Archive

  • Totting Up Penalty Points: Is a Six-Month Driving Ban Still a Proportionate Response?

    Posted on: 25th February 2020

    Accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your licence within a three year period and you’ll face a minimum six-month totting ban. You may lose your job as a result, but that in itself may not be enough to persuade the courts to show leniency.

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  • Asked Santa for an E-Scooter this Christmas?

    Asked Santa for an E-Scooter this Christmas?

    Posted on: 23rd December 2019

    E-scooters appear to be an ideal method of transport for the responsible user. It is a shame that under current legislation, it is illegal to ride e-scooters on the road or in a public place. 

    E-scooters are not illegal to ride on private land with the land owner's permission. However, roads and public places are a different matter. 

    S .143 Road Traffic Act 1988 creates an offence where a person uses a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, without a policy of insurance in place to cover third party risks.

    The definition of a motor vehicle is set out in s.185 of Road Traffic Act 1988, which says that a motor vehicle is a mechanically propelled vehicle, intended or adapted for use on roads

    This definition of a motor vehicle has been explored in several cases involving motorised scooters, one of which is DPP v Saddington. That case specifically dealt with whether the scooter was intended or adapted for use on the public roads. The Supreme Court determined that it was a motor vehicle, notwithstanding the lack of an efficient braking system, pneumatic tyres, clutch, lights or mirrors etc. As such, the rider required a driving licence and insurance for the scooter. 

    At the time of writing, it is not possible to get insurance for e-scooters that meets the requirements of s.143. Neither is the use of them covered by car insurance, as the scooter itself does not have its own policy. 

    At the very least, this means that anyone riding one on the road or in a public place faces an allegation of driving without insurance (penalty 6-8 points or disqualification), 

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  • The 14 day time limit for Notices of Intended Prosecution - loophole or genuine defence?

    The 14 day time limit for Notices of Intended Prosecution - loophole or genuine defence?

    Posted on: 9th December 2019

    Back in 2018, David Beckham was reported as having relied on this ‘loophole’ to avoid a speeding conviction. How does the 14-day time limit work for speeding and other driving offences?

    Whenever there is a report of someone in the public eye escaping a driving conviction, it frequently elicits a tirade of comments from readers.

    Such comments often suggest that the individual only avoided conviction because of who they are and that such ‘loopholes’ are only available to the rich and famous, but that is not always the case. 

    The so-called 14 day Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) Rule was used by countless motorists in 2019 to avoid a conviction for speeding, careless driving, running a red light, and many others.

    What is the 14 day NIP Rule?

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  • Can you eat an apple while driving?

    Can you eat an apple while driving?

    Posted on: 15th August 2019

    There is no such offence as driving while eating an apple (or any other type of food). The prosecution will be required to prove that the driver's actions meant they were not in proper control of their vehicle. This will depend on factors such as speed, changes of direction, level of traffic etc. and may be evidenced by the general nature of the driving. The requirement to prove a lack of control for this offence is different from the offence of driving while using a mobile phone or handheld device. In mobile phone cases, the lack of control need not be proven which means that the offence can be committed even if you are sat in stationary traffic.

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  • New Law on Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone or Hand Held Device

    New Law on Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone or Hand Held Device

    Posted on: 31st July 2019

    The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has finally provided some much needed clarification on the law regarding driving whilst using mobile phones and hand held device. The Court explored the definition of 'performing an interactive communication function' which is required in order to secure a conviction. 

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  • Perverting the Course of Justice Sentence Quashed by Court of Appeal

    Perverting the Course of Justice Sentence Quashed by Court of Appeal

    Posted on: 29th April 2019

    Pragma Law has successfully appealed against a sentence of imprisonment imposed by York Crown Court. A case with very similar facts had been decided by the same Crown Court Judge only months before this one. That sentence was also quashed by the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court Judge was aware of the outcome. However he again decided that he would still impose an immediate custodial sentence despite the clear guidance that it was not appropriate in the circumstances. 

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  • Motoring Offences and Perverting the Course of Justice

    Posted on: 26th March 2019

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  • Motoring Offences: How Proceedings are Commenced using a Single Justice Procedure Notice

    Posted on: 11th September 2018

    Historically, criminal proceedings were always commenced by charging a person in a police station with an offence, or by servicing a summons on the accused, until the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was introduced.

    This legislation set out a new way of commencing proceedings in most Summary only offences, which is known as the charge and requisition procedure. Summary only offences are ones that can only be tried in a magistrates’ court.

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  • Breaking the Highway Code

    Posted on: 6th April 2018

    Some driving behaviours are clearly a breach of the Highway Code. One such offence is ‘running’ a traffic signal, which can attract a minimum £100 fine and three penalty points or even disqualification. This doesn’t seem to have deterred millions of drivers after a survey found a fifth admitted driving through a red traffic light.

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  • Non-Appearance at Public Inquiry a No-No

    Posted on: 20th March 2018

    Some driving behaviours are clearly a breach of the Highway Code. One such offence is ‘running’ a traffic signal, which can attract a minimum £100 fine and three penalty points or even disqualification. This doesn’t seem to have deterred millions of drivers after a survey found a fifth admitted driving through a red traffic light.

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