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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]