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]

Don't Ignore the Big Red X

lane closed sign

From Monday 10 June 2019 drivers who ignore lane closure signs on smart motorways in England will be issued with automatic £100 fines and 3 penalty points.

A closed lane on smart motorway is indicated by a 'Red X' displayed on an electronic overhead gantry and instructs motorists to move to another lane that's running normally to avoid an incident ahead.

According to recent surveys, a significant number of motorists have been ignoring closed lane warnings either because they are not understood fully, or because they think nothing will come of it. The signs have been around for a [read on]

Drug Driving and the Law

drug driving and the law

The law relating to drug driving has been in force for a few years now but certain aspects of it continue to cause difficulty.

The law was changed to plug a gap and to make it easier to detect and charge motorists driving under the influence of drugs or with drugs in them over prescribed limits whether they were impaired or not. It brought the drug drive laws into line with drink driving. Police were given new equipment to carry out saliva swipes and require blood samples.

For the first time the law also listed legal and illegal drugs that could form the basis of a charge if prescribed [read on]

Alcohol Immobilisers

Alcohol Immobilisers

 

Motorists in parts of France who have been convicted of drink-driving could only be allowed back behind the wheel after serving any ban if their car is fitted with an alcohol-activated immobiliser.

The UK has a mixed legal position that appears fragmented. Low-level alcohol offenders generally just serve their ban and then reapply for a licence. As long as they are not High Risk Offenders, or don’t have a history of persistent alcohol misuse they will get a licence again. Others are monitored by the DVLA using medical reports from GPs.

It can seem very hit and miss. I have [read on]

Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety (DADDS)

alcohol detection

 

These have been in the pipeline for quite some time.

Now Volvo is to install technology in its self-driving cars that can detect if the driver is drunk. They will use a combination of in-car cameras and sensors to spot if the motorist is showing signs of being over the limit.

Cars will slow down before ringing the Volvo call centre, and a member of staff will speak to the driver and take over the car if necessary.

The self-driving vehicle may even park the car by itself if the driver is unresponsive.

Sensors in the car will monitor changes in the physical movements of both the [read on]

Celebrity acquittals give the wrong message.

Recent Home Office figures showed a 43% rise in the number of motorists going to court during the course of the last four years. The number of motorists facing court action in 2013 was 240,000 and this increased to 342,000 in 2017. This is an astonishing increase. At the same time the number of fixed penalty notices issued by police declined from 1,201,000 996,000.
Why has it happened? There are two factors that might contribute.
In April 2017 the penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving was increased from 3 to 6 points. The penalty points increase for this offence means that more [read on]

Speed limits could rise to 60mph when less activity is taking place on motorway roadworks

At last the frustration caused by this looks as though it will be removed. Drivers have long asked why low speeds are required even when no one is working and it has tended to bring speed control into disrepute.

Motorway roadwork speed limits will be increased to 60mph as long as they can be safely operated.

Highways England, which runs the UK’s motorway network, says it is “working hard to reduce drivers’ frustration” with roadworks, and will be conducting a trial to see if higher limits can be introduced during periods when less work is being carried out.

Current [read on]

Should the UK have graduated driving licences?

Graduated driving licenceUK Prime Minister Theresa May has hinted at further restrictions to new drivers, in an effort to cut road casualties.

The Department for Transport is due to research a 'graduated licencing system', similar to those used in various other countries around the world, that could potentially ban new drivers from carrying passengers and driving at night.

This particular issue was raised by Jenny Chapman, Labour MP for Darlington, after a child was killed in her constituency by a learner driver. Figures demonstrated that a quarter of young drivers (between age 17 and 24) are involved in an [read on]