taken his seat belt off while sat in his car in stationary traffic.

He claims the engine was switched off and the handbrake applied, as he waited for the bascule bridge in Lowestoft 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.

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This week, Mr Musgrave-Brown has been in touch with Mr Aldous about the incident, and the MP said he had written to Mr Ash about the matter.

“I have been contacted by Mr Musgrave-Brown, who was fined �60 for removing his seat belt for a brief period while sat stationary in his car while the bascule bridge was up,” Mr Aldous said.

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“I have written to the chief constable to seek an explanation.

“The police do a very difficult and a very good job in Suffolk.

“But in situations like this it is important that some common sense is used.”

A police spokeswoman for Suffolk police confirmed: “We have received an official complaint and this is currently being investigated.”

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