Driver Avoids Totting Ban for a Second Time

Driver Avoids Totting Ban for a Second Time

A driver who had been disqualified for 6 months in the magistrates’ court after a second ‘totting up’ offence instructed us to help with an appeal. He had already successfully argued exceptional hardship around 18 months ago but had since committed a further driving offence.

Lucy Whitaker represented him in the Crown Court arguing that there were new grounds for the court to find exceptional hardship. Only if the court found that there were new circumstances could it consider an exceptional hardship argument.

The prosecutor opposed the argument that the grounds put forward were new. He stated that they had already been considered by the court on the last occasion and could not be taken into account by the court. The court disagreed and accepted our new argument.

After a lengthy hearing, the Judge and two magistrates agreed that exceptional hardship would be caused to the defendant’s grandmother. They, therefore, allowed the appeal and did not disqualify our client.

It is usually a difficult task getting a court to accept a second exceptional hardship argument within 3 years. It can be even more tricky in the crown court where the setting is very formal and rules are more strictly adhered to. Needless to say, our client was delighted that Lucy managed to save his driving licence.




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No Penalty Points for Driving Without Insurance

No Penalty Points for Driving Without Insurance

Driver avoids penalty points for driving without insurance using special reasons

We recently represented a driver who was caught driving without insurance because his policy had not been renewed. 

He had difficulties reading and writing and had relied on his mother to help him with emails and letters. When the letter arrived from the insurers informing him of the increase in premiums for the following year, his mother did not read it all. Unfortunately, she did not see the wording which asked the policyholder to take action if they wanted to renew it. 

Although the driver could not argue with the fact that he had been driving while uninsured, we could explain the circumstances to the court. This involved a hearing with family members giving evidence. After hearing all of the evidence, the court agreed that special reasons existed not to endorse his licence. The court accepted that he had relied on a person in a position of authority and that reliance was reasonable. It would be unfair to put points on his licence when he had no way of knowing that the policy had lapsed. 

Note: Driving without insurance usually carries 6-8 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification. 

If you have been charged with driving without insurance and require legal support, please contact us today.


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Company Not Guilty of Failing to Give Driver Details

Company Not Guilty of Failing to Give Driver Details

Our company client was acquitted of failing to give driver details after a trial in the Magistrates’ Court this week. One of its vehicles had been allegedly caught speeding and a request for driver details and notice of intended prosecution was sent out by the police.

The company did not receive either the notice or the reminder and could not respond to them. The prosecution insisted on proceeding to a trial despite the company giving other examples of mail having gone astray.

Lawyer Lucy Whitaker represented the company at the trial where an employee of the company gave evidence about the systems in place for dealing with mail. He told the court about the severe disruption to their mail resulting from the pandemic. Mail had had to be collected from the sorting office on numerous occasions and letters from banks and other organisations had never reached them.

The prosecution urged the court to convict on the basis that there was no written evidence of a complaint to Royal Mail or of any other mail going missing. Despite this, the magistrates confirmed that they were in no doubt that the requests for driver details had not been received and that if they had been, the company would have responded.

The company was found not guilty and accordingly no penalty imposed.


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The UK Rules on Electric Scooters

The UK Rules on Electric Scooters

Where can you ride an electric scooter?

Electric Scooters are classed as motor vehicles for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means that you require insurance to ride them on the road or in a public place. If you don’t have insurance, you will be committing an offence of using a motor vehicle without insurance.

The requirement to hold insurance applies whether you are riding on the road or other public place – which includes on the pavement.

The problem is that adequate insurance is not available for privately owned e-scooters.  The councils across the country which are trialling the use of hired electric scooters do provide insurance. This means that it is permitted to ride the scooters involved in those trials, provided you do so within the rules.

It is the lack of insurance available that makes riding a privately owned scooter illegal. If you are caught riding them on a road or public place without insurance, you face a minimum of 6 penalty points on your driving licence.

How can riding an electric scooter affect my driving licence?

Because an e-scooter is classed as a motor vehicle, you can receive penalty points for offences just as you can if you are driving a car or motorbike. You can also be disqualified from driving if you are, for example, caught drink driving (or drink riding) on an e-scooter.

This may seem unfair but it is becoming increasingly more common. We have represented scooter riders facing no insurance offences and drink driving offences.

What if I don’t have a driving licence?

Even if you don’t have a licence, you can receive penalty points or be disqualified. DVLA will create a record for you and any convictions will be endorsed on that record. Many council schemes require you to hold at least a provisional licence before hiring a scooter.

What about e-bikes?

These are treated differently from e-scooters because there is legislation that exempts them as motor vehicles. You are therefore not required to hold insurance to ride them. The existence of working pedals to drive them forward is what makes them different.

Can you ride an electric scooter on the pavement?

No, they should be ridden on the road. The same goes for bikes, whether electric or not. Whether the police will enforce this rule is a different matter.


E Scooters no longer illegal

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5 Day Totting Ban Wipes Points from Licence

5 Day Totting Ban Wipes Points from Licence

We represented a driver facing with 6 points already on his licence. He faced two further charges of failing to provide driver details. Each offence carries 6 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification. The court will usually impose penalty points where a driver is facing a totting up ban for reaching 12 or more points.

Unfortunately, our client had forgotten to update his DVLA logbook resulting in requests for driver information being sent to an old address. He was not the driver of the vehicle involved in the original speeding offences but had no defence to the offences of failing to give driver details. The police would not drop the offences so in these circumstances, we advised him to plead guilty.

The court imposed 6 points for each offence taking him to a total of 18 penalty points. However, we successfully argued exceptional hardship to avoid the usual 6-month ban.

The court imposed a shorter totting ban of 5 days! This meant that our client’s penalty points would be wiped from his licence after serving this short ban.

It is relatively uncommon for the courts to impose a totting ban shorter than 6 months so this was an exceptionally good result with which our client was delighted!



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