Police Powers of Vehicle Seizure and Disposal

On the 29th of May 2020 the High Court decided that North Wales Police were wrong to dispose of someone’s motorhome by auction after deciding an insurance certificate wasn’t valid. Police can be very opinionated when it comes to insurance, frequently determining whether in their view insurance is valid or not. It is a constant source of difficulty for many drivers.

The case came to court because in October 2019 North Wales police seized a motorhome. Mr and Mrs Linse were in the vehicle, being driven by Mr Linse. It had been seen by police officers who followed it because they [read on]

Speeding Offences on the Rise

speeding on the rise

I was interested to read a press release issued by confused.com about trends in speeding offences in the UK. The article presents data from a Freedom of Information request which shows that speeding offences are significantly on the rise. 2019 saw an increase of 7% in the number of offences over 2018 and some truly shocking speeds being recorded including one driver who was caught driving at 120 mph in a 20 mph zone!

The COVID-19 lockdown does not seem to have slowed drivers down either. 20% of drivers polled said that they had seen or heard cars speeding since the start of the lockdown [read on]

Speed Detection Devices Not Necessarily Conclusive.

Earlier this month the High Court rejected a prosecution appeal against a Magistrates’ Court’s decision to find a motorist not guilty of speeding.

The Court restated quite an old principle of law and will be of interest to those being prosecuted for speeding where they have their own evidence of speed. It demonstrated that speeds shown by “approve devices” can be successfully challenged.

In this case the driver was detected travelling in a motor vehicle at a speed of 72 mph, in a 50 mph speed restriction area. That speed was recorded by a police officer using an [read on]

Police Christmas Drink Drive Campaigns

Police Christmas Drink drug driving ca,paigns

These are now underway across the UK and will run until after New Year. They all warn drivers to be very careful and ideally consume no alcohol at all. Take it in turns to be the nominated driver say many, and be aware of the serious consequences of being caught either drink or drug driving.

Thames Valley has been a little different and has made an appeal to the public to report drink drivers. It has provided a telephone number to make it easy to do this but also emphasises it will be increasing patrols and carrying out tests.
Sussex and Surrey Police puts its message to a well-known tune [read on]

Speeding Lady

Speding Lady

I have followed this little story (published in The Times) with some interest because it contains features that I regularly encounter when I represent clients facing a 6 month “totting” disqualification.

On 9 October 2019 Lady Tatiana Mountbatten faced the loss of her licence because she had been caught speeding 3 times in 10 days on the same road. I can just visualise the three Notices of Intended Prosecution turning up roughly together and the implications setting in. This is not as uncommon as you might think. Over the years I have represented very many drivers caught in [read on]

Hiring chauffeur a “hardship” for tycoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the headline this morning, and it made me smile.

You can read the original Telegraph article here.

During the last two weeks, I have successfully presented two “exceptional hardship” cases on behalf of clients who were not tycoons but businessmen who depended upon being able to drive to run their businesses. They required careful presentation because I know just how much these cases are scrutinised by magistrates.

The story I have just read [read on]

A man spent £30,000 of his savings on a failed legal battle "for justice" over a £100 speeding fine.

man spends £30000 to save £100 speeding fine

I read this recent BBC news story with considerable interest.

I have been asked more times than I can remember “is it worth challenging my speeding prosecution?”, and what one person may pay a lawyer and see as good value will not be the same for everyone. Mr Keedwell obviously felt ok in spending £30,000 on legal fees and costs over three years and getting absolutely nowhere. He had a clean licence and I always ask people not to lose perspective; a fixed penalty of £100 brings 3 penalty points with it and that’s all. Not only does a challenge bring [read on]

Driving whilst using a mobile telephone – the law clarified

driving while using a mobile

Prosecutions are routinely brought under both the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 reg.110(1)(a) and the Road Traffic Act 1988 s.41D for using a mobile telephone or similar device whilst driving.

In July this year, the High Court decided that this legislation did not prohibit all use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. It prohibited only the making and receiving of calls and the use of interactive communication functions. This is important because police almost always institute a prosecution simply because a driver is seen holding a telephone. In other words, the [read on]

NIPs to the Wrong Address

NIP to the wrong Address

The Police Sent Section 172 Notice and Notice of Intended Prosecution to the Wrong Address!

Most motorists are aware that the police have statutory power to require the registered keeper of a vehicle to say who the driver of it was on any specified occasion. Police across England and Wales will send out many thousands of these during the course of the year.

What happens if the requirement is sent to the wrong address?

It is often accompanied by a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and for many road traffic offences, such a notice must be received within 14 days if there is to be a [read on]

Laser Jammers in the News - Again

laser jammers

Using these to avoid speed detection by police laser devices is a serious offence. It falls squarely within the definition “of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice contrary to common law.”

On 11 April 2019 Court of Appeal had to decide how to sentence Nicholas Burke. The facts were straightforward and very typical.

On 18 February 2018 a police officer used a device to capture evidence of the speed at which Mr Burke’s BMW was travelling in Yorkshire. The officer believed from what he had seen that the car was travelling in excess of [read on]