Archive for November, 2010
Paul Trincas, a specialist in motoring litigation with lawyers, Charles Lucas & Marshall explains some of the delusions drivers labour under when it comes to motoring offences.
The British System of Penalty Points for contravention of Motoring Laws can have a significant impact on a driver’s life and employment, as well as their families and employers.
Very often I deal with cases where the offending driver has very little appreciation of the far reaching implications for them and others.
Many people still think they will only get three penalty points if they commit a speeding offence.
What they don’t often appreciate is that by committing such a basic offence, they are liable to have their licences endorsed, not with only three penalty points, but with points ranging between three and six penalty points.
The higher the speed attained, the higher the number of points likely to be endorsed.
So, for example, someone driving at say 55-60 mph in a 30mph zone, is likely to be liable to have five or possibly, the maximum, six penalty points endorsed on their licence.
Even worse, is that any offence that carries penalty points also carries discretionary disqualification as an alternative. Therefore, where the speed is significantly over the speed limit, the court can impose a period of disqualification instead of penalty points.
Accumulation of penalty points
Where people already have penalty points and commit subsequent motoring offences, once they attain 12 penalty points within the relevant three year period, then, by law, they must be disqualified from driving for a minimum period of six months.
In this scenario, the implications for the driver can be far reaching. Many people I see in this situation think they will be let off the hook if they argue they will lose their job if they are disqualified from driving for six months. This is NOT SO.
To avoid disqualification, the driver will have to establish “exceptional hardship.” While there is no formal legal definition of exceptional hardship, guidance and case law have evolved to explain what is required and it is a huge hurdle to avoid the mandatory six month period of disqualification. There have been cases where courts have held that even the loss of job is not sufficient.
Failure to Identify Driver
People do not realise that whenever they are served by the police with a request to identify the driver of a vehicle – usually in speed camera cases - if they fail to respond, this will result in a hefty six penalty points endorsed on their licence. This offence previously carried only three penalty points but this has now been increased to six.
If a driver already has 6 penalty points on their licence, perhaps for two previous low speeding offences, then they fall into the trap of being disqualified from driving for a minimum period of six months.
Motoring law is often viewed by drivers as a minor transgression. Yet breaking the law can have horrendous consequences and ruin people’s lives.
For further information contact Paul Trincas on 01635 521212 or email@example.com