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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Can you go to Prison for a Driving Offence?

Can you go to Prison for a Driving Offence?

You can’t be sent to prison for most minor driving offences. Some more serious offences may result in a prison sentence depending on the circumstances.

Which driving offences can result in prison?

Below is a brief list of driving offences which may result in immediate imprisonment. It is a rough guide only based on a first offence and does not take into account factors such as personal mitigation. All offences are different and just because prison is a possibility, it may not be inevitable.

Our driving offence solicitors can give bespoke advice about your offence and whether you are at risk of custody. If you are facing an imprisonable offence, we will do our utmost to persuade the court not to impose an immediate sentence.

Prison Most Likely 

Causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing death by careless driving.

Prison Likely

Dangerous driving, high-level drink driving with aggravating factors eg not a first offence or injury caused, failing to stop or report an accident where injury or serious damage is caused, high impairment drug driving with aggravating factors eg not a first offence or injury caused, driving while disqualified, failing to provide a specimen with aggravating factors eg not a first offence or injury caused.

Prison Possible

Drink driving with no aggravating factors, drunk in charge, failing to provide a specimen with no aggravating factors.

Prison Not Possible

Speeding, careless driving, contravening a traffic signal or red light, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, using a mobile phone while driving, driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

The above list is not exhaustive and is not a replacement for professional legal advice. If you are facing an offence that could result in a prison sentence, contact us today.

Can I go to prison for speeding?

As can be seen from the list above, the courts cannot send you to prison for a speeding offence alone. The maximum penalty for speeding is a fine and penalty points or a driving disqualification. The maximum fine depends on the type of road you were driving on and the level of your speed.

Maximum Penalties for Speeding

At present, the offence carries 3-6 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification and a financial penalty up to a maximum of £2,500 if the offence is committed on a motorway and the speed limit is 70mph). In other cases, the maximum fine is £1,000. The fine level itself will also depend on your income which you will have to declare to the court.

Other Penalties for Speeding

The court can’t impose a different sentence for speeding such as unpaid work or a curfew (also known a being on tag).

There is no power for the court to offer a speed awareness course for speeding.

Speeding is not the same as dangerous driving

In a legal sense, speeding isn’t automatically dangerous, but it may be careless. Dangerous driving is a far more serious offence for which you can go to prison.

If the police intend to charge you with dangerous driving instead of or in addition to speeding, they need to make this clear at an early stage. The prosecution cannot simply change the charge from speeding to dangerous driving when the matter comes to court.

It is a question of fact and degree whether the speed a vehicle is driven at is dangerous. The court can take into account factors such as road conditions, visibility, traffic level and other potential hazards.

Whether you are facing a minor or serious driving offence we can advise and help you so please do get in touch.

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Disqualified by the Courts Without Your Knowledge

Disqualified by the Courts Without Your Knowledge

Has a Magistrates’ Court made a mistake and banned you from driving? Do you need help to change the decision? Get in touch today.

We are experiencing a recent surge in the number of people learning they have been disqualified from driving without warning. As the courts try to catch up with the backlog of cases, errors are being made. These mistakes are having a huge impact on many people’s lives because they rely on their driving licence. Some are unable to work and support their families in the meantime.

The courts are under-resourced at the best of times, but the pandemic which resulted in court closures for around 3 months in March 2020 has exacerbated the situation. The number of cases waiting to be dealt with far exceeds the number of courts available to hear them. The courts are trying hard to catch up and many are now sitting on Saturdays. It’s not unusual to be sentenced for a speeding offence which occurred almost 2 years earlier!

We’re losing count of the number of clients who have only learned of their disqualification after it was imposed. Sometimes they learn of the ban while away from home in their vehicle. They then have to deal with resulting logistical difficulties such as how to get home, what to do with their car, how to pick up their children from school, how to work and pay their bills.

Driving while disqualified is a very serious offence for which you can go to prison. Nonetheless, we suggest that a great number of people are unknowingly committing this offence as a result of not being warned or told about a ban by the courts.

Why are the Courts Making Mistakes?

Some courts are coping with this increased pressure better than others. No doubt as a result of forced remote working, illness, the need to self isolate and subsequent need for inexperienced staff appear to be drafted in to assist, mistakes are soaring.

Emails requesting hearings are being misfiled by court staff, legal advisers are missing correspondence sent many months ago prior to the hearings being adjourned multiple times, changes of address are not being updated and inexperienced staff are not following or being trained in the correct procedures.

It is no one person’s fault, as most court staff we deal with try to be helpful and courteous, but they just can’t cope with the volume of cases at present.

Everyone – including the courts – will make a mistake from time to time, but it’s the slow speed at which they are rectified that is causing so many problems. Courts are offering dates for reopening or statutory declarations many months away, and in the meantime appear to expect people to accept that they cannot drive even though they may lose their livelihoods and possibly their family home in the meantime.

It would be helpful if the courts would recognise the impact to defendants in such cases and prioritise cases like these above other non-urgent matters.

What should you do if the court has disqualified you and you were not aware?

The procedure depends on why this has happened and what stage the proceedings have reached. The court should be able to advise you what to do, but we have seen plenty of cases where wrong advice has been given by well-meaning court staff.

Statutory Declarations – s.14 Magistrates Court Act 1980

If you were unaware of the proceedings and were convicted without your knowledge, you will not have had the opportunity to defend yourself or to put forward any mitigation. The way to remedy this situation is by making a statutory declaration.

A statutory declaration has the effect of voiding the previous proceedings and any related sentence eg. penalty points, disqualification and/or fines. Once the declaration has been made, the prosecution will usually begin again. In fact, you will usually be required to enter a plea at the same time as making the declaration.

s.142 Magistrates Court Act 1980

This gives the magistrates’ court the power to re-open cases to rectify mistakes. It also includes a wider power to vary or rescind a sentence or other order if it appears to be in the interests of justice to do so.

This can be used where a court hasn’t given the correct warning to a defendant or where for example, papers have been sent to the wrong address.

There are subtle but important differences between the two procedures and it is important that you use the correct one. Sometimes neither of these are suitable and the appropriate procedure is to appeal to the Crown Court.

We can advise you and help you if you are unsure so please give us a call or drop us an email.

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Rogue Red Traffic Light Camera Strikes Again

Rogue Red Traffic Light Camera Strikes Again

Five red light camera offences dropped

Five alleged red light offences from a camera in Nottingham have now been halted as a result of wrong information being recorded on the Notice of Intended Prosecution.

The camera in question, located near Colwick in Nottingham, appears to have a life of its own. So far, it has recorded incorrect times on several notices suggesting that vehicles were in places that they could not possibly have been at the time of the alleged offences.

Fortunately, the recipients of those notices recognised that the information could not possibly be correct and sought legal advice from us.

In all cases, the police decided to take no further action.

But how many other people have been caught by this camera and have received penalty points for an offence they did not commit?

Red Traffic Light Offence Requirements

In these cases, a Notice of Intended Prosecution must be sent to the registered keeper or driver so that it is received within 14 days of the offence. There are exceptions to this which include:

  • if the driver was stopped at the time, or,
  • if there was an accident.

Along with the Notice, there is usually a request for driver details. S.172 Road Traffic Act 1988 requires any person who receives a request to provide the information they have in their power which could lead to the identification of the driver. Failure to comply with the request typically results in 6 penalty points but may result in a discretionary ban.

But what if you don’t think the vehicle was there?

Unless you have clear evidence that it was elsewhere, this can put you in a difficult position. On some of the five cases we have dealt with, the driver could provide evidence from a vehicle tracker and/or tachograph data to show that the vehicle was stationary or not at the location suggested. To their credit, upon receipt of this evidence, the police promptly dropped the cases.

If like most of us, you don’t have the benefit of a tracker fitted to your vehicle, it can be more difficult to challenge. Or, you may not even recall where you were at the time on the notice, so will assume that the details are correct.

Notices of Intended Prosecution are official documents which are there to warn of the intention to prosecute you of an offence. It follows that they should be fundamentally correct and if they aren’t, it may be a bar to prosecution.

It’s a Notice from the police so it must be right surely?

Well no, the police and their systems are not infallible.

The Notices are sent on behalf of the police, so people quite correctly take them seriously. If you receive a Notice, you may assume the contents have been verified and are correct. Therefore if you are the registered keeper and you receive a Notice, you may well identify yourself as the driver without giving much thought to whether you were at that location at the time given.

Have you received points for an offence you didn’t commit?

Of course, we don’t know how many people have been wrongly convicted. Are you one of those people who has accepted a fixed penalty or received a Single Justice Procedure Notice as a result of a red traffic light?

It’s highly likely that at some point, someone will be banned from driving as a result of this camera. This could be because of totting up points, or because the notice states that the vehicle passed the lights several seconds after it changed to red. One of our cases suggested the vehicle passed the traffic light more than 29 seconds after it changed to red. If this had reached court and gone unchallenged, the driver would have been at serious risk of a discretionary ban.

Some drivers may have been banned for six months as a result of totting up.

Get in touch if you think you have been erroneously ‘caught’ by a red light camera and would like some advice.

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Driving Bans & Penalty Points and How to Avoid Them

Driving Bans & Penalty Points and How to Avoid Them

Driving Bans & Penalty Points and How to Avoid Them

PLEADING GUILTY & AVOIDING A DRIVING BAN

It is possible to plead guilty to a motoring offence and avoid a ban or points. 

Most people know that if you successfully defend a motoring offence, you:

  • Will avoid a penalty ie. you will not receive penalty points, disqualification or a financial penalty.
  • May be able to apply for reimbursement of some of your legal fees.

However, few people are aware of the other ways which you can legitimately use to avoid a ban or penalty points. 

Some motoring offences such as drink driving carry mandatory driving bans or penalty points upon conviction. These offences require the court to impose penalty points for a period of disqualification, even if they are sympathetic with your position.

EXAMPLES OF ARGUMENTS WHICH CAN AVOID A BAN OR PENALTY POINTS

Exceptional Hardship – used by those accumulating 12 or more points on their licence within three years to prevent the usual mandatory disqualification. You cannot use exceptional hardship to avoid a ban for offences which carry a mandatory disqualification themselves, such as drink driving, dangerous driving or drug driving.

Special Reasons – can be used with most motoring offences to avoid penalty points or a ban. There is no exhaustive list of special reasons, but examples can be found in previous court decisions. The likely success of a special reasons argument will depend on the facts of the case and the nature of the offence. 

Discretionary Ban – often used by new drivers facing the revocation of their licence as a result of reaching six or more points within the first two years of passing their test. Can sometimes be used by those wishing to avoid totting up ban which is usually longer than a discretionary ban.

If you are considering any of the above, get advice from us today.

PENALTY POINTS – AN OVERVIEW

For many drivers facing a driving offence or motoring allegation, the threat of receiving penalty points is far worse than any financial penalty they will face. It means:

  • they’re a step closer to disqualification, 
  • an increase in their insurance premiums.

Whether you’re likely to receive penalty points will depend on the driving offence and of course whether or not you have a good defence or special reasons argument.

The minimum and maximum penalties for a given driving offence are set out in legislation.

The Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines assist courts in deciding what penalty to impose.

The Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines deal with the most common road traffic offences. These Guidelines are only for use in the Magistrates’ Court, not the Crown Court.

The court must have regard to these guidelines when sentencing, but are also bound to follow decisions of the higher courts, e.g. the Court of Appeal & the Supreme Court.

WHAT IS A DISCRETIONARY BAN?

discretionary ban.

Most low-level motoring offences carry penalty points. However, the court also has the discretion to impose a period of disqualification if it sees fit. This disqualification is an alternative to penalty points, rather than in addition to it. 

NEW DRIVERS

Ordinarily, a disqualification is seen a more severe punishment than penalty points. However, there are occasions when a short period of disqualification is preferable to points. For example, if you are a new driver who is facing 6 points for driving without insurance, you may prefer a ban to avoid DVLA revoking your licence.

The decision to impose a ban rather than points is entirely at the court’s discretion; it is not your choice. You must put forward an argument to convince the court that it should exercise its discretion. You are effectively asking the court to go against the new driver legislation, so you must prepare your argument carefully. 

12 POINT TOTTING BANS

A discretionary disqualification may be used is to avoid a ‘totting up’ ban. The courts may be more reluctant to impose a discretionary ban in these circumstances, but we have been able to persuade them on multiple occasions. 

DRIVING BAN & PENALTY POINTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Which offences carry discretionary qualification?

High-level speeding offences may result in a discretionary ban.

However, the court may impose a discretionary ban for most driving offences.

Section 34 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides that where a person is convicted of an offence involving discretionary disqualification, and either—

  • (a) the penalty points to be taken into account on that occasion number fewer than 12, or
  • (b) the offence is not one involving obligatory endorsement,

the court may order him to be disqualified for such period as the court thinks fit.

This effectively means that all offences which usually carry penalty points can theoretically carry a discretionary driving ban. If the court thinks it is so serious that the usual penalty points would not be appropriate, it can exercise its discretion and impose a disqualification.

There is no maximum period of disqualification. Theoretically, the minimum period is one day, but it would be unusual for a court to impose a period shorter than 7 days.

For example, it is possible to receive a disqualification for driving through a red traffic light. This would usually only be considered where the vehicle passed through the red light more than a couple of seconds after the lights changed. Ordinarily, the penalty would be 3 points and a fine.

Which offences carry obligatory qualification?

Some of the more serious offences carry obligatory disqualification. These include:

The minimum period of disqualification for some offences is 12 months.

For certain offences such as causing death or serious injury by dangerous driving, the minimum period is 2 years. Certain offences require the driver to pass an extended driving re-test before they can be granted a full driving licence.

How does exceptional hardship avoid a ban?

Accumulating 12 points or more is commonly known as ‘totting up’. There is more information on our Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification page and our Exceptional Hardship page.

A driving ban as a result of reaching twelve or more points is supposed to cost money, and cause inconvenience. After all, it is meant to be a punishment. Therefore the court will only find exceptional hardship when the consequences are something ‘out of the ordinary’.

Loss of a job is not usually enough in itself, but the consequences of losing your livelihood and the roof over your head is a different matter.

Exceptional hardship does not need to be financial. It can exist if there will be a substantial impact on mental health or if it impacts in other ways. Courts are obliged to take into account the impact on others and should have more sympathy when there is to be an impact on innocent third parties.  

Courts need a certain level of detail if they are to make a favourable decision. It is not advisable to attend court without documentary evidence of some sort. Courts are aware that no-one wants to lose their licence and can be sceptical if claims are not backed up somehow. We can advise you of the evidence that you need to take with you to satisfy the court of your argument. Please get in touch for initial advice on 0115 784 0382 

How do special reasons avoid a driving ban?

A special reason Is not a defence. To put it simply, it is similar to saying “I am guilty, but there is such a good reason for me committing this offence, that the court ought to take account of it when sentencing.”

It is a high threshold to meet, and it is rarely enough just to say that you did not know you were committing an offence. Whether circumstances will amount to special reasons will depend partially on what is alleged. The more serious the allegation, the more persuasive the special reason must be to succeed.

If the court does find special reasons, it then has the discretion to move away from the usual mandatory penalty. The penalties available to the court will depend upon the offence. 

Most frequently, special reasons are used in cases involving driving without insurance, drink-driving and speeding, but they can be used with many driving offences.

The leading case of R V Wickens 1958 lists criteria for circumstances to amount to a special reason:

To amount to a special reason, a matter must:

  1. be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
  2. not amount to a defence to the charge;
  3. be directly connected with the commission of the offence; and
  4. be one which the Court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing sentence.

For more information, please see our page about special reasons

How do I appeal a driving ban?

If you want to appeal a decision of the Magistrates’ Court, this will be to the Crown Court. 

The notice of appeal must be lodged with the Magistrates’ Court that made the original decision. Although you effectively get a new hearing of your case, the Crown Court is slow to interfere with Magistrates’ decisions unless they are wrong.

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES

If you are unsuccessful, the court can order you to pay costs. For this reason, you must seek advice well before the appeal hearing. You can choose to abandon your appeal if the advice is not favourable. Provided you do this in plenty of time before the hearing date, it is unlikely the court will order costs.

DISQUALIFICATIONS PENDING APPEAL

If you have been banned from driving, the disqualification will not be lifted automatically when you lodge your appeal. You will usually need to make a separate application to the Magistrates’ Court.

It is best to submit your appeal notice at court immediately after the court has made its decision. As soon as you have done this, you can ask the court to lift the ban pending your appeal. If you do not do this immediately, it can take weeks or even longer before the court will hear your application. It is therefore advisable to do this on the same day as the original decision. 

APPEAL DEADLINE

Please be aware that there is a 21-day deadline for appealing to the Crown Court from the Magistrates’ Court, so you need to take advice as soon as possible. Downloadable court forms can be found here. Please be aware that appeals to the Crown Court must be sent to the Magistrates’ Court and the prosecuting authority involved. 

See more about appeals here.

Can I ask for a bigger fine to avoid penalty points or a ban?

The law provides that points are mandatory for many offences upon conviction.

There’s no provision enabling the court to order you to pay a greater fine to avoid points. However, where the number of points imposed may vary, with careful mitigation, it may be possible to persuade the court to stick to the lower end of the penalty points scale and impose a larger fine.

How long are penalty points valid for?

It depends what they are for, but as a general rule:

They are valid for the courts’ purposes ie. ‘totting up’ for 3 years from the date of the offence;
They are usually valid for insurance purposes for 5 years.
These time limits do not apply to certain offences such as drink driving & drunk in charge etc. See the section below on “when can I have my endorsements removed” for more detail.

How can I get endorsements removed from my licence?

It depends on whether the endorsement is penalty points or a driving ban:

(a) if you were disqualified,  (subject to (d) below),

you must wait four years from the date of conviction. In practice, this covers the majority of offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone etc. where points are imposed instead of disqualification;

(b) if you were not disqualified, you must wait until either:

four years have elapsed since the commission of the offence or, an order of disqualification under the totting up rules is made;

(c) if you were convicted of:

Causing death by dangerous driving or
Dangerous driving,
the endorsement must stay on your licence until four years have elapsed since the conviction; and

(d) if you were convicted of:

  • causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, or
  • driving or attempting to drive while unfit or
  • driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol, or
  • refusing to provide evidential specimens of breath, blood or urine while driving or attempting to drive or
  • failing to allow a specimen to be subjected to a laboratory test,

Then the endorsement will remain until 11 years have elapsed after the conviction. (The period of 11 years applies to any conviction for these offences even if a disqualification was not imposed for “special reasons”).

If you’re unsure about whether or not an endorsement is still ‘relevant’, get in touch and we’ll advise you.

Can I go on a driver awareness courses to avoid points?

The offer of a course is discretionary and usually, to be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • you admit to being the driver of the vehicle and this is received by the police within 42 days of the date of the offence;
  • you haven’t attended a Speed Awareness course for that type of offence (eg. careless driving, speeding, driving through a red light) within the last three years
  • If it is a speeding offence, the speed you were travelling at the time of the offence must fall within the acceptable speed range (Speed limit + 10% + 9mph). For example, in a 30 mph limit – you could attend a course up to 42mph inclusive.
  • If it is a red light offence, the time past the red lights must not exceed three seconds.
  • There are no specific criteria for careless driving, so your eligibility will depend on the nature of the offence and possibly the level of injury/damage caused. If you successfully complete the course, you will avoid penalty points. However, you should be aware that the offer of a course cannot currently be made by a court (although there is legislation pending which, if enacted will make this a possibility). Therefore if you want to accept the offer, you must do so promptly.

Unless you did not commit the offence, it’s almost always worth accepting such an offer as it will be cheaper and less stressful than defending an allegation in court.

How do I find out what an endorsement code on my driving licence is?

Below is the official list of codes for various types of driving offences. If you are convicted of an offence, the relevant code will show on the paper counterpart of your licence.

The tables below also show the penalty points which may be imposed for each offence. However, you should be aware that some of the offences carry discretionary or mandatory disqualification depending on the offence, the state of your licence, and the length of time you’ve been driving. Also, some of the most serious offences (such as dangerous driving, and offences which result in the death of another) carry possible imprisonment, so the table mustn’t be relied upon in isolation. This table is provided to provide a point of reference for those drivers who already have points on their licence, but are not certain what the codes relate to.

CODES LIST

CodeOffencePenalty Points
AC10Failing to stop after an accident5-10
AC20Failing to give particulars or report an accident as soon as practicable and within 24 hours5-10
AC30Undefined accident offences4-9

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
BA10Driving while disqualified6 (min)
BA30Attempting to drive while disqualified6 (min)
BA40Causing death by driving while disqualified3-11
BA60Causing serious injury by driving while disqualified3-11

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
CD10Driving without due care and attention3-9
CD20Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users3-9
CD30Driving without due & attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users3-9
CD40Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink3-11
CD50Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drugs3-11
CD60Causing death by careless driving with alcohol level about the limit3-11
CD70Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis3-11
CD80Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate driving3-11
CD90Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
CU10Using a vehicle with defective brakes3
CU20Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of the use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition3
CU30Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s)3
CU40Using a vehicle with defective steering3
CU50Causing or likely to cause danger because of load or passengers3
CU80Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, eg. using a mobile phone or hand-held device whilst driving6

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
DD10Causing serious injury by dangerous driving3-11
DD40Dangerous driving3-11
DD60Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle3-11
DD80Causing death by dangerous driving3-11
DD90Furious driving3-9

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
DR10Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit3-11
DR20Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink3-11
DR30Driving or attempting to drive then failing to provide a specimen for analysis3-11
DR31Driving or attempting to drive then refusing to permit analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity3-11
DR61Refusing to permit analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 
CodeOffencePenalty Points
DR40In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit10
DR50In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink10
DR60Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive10
DR70Failing to provide a specimen for a breath test4

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
DG10Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit3-11
DG60Causing death by careless driving with drug level above the limit3-11
DR80Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs3-11
DG40In charge of a vehicle while drug level above the specified limit10
DR90In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
IN10Using an uninsured vehicle6-8

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
LC20Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence3-6
LC30Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence3-6
LC40Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability3-6
LC50Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused on medical grounds 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
MS10Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position3
MS20Unlawful pillion riding3
MS30Play street offences2
MS50Motor racing on the highway3-11
MS60Offences not covered by other codes (including offences relating to a breach of requirements as to control of a vehicle)3
MS70Driving with uncorrected eyesight3
MS80Refusing to submit to an eye test3
MS90Failure to give information as to the identity of a driver 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
PC10Undefined contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations3
PC20Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with a moving vehicle3
PC30Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with a stationary vehicle3

 

 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
SP10Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits3-6
SP20Exceeding the speed limit for the type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles)3-6
SP30Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road3-6
SP40Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit3-6
SP50Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway3-6

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
TS10Failing to comply with traffic light signals3
TS20Failing to comply with double white lines3
TS30Failing to comply with a stop sign3
TS40Failing to comply with the direction of a constable/warden3
TS50Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding stop signs, traffic lights or double white lines)3
TS60Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign3
TS70Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign 

 

CodeOffencePenalty Points
TT99Reflects that the licence holder has reached 12 or more points within 3 years and has been disqualifiedn/a
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Totting Up Penalty Points – Is a six Month Driving Ban a Proportionate Response?

Totting Up Penalty Points – Is a six Month Driving Ban a Proportionate Response?

TOTTING UP PENALTY POINTS: IS A SIX-MONTH DRIVING BAN STILL A PROPORTIONATE RESPONSE?

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.

A recent consultation (which appears to have been circulated among magistrates) reiterates that “loss of employment will not in itself necessarily amount to exceptional hardship”.  This is trite law for motoring solicitors, but in recent times it appears that the goalposts have moved further down the field. The number of times I have heard the chairman of the bench announce that “loss of a job is not exceptional hardship” completely missing the “not necessarily” part out of the equation, is too many to count.

It used to be the case that where a person had spent time building up a career, investing many years study, graft and money, the loss of this career could, of itself amount to exceptional hardship. Recently the courts have been far less willing to accept this as an argument, preferring instead to stick rigidly to a formula which appears to require the defendant to demonstrate that he would lose literally everything before exceptional hardship is found.

While I do not condone the commission of speeding, or any motoring offence, it must be remembered that a six-month ban can ruin people’s lives. For someone driving multiples of the average person’s annual mileage, it is far easier to accumulate points while still being a generally safe driver.

One thing I have just found out through searching online is that when the current legislation on totting up, namely the Road Traffic Act 1988, was enacted in 1989, there were no static speed cameras! The only way of enforcing speed limits was by using laser speed guns. The first speed cameras were not installed until 1991! How much easier it must have been to avoid totting up.

I saw the following anonymous quote on the Justice of the Peace Blog and, although it is old, I think it sums it up perfectly:

“As a serving Magistrate, we should be seeking to do justice and not applying rules in a tick box fashion. People get points on their licences for all sorts of different offences and for reasons that do not always put others at risk. Again there is a huge difference between someone losing their licence in a city environment where there is plenty of public transport and those who might be at risk of losing their licence in a rural community where there is little or, in some cases, no public transport whatsoever. A degree of proportionality should also be considered. Depending on the offences, is losing your licence and your job and also possibly your home proportional to the offences committed? Finally, might offenders behaviour be modified by the fact that those who are successful in pleading exceptional circumstances are then driving around with 12 or more points on their licence in the knowledge that they cannot use the same reasons again and that any offence of any kind will almost certainly result in the loss of their licence. Might this be a better contribution towards road safety than potentially ruining someone’s life.”

I encourage more magistrates to adopt this way of thinking.

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