David Barton's Motoring Law Blog
The DVLA has announced that drivers who fail a roadside eye sight test can now have their licences revoked in hours rather than days.
Under the new arrangements the police can initiate proceedings electronically at the roadside immediately an offence is established meaning that the notice of revocation can be issued to the motorist within hours.
All drivers must be able to meet the eyesight standard for driving which is demonstrated by being able to read a number plate from 20 metres. Police can easily check this at the roadside. If a motorist fails to meet this standard they will have committed an offence and will have their licence revoked and they won’t get it back until they can demonstrate that their eyesight meets the required standard. In addition driving with defective eyesight may invalidate your insurance.
The number of motorists who are banned for failing roadside eyesight tests is on the increase. In 2001 almost 6000 motorists had their licenses revoked as a result of failing a roadside eyesight test, up over 8% on the previous year. Amazingly the number of bus and lorry drivers banned increased by 36% in the same period. This may be only the tip of the iceberg however. A study by the College of Optometrists revealed that 20% of middle aged drivers had driven knowing that their eyesight was sub-standard.
The police and the DVLA see this new capability as a great tool for increasing safety on the road and releasing this news gives them an opportunity to drive the message about eyesight home.
“It’s blindingly obvious drivers should all undergo regular eye sight tests. At Licence Bureau we are actively raising this issue.” said Michael Reed Marketing Director at Licence Bureau Ltd.
Under the current law drivers are required to be able to read a licence plate from 20 metres in order to pass their driving test. They are required to maintain this standard of eyesight as long as they are driving but there are no further compulsory eyesight tests. Each driver must monitor themselves and take appropriate action.
If you are worried that your eyesight might not be up to scratch it is fairly easy to test by pacing out or measuring 20 metres from a suitable car and seeing if you can read the plate, remember that you should conduct the test in daylight and you are allowed to use your glasses or contact lenses for the test. If you’re still unsure you should arrange an eyesight test with a qualified optician.
Being able to see clearly when you’re behind the wheel is vital, so it’s alarming to read a new report claiming that poor vision causes almost 2,900 casualties on the roads annually. The estimated cost of this to the UK is £33m every year – not to mention the financial and emotional costs for those ending up with a driving prosecution.
These findings were part of a study commissioned by insurer Royal Sun Alliance for its ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks of driving with bad eyesight.
To pass the current driving test, you must be able to read a car registration plate from 20 metres. But Royal Sun Alliance is asking for a change in UK law – it wants learner drivers to have their vision tested by a professional before applying for a provisional licence. It’s also calling for drivers to be legally obliged to have their eyesight rechecked every decade.
Road safety charity Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: ‘This report gives an indication of how many violent and devastating casualties on our roads could be prevented through a simple eye examination.’
We all need to do our bit towards safer roads in Kent and nationwide, so even if you think your sight is fine, it’s best to have an eye test at least every two years.
"..this is not a game: this is the administration of justice."
With these, and a number of other withering comments, the Administrative Court dismissed an application for Judicial Review brought on behalf of Mr Zafar Ali who had been clocked by police at 117 mph in his Porsche motor car. The case was fully reported on the 19 July 2012 and stands as an example of just how important it is for legal advisers not to be seen by the Court as anything other than completely open and straight in their dealings with the Court and the prosecution.
To do otherwise impacts on both the solicitor and the client (usually the client who ends up paying a fortune in costs), and at a time when the loophole myth is perhaps bigger than ever, this is an opportune time to address some basic and sometimes forgotten rules of engagement.
Mr Ali engaged the legal services of a very well known road traffic practitioner and appeared before Mid Sussex Magistrates Court to face a simple enough speeding allegation. There was undoubtedly some procedural complexity despite the simplicity of the allegation, but out of that, according to the High Court, was borne a plan to try and escape conviction. The High Court Judge criticised the conduct of his solicitor and said it amounted to sharp practice. The sin was a failure to disclose the true nature of a defence purely for tactical reasons.
Why does this matter you may ask. It matters because in 2006 solicitors and legal representatives were reminded in blunt and clear terms, again by the High Court, that the 2005 Criminal Procedure Rules brought about a sea change in the way criminal cases were henceforth to be conducted. The overriding objective was that criminal cases be dealt with justly, to include the acquittal of the innocent, the conviction of the guilty and dealing with cases fairly and expeditiously. Courts have a duty to manage cases and to do so parties must put their cards on the table. The court must see that justice is done, and that does not involve allowing people to escape on technical points or by attempting an ambush.
If a defendant pleads not guilty, a case management hearing is arranged, and both the prosecution and the defence must tell the court what the issues are. There is a duty on solicitors to tell the Court and the prosecution what points his client wishes to take and it is impermissible to be selective. The Court said this in 2006 “The days of ambushing and taking last minute technical points are gone. They are not consistent with the overriding objective of deciding cases justly…”
This does not mean that I cannot robustly defend my clients; I can and do. The point is that there is a difference between robust defence and game playing. The former attracts respect but the latter does not and the Courts stamp on it. It perpetuates the myth being increasingly spread that with the right tactics a road traffic conviction may be derailed and avoided. This is a shame because very many road traffic cases are properly contested and won on merit and not on loophole. I have been conducting road traffic defences for nearly 30 years and have seen the acquittal of very many deserving motorists on merit and the shame is that my discipline is being widely discredited as a hunting ground for technical and tactical defences.
Mr Ali’s tactical approach came unstuck. The Court’s criticism of his legal adviser was blunt and yet another marker was put down for legal representatives as to how to conduct themselves. One can only speculate how much it all cost Mr Ali. You can be sure that Courts have fully digested this case and will be ready to deal with parties who fail to put their cards on the table. This nearly always involves paying extra costs so it’s never cheap. In addition, one’s credibility disappears in a flash.
Clients need to know that from a suitably experienced advocate they will get robust representation within the confines of the procedural rules that apply to criminal proceedings. That is indeed our duty; client’s interests come first and must be fully promoted. I have no problem with that, but there is a line I am not permitted to cross. If I do, it damages me and it ultimately damages my client.
Be careful what you wish for.
You can read the transcript of the case here.
If you plan to be one of the estimated 2.5 million UK motorists driving in mainland Europe this summer, you need to be aware of the ever lengthening list of things you must take with you and of rules and regulations that will apply in order to make your driving a pleasant experience.
According to research recently carried out by Confused.com nearly two thirds of British drivers experience some form of mishap when travelling abroad. This is a very significant figure, and the research also reveals that something like 25% of British motorists do not check that they have adequate insurance.
The cost of inadequate planning can be very high. Rescue services estimate that 25,000 UK motorists will break down while travelling in Europe and that only a small proportion will have purchased breakdown insurance. On top of that the cost of regulation is rising and the penalties for getting it wrong can be severe. You need to be aware of some old and some very new laws that will apply to you, to make your journey safe and enjoyable. Some European police can be very zealous.
All EU countries have a way of accessing driver details from DVLA and are using UK based companies to collect fines.
In all EU countries the police will issue penalty tickets and spot fines to be paid there and then. You will need cash. If you refuse to pay the penalties can ramp up very quickly.
Here are some general tips to help:
1/ Insurance: Check your insurance policy covers you to drive abroad, and include substitute drivers. It may be a statement of the obvious, but two aspects in particular need looking at. The first is the extension of the policy to cover you in the event that you have an accident that is your fault and the second is cover for car contents in the event your car is broken into.
British insurance policies are obliged to provide third party cover in EU countries but unless arrangements have been specifically made you may well not have fully comprehensive cover, making repatriation of your car for example a very expensive exercise. If you have an accident abroad and if you write off your car without having extended your cover to fully comprehensive, the expense will be substantial. So the rule is check before departure, and make a written record of anything your insurance company tells you and who you spoke with; better still send a confirmatory e mail. Most insurers now serve customers and provide information through call centres so it’s important to have some record of what you were told should something go wrong. Even if you know your policy will be extended automatically, make sure it will extend to the full period of your holiday.
It is a fact that cars bearing UK number plates are a target because there is a fair chance they contain something worth stealing, and insurers regard some parts of Europe as theft hotspots. So again check with your insurer and be aware that travel insurance may not cover items stolen from cars. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns of particular threats and crime trends that target foreign drivers and are worth being aware of.
2/ Breakdown Insurance: Think about European breakdown cover and obtain it if needs be. There is no legal obligation to take out such cover, but a UK based provider will pay dividends if you breakdown somewhere rural and you can’t speak the language well enough. So look at a policy that provides roadside assistance as well as multilingual help.
3/ Documents: The UK is a little more relaxed about the requirement to carry documents with you, but in Europe you may well be asked for documents. You will need to have available a full UK drivers licence not provisional, your original registration document to prove ownership and a copy of your insurance certificate. In fact in France it's compulsory to have the originals with you and so wise to take copies as well.
4/ Seat Belts: In most countries it’s compulsory to wear a seat belt front and rear, and it’s copulsary for all children up to 10 years to travel in the back seat of a car and wear a seat belt or be strapped into a proper child seat.
5/ Age Restrictions: In the UK drivers are able to use any roads from 17 years, as soon as they pass their tests. Not so in France where motorway drivers must be aged 18 and over.
6/ Mobile Phones: It is common for “hands free” systems to be compulsory for mobile telephones use while driving. It’s the same rules as in the UK but in some countries “hands free” systems with earpieces cannot be used.
7/ Satnavs: Satnavs capable of warning of the presence of speed cameras are illegal in some countries and this function must be disabled. If it can’t be disabled then the satnav must not be carried inside the car.
8/ Compulsory Equipment: Headlight beam deflectors are required just about everywhere but most countries have requirements for you to carry additional specified equipment in the car unfortunately the exact equipment required differs by country. You should always check the requirements for the country you will be visiting. The table below gives a summary based on my research but sources do differ on their interpretation of of the individual requirements of each country. To be completely sure I recommend carrying all the equipment stated. It isn’t terribly expensive, adds to safety, and will keep you out of legal trouble. Typical equipment includes:
- fluorescent safety vest (one per passenger). More specifically, the safety vests must be carried inside the car and not in the boot.
- Warning triangles for use if you breakdown. be aware that the distance at which you place your triangle behind your vehicle varies by country and some countries require 2 triangles.
- Spare bulbs and the tools to fit them.
- First aid kits.
- Fire extinguishers
- Spare spectacles if you need them to drive.
9/ Drinking and Driving: Don’t do it. Most of Europe has stricter drink drive laws than the UK. The level is 50 micrograms rather than 80, and so two modest glasses of wine can put you over. The penalties can be severe too. In France for example they can range from a modest fine of 135 Euros for a reading of between 50 and 80 micrograms to two years in prison and 4,500 Euros in fines for readings above. If you have an accident whilst over the limit the fines go up to 30,000 Euros, and even higher up to 150,000 euros in the event of injury or death. The reason is that France has historically had a huge death toll from drinking and driving and it now comes down very hard indeed on those who ignore the rules. Best just to avoid alcohol altogether.
10/ Breathalysers: From 1 July 2012 it has been compulsory to carry self testing breathalyser kits in the car while driving in France. Two are advised in case one is used and a fine of 15 Euros will be issued after 1 November 2012.
11/ Speed: Be aware of the speed limits and the fact that police officers abroad can and will impose on the spot fines. The speed limits vary by country and even within a country they may vary in different conditions such as in wet weather or poor visibility. General speed limits can also be varied by local signage so keep your wits about you as you drive.
Speed limits are generally lower if you are towing, and may be lower if you have held a licence for less than 2 years.
Driving in much more open roads abroad can be a real joy, and a little thought and planning will make sure it stays that way.
Summary of the Key requirements:
If you plan to drive your own car on holiday this summer, its important to be aware of some old and some very new laws that will apply to you, to make your journey safe and enjoyable. There is little worse that falling foul of regulations you were not aware of that are enforced by zealous police officers.
Here is a simple guide to help;
- Check that your insurance policy covers you to drive abroad and include substitute drivers. It may be a statement of the obvious, but two aspects in particular need looking at. The first is the extension of the policy to cover you in the event that you have an accident that is your fault and the second is cover for car contents in the event your car is broken into. Cars bearing UK number plates are a target because there is a fair chance they contain something worth stealing, and insurers regard some parts of Europe as theft hotspots. So check with your insurer and make notes of what you are told and who by. Most insurers now deal with you through call centres so it’s important to have some record of what you were told should something go wrong. British insurance policies are obliged to provide third party cover in EU countries but unless arrangements have been specifically made you may well not have fully comprehensive cover, making repatriation of your car, for example, a very expensive exercise.
- Think about European breakdown cover and obtain it if needs be.
- It is compulsory to wear a seat belt front and rear. It is compulsory also for all children up to 10 years to travel in the back seat of a car and wear a seat belt or be strapped into a proper child seat. Only adults and children from 10 years may sit in the front passenger seat.
- Mobile telephones must not be used while driving except with a "hands-free" system. It’s the same rules as in the UK.
- While driving in France, it is compulsory to have your driving licence, car registration papers and insurance documents with you. Furthermore these must be the original, but take copies and keep them separate in case they get lost or stolen.
- You are required to carry not only a warning triangle in your car but also a fluorescent safety vest (one per passenger). More specifically, the safety vests must be carried inside the car and not in the boot. The theory is that if you break down in a dangerous place you should put your safety vest on before getting out of the car. If you fail to have these available, the standard fine is around 90 euros per item.
- Drinking and driving. Don’t do it. France has stricter drink drive laws than the UK. The level is 50 microgrammes rather than 80, and so two modest glasses of wine can put you over. The penalties can be severe too, ranging from a modest fine of 135 Euros for a reading of between 50 and 80 microgrammes to two years in prison and 4,500 Euros in fines for readings above. If you have an accident whilst over the limit the fines go up to 30,000 Euros, and even higher up to 150,000 euros in the event of injury or death. The reason is that France has historically had a huge death toll from drinking and driving and it now comes down very hard indeed on those who ignore the rules. Best just to avoid alcohol altogether
- From 1 July 2012 it will be compulsory to carry self testing breathalyser kits in the car. Two are advised in case one is used and 15 Euros fines will be issued after 1 November 2012.
- Radar speed detectors are illegal in France even when not in use and if caught the police can fine you 1,500 euros, have the detection equipment confiscated and even the car itself. From the 3 January 2012 satnavs giving out the position of speed cameras became illegal in France, so if in doubt may be best left at home.
- Be aware of the speed limits and the fact that police officers abroad can and will impose on the spot fines. Be aware also that speed limits are lower in wet weather. They are as follows:
- Motorway 130 km/h and 110 in the wet;
- Dual carriageway 110 km/h and 100 in the wet;
- Open road 90 km/h and 80 in the wet;
- Town 50 km/h
The limits are lower if you are towing, and also lower if you have held a licence for less than 2 years. For new drivers motorway speed comes down to 110 km/h, dual carriageway to 100 and open road to 80.
Driving in much more open roads abroad can be a real joy, and a little thought and planning will make sure it stays that way.
Transport Minister Mike Penning has published a consultation paper on changes to the treatment of penalties for careless driving and other motoring offences. This follows on from a number of commitments made by the Government in its Strategic Framework for Road Safety published in May 2011, and now has a feeling of “it’s going to happen”.
Making careless driving a Fixed Penalty offence is interesting, and will undoubtedly contribute helpfully to the removal from the court process of many trivial examples that take up disproportionate time, money and police resources. It will for example deal with the surprising number of trivial cases involving car park bumps that find their way into court. The proposed fixed penalty process will open the way to offer education and training as an alternative to court.
This move is in part driven by the perception that the current regime is overly bureaucratic. Someone is guilty of careless driving if their driving falls below the standard to be expected of a competent and careful driver, but with no option but to prosecute in court trivial cases become burdensome and a drain on resources. They require a disproportionate amount of paperwork and court time and the Government believes that many cases such as tailgating, braking suddenly, and inside overtaking are simply not pursued.
In many fixed penalty cases drivers are given a choice of whether to take training or pay a penalty or indeed go to court, and this could now extend to careless driving cases.
At the same time the Government is contemplating an increase in fixed penalties for a range of offences. Most have not increased since 2000 and an increase will deal with the perception that many road traffic offences are seen as trivial. Speeding penalties may accordingly increase to £90, as will mobile phone use and not using a seatbelt. Driving without insurance may increase to £300.
According to recently published statistics from the Home Office drivers waste up to £18 million a year in unnecessary fines because they fail to pay speeding tickets and other penalty notices on time. Whilst drivers in Wales are amongst the slowest in paying, those in Kent are almost the fastest with only 14% not paying on time.
The figures are surprising. Apparently one in three (32 per cent) of the 1.8million fixed penalty notices issued in 2010 were paid late. If a speeding ticket or other fixed penalty notice is not paid within 28 days, the fine increases by 50 per cent - meaning an initial £60 fine becomes £90.
Drivers in Wales were among the slowest in paying, with late payers accounting for more than half of the total in the Gwent (53 per cent) and South Wales (51 per cent) police regions.
Kent was pipped to the post only by Yorkshire at 13%.
The number of fixed penalty notices issued in 2010 fell by 10 per cent from 2009. Of those, just over half were speeding tickets.
The message to curb speed seems to be getting through. Statistics also tell us that the number of speeding fines issued in 2010 dropped for the fifth year running. A total of 986,000 were issued: a fall of more than half from the 2005 high of 1.98 million. The drop in the number of active speed cameras and more drivers taking part in awareness courses may well have contributed to the decline.
Late payment is not a good strategy. Late payers risk court involvement and significantly increased costs and fines. Each police force will approach the problem in its own way and some will extend the period for payment.
The figures show the following:
Worst at paying:
1 Gwent: 53 per cent
2 South Wales: 51 per cent
3 Dyfed-Powys: 41 per cent
4 Northamptonshire: 39 per cent
5 Dorset: 38 per cent
Fastest at paying:
1 North Yorkshire: 13 per cent
2 Kent: 14 per cent
3= Gloucestershire: 15 per cent
3= South Yorkshire: 15 per cent
3= Durham: 15 per cent
3= Cleveland: 15 per cent
Why pay more than you have to? If you are caught speeding it makes sense to pay on time - or if you want to dispute the offence make sure you act immediately and get advice on how best to make your case.
I have been participating in an online debate about the offence of using a mobile phone and it seems there is confusion and misinformation over what constitutes an offence, and what does not.
Courts view it seriously. Research suggests you are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50% slower than normal driving.
Police figures have illustrated that around 200,000 UK drivers are prosecuted for the offence annually, with more than 171,000 fixed penalty notices issued for the year ending October 2011, and an increase of 4,000 of the previous total recorded in 2006. An increase in the fixed penalty from £60 to between £80 and £100 is likely later this year.
A conviction can bite because it brings a fine, 3 points and a discretion to disqualify. The fine is much higher for drivers of goods vehicles and those adapted for carrying more than 8 passengers.
The exact legal position is that it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road if at the same time the driver is using:
- a hand held mobile phone
- a device which performs an "interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data"
A device is deemed to be a hand held one if at the time of its use it was being held. So if you have a hands free device in your hand, it is no longer hands free. A device performing interactive communication functions covers all smartphones whether being used to e mail, text or to photograph.
The same legislation also creates two other connected offences, namely causing or permitting a driver to use such a device, and supervising a learner whilst using such a device. You will cause or permit a driver to use a phone if for example you hold it to his ear as he drives. Employers may be open to prosecution if they require employees to make or receive calls whilst driving.
Offences committed whilst supervising a learner need no explanation.
So these are the three criminal offences connected with the use of a mobile device.
It's not an offence to cycle and use a hand held mobile phone. However it is possible to be prosecuted for careless or dangerous cycling.
A defence is available for emergency calls. The police officer usually asks the driver at the time he is stopped if he was making an emergency call.
The offence is committed when using such a device. It is not an offence to simply have a mobile in your hand, and I have read much misinformation about this. One mobile phone company I have been obtaining records from recently insists wrongly that simply to hold is an offence; it is not, and a prosecutor must introduce evidence of actual use. That usually comes from a police officer who saw the driver holding a phone and speaking. In serious cases involving accidents phone records can be obtained and can lead to an allegation of dangerous driving.
People sometimes ask if it’s permissible to use a mobile whilst stationary and the answer is that it depends on the circumstances.
The offence is using whilst driving and whether someone is “driving” in the context of many road traffic offences road traffic offences is quite widely defined. You do not need to be moving to be driving and so for example if you are stationary in traffic or in a jam, you are very likely to be “driving” and thereby commit an offence.
However, if it is obvious you have pulled over or are parked up and will not be moving, no offence is committed. This ought to be obvious to the police.
Defending such prosecutions is not straightforward. The prosecution must produce evidence of use, and seeing such cases in court one can be forgiven for thinking that the evidential burden is on the driver to prove he wasn’t using a mobile device. Most cases involve a police officer and a sighting of the driver speaking to a phone held to his ear, and such unchallenged evidence will be sufficient.
But officers do make mistakes. I hear drivers say they offered to show the phone to police who stopped them so the record can be seen there and then, and were met with a refusal. From what I can tell this seems quite common, although I don’t understand why. If records showing no telephone activity are produced in court this can all provide fertile cross examination material. The court only needs to conclude that the officer might have been mistaken and the driver is entitled to be acquitted.
And no, if you text someone while they are driving you do not commit an offence and you will not go to prison!
Police in Greater Manchester have taken the decision to abandon hundreds of cases against drivers because summonses were not issued in time and this may have implications for many similar cases.
It is worth being clear what a Section 172 notice is. It derives its name from Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and gives the police authority to require a registered keeper of a vehicle to state who was driving the vehicle on a particular date and time. They very commonly arrive after a vehicle has been photographed speeding.
The law requires the registered keeper to comply within 28 days, and if he does not an offence is committed. It carries 6 points on conviction, so can quickly get someone half way to 12 and disqualification, or worse all the way there.
If a registered keeper is to be prosecuted for failing to provide details of the driver, a summons must be issued within 6 months of the date of the offence. The person who fails to comply with the notice commits the offence on the expiration of the period of 28 days.
To take an example, the registered keeper of a vehicle photographed speeding by a speed camera on the 30 October 2011 at 10.30 in the morning might receive a notice under Section 172 on the 10 November 2011. It ought to arrive in 14 days of the offence, and it will give 28 days to provide the identity of the driver on that date and time. An offence is committed if by the 9 November the information has not been provided.
It is quite common for reminders or second requests to be sent out, and if this fails to produce the required information a summons will usually follow. So in my example a reminder might be sent out on the 10 November giving another 28 days to comply, expiring on the 8 December 2011. A reminder is not a requirement and one might not be sent.
If a summons is to be issued the law requires that to be done within 6 months of the offence, and in my example that would be the 9 May 2012, 6 months from the expiry of the first notice and not the reminder which would be 8 June 2012.
Summonses issued late are invalid, simple as that.. What sometimes happens is that the time for calculating the 6 months period is taken from the end of the reminder, and if it’s issued late in the 6 month period it risks being issued before the 8 June but after the 9 May.
Greater Manchester Police have apparently realised this and decided that summonses issued late because of the reminder process should be withdrawn as being invalid. It potentially opens up the possibility of wrongful convictions being looked at and may affect hundreds of drivers and registered keepers.
It emphasises the importance of carefully checking dates on court and other paperwork.
The Judge quoted from Sir Walter Scotts’ poem Marmion as he sentenced Francis Bridgeman, a London solicitor, to 12 months in prison for perverting the course of justice. Mr Bridgeman had attempted to avoid a drink drive conviction by creating an elaborate story to cover up the offence. He insisted that he was not driving his vehicle when it came off the road, but that he had been kidnapped by armed men in the car park of Wadhurst railway station. They had driven him off in his own vehicle and then dumped him off before crashing the his Range Rover into a telegraph pole.
Police found the vehicle in a ditch and at his home later he was found to be over the drink drive limit. When his DNA was found on the airbag the story began to unravel, leading to his conviction, imprisonment and what will inevitable be a ruined career.
Whilst exhibiting an unusual degree of fabrication, Mr Bridgeman has paid a high price for what far too many people see as a way out of driving offences: get someone else to take the points.
We learned earlier this month that the Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute a charge of perverting the course of justice against Chris Huhne and his former wife Vicky Pryce. According to reports they will appear in court for the first time on the 16 February. Mr Huhne intends to defend the prosecution proclaiming his innocence. It is not known how Ms Pryce will plead.
Whilst on this occasion the charge has been brought against two high profile individuals, the Courts have dealt with a number of such cases over recent years, and they have represented an increasing determination by the police to properly identify drivers who have committed road traffic offences. A charge of perverting the course of justice is dealt with only in the Crown Court and on conviction carries a prison sentence. The consequences are far more serious than a licence endorsement or even a disqualification, and yet it happens more often than people realise. It seems so easy to have a friend or family member “take the points”, but once you have started down that route it is very difficult to go back.
In September last year a Bournemouth man was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for perverting the course of justice after claiming he was not the driver of a vehicle that was caught speeding on four separate occasions.
And in January this year two men behind a nationwide scam to help drivers escape motoring convictions were jailed at
Offences that would have been dealt with by way of a small fine and points, or the opportunity to undertake a half-day Driver Awareness Course, have resulted in prison sentences and all the consequences that flow from that.
Lying to cover up a motoring offence might look a simple way out but it isn't.