New Drivers should be aware that their licence will be revoked if they get 6 or more points within 2 years of passing their test.
Points on your provisional licence
Any penalty points on your provisional licence that haven’t expired will be carried over to your full licence when you pass your test. However, your licence will be revoked if you get any further penalty points that take you up to a total of 6 or more within 2 years of passing your driving test.
If your licence is revoked within 2 years
You’ll have to apply and pay for a new provisional licence and pass both theory and practical parts of the driving or riding test again to get a full licence.
A9 Speed Camera Protest from Lorry Drivers
The A9 may soon become an even bigger nightmare to travel on when HGV drivers implement the planned protest to drive “Within the speed limit”. It was reported in the Glasgow Herald today that lorry drivers are preparing to stage an imminent protest on the A9 over plans to introduce average speed cameras without increasing the speed limit for HGVs.
The drivers presently claim that they will not deliberately establish convoys, but the application of some common sense tells us that this will be what will happen. The protest is the type of thing that we have seen before in France where farmers have used this method to disrupt transport links with a ”Rolling Roadblock Protest”. In France the protesters have set out to disrupt but here there seems to be a genuine desire to free up the roads and make them safer at on of the busiest times of year for road hauliers.
The current limit restricts vehicles above 7.5 tonnes to 40mph, which is 20mph slower than cars on A-class single carriageway roads. However, vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes, buses and coaches, motor homes over 3.05 tonnes and cars pulling caravans can all legally travel at 50mph.
Hopefully the police and Scottish Government can act fast to reduce danger and save lives on a road renowned for driver frustration and the consequential accidents .
Google Glass- Careless Driving in Scotland?
The first person in the world to receive a traffic ticket for wearing Google glass was a woman in California. Will users of the new technology face similar action in the UK? Road traffic law specialist Graham Walker explains.
With Google Glass coming soon to our shores I wonder how soon it will be before our legislature “lead the way” in penalising any motorist who has the audacity to wear them and drive at the same time. Will it be the latest Fixed penalty offence for motorists to stump up for?
Google Glass hasn’t yet arrived but you can bet your last Fixed Penalty dollar that politicians have their eyes on the extra revenue that could be gathered with a fixed penalty for driving whilst wearing your Google Glass.
The law at present could easily be utilised to stop motorists from driving whilst accessing data from their Google Glass but it wouIdn’t quite fit the bill as well as a custom designed Fixed Penalty type offence.
At present, if a police officer considers that your driving “falls below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver” then you can expect to be charged with s3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 , Careless driving and face 3-9 penalty points, a fine and a possible discretionary driving ban. You might expect to be charged with this if you enjoy putting on your make up as you drive to work or finishing off your breakfast as you endure your daily commute to the office however, will using Google Glass put you in that category?
Currently it is a specific offence to use a mobile phone whilst driving and this carries a 3 penalty point endorsement and a fine of £100. Common sense tells us all how careless this type of behaviour is and most welcome the fact that drivers are prosecuted for the blatant disregard of pedestrians and other road users, but can the same be said about Google Glass?
As a road traffic defence lawyer I would expect to defend such a case on the basis that it may well assist safe driving, reduce dangers and could be seen as a distinct driver benefit. There is no need to take your eyes off the road when consulting the satnav. It would seem impossible for the Crown to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of Google Glass made the driving fall beneath the required standard of a careful and competent driver.
However since Google Glass will deliver much more than SatNav information it is obvious that the use of such a device could make driving unsafe if not downright dangerous. With access to the internet and the myriad of distracting information available we might see drivers updating their Facebook page or Tweeting out their latest TV ratings and how would anyone ever demonstrate otherwise?
After all, Fighter pilots have Heads Up Displays with information scrolling across their line of sight at 600mph so why not the average motorist at 30mph?
More Speed Cops will be deployed around Scotland from today with the announcement that their numbers will be increased by a staff who will work for free. No wages, no National Insurance No Tax and they will be willing to stand in the wind and rain for hours to slow down Scotland’s errant drivers.
Great idea but does it represent good value for money at £1000 per model cop?
The Speed cops concerned will be life sized cardboard cut outs similar to what was used to great effect in Canada back in the 80′s. Superb idea but why on earth will it cost us £1,000 a throw for these things? We could buy life size plastic mannequins for that sort of money!
In Canada the police bought a whole bundle of these from a local sign shop and went around attaching them to poles and posts in the street where they were trying to reduce a “Rat run” of speeding drivers. The drivers never knew when a real police man would pop out from behind one of these posts so the effect was tremendously successful.
In Vancouver the Head of police commented about the value for money ”We got the city sign shop to put them together, so it’s really only the cost of the plastic,” he said, adding the cardboard is covered in rainproof plastic, so any graffiti just wipes off. One would expect the canny Scots policeman to be a bit more careful with our tax pounds
The AA expressed concern that drivers will become inured to them and may just ignore their presence but if used in the same way that they were in Canada one could reasonably expect that they would very successful in slowing down drivers.
I recall watching a documentary about how an illusionist was used during the second world war to design and build plywood cut outs of tanks and other vehicles to look 3d and fool enemy artillery into targeting it whilst the real tanks and crew attacked from another line.
It always seemed to me to be a fantastic way to slow down drivers on the motorway if such a 3d Police car were to be sitting on the occasional overbridge but I wonder if Kenny McAskill will not only do away with corroboration in Scotland but have cardboard cut out cops providing all the evidence that might be needed in a speeding case!
It is only a matter of time before Member States adopt Mutual Recognition
Driving abroad when banned in Scotland ”Banned in Scotland”
We are often asked about the effect of a driving ban in the UK, particularly by motorists who are about to go abroad on a holiday and they want to hire a car when they have just been banned in Scotland.The answer is that you often can hire a car but usually the hire company will want to see your driving licence and since that has been sent to DVLA it may be an insurmountable hurdle for you to climb. However where you have a copy of your licence it is possible that you will be able to hire a car but you MUST disclose to the hire company that you have been disqualified from driving in your own country as this will undoubtedly have an adverse effect upon your insurance.
With effect from 28 January 2010 mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland came into force. This was done under the framework of the European Convention on Driving Disqualifications of 17 June 1998 (“the Convention “).
The purpose of the Convention is to prevent drivers disqualified from driving in a Member State of the European Union (EU), other than their own, from escaping the consequences when they return home. Although the Convention enters into force only when all signatory Member States have adopted it, it allows Member States to apply its terms early. The Governments of the UK and Ireland have exercised this option, enabling mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between their respective jurisdictions.
The primary legislation to give effect to the Convention in the UK was introduced through the Crime (International Cooperation) Act 2003 (CICA) and Regulations to bring the agreement into law in Great Britain (GB) were laid before the House on 25 November 2008, with similar Regulations being laid in Northern Ireland (NI).
If a driver resident in the UK is disqualified from driving in Ireland, the disqualification will also apply in the UK. The driver will be informed of any remaining period of disqualification due to be served in the UK; the driving licence must be surrendered until the disqualification period has been served in full and it will be an offence to drive in the UK during that period.
Likewise, if a driver resident in Ireland is disqualified in the UK, the disqualification will also be applied in Ireland by the Irish authorities.
Application of the arrangements in the UK
If Ireland disqualifies a driver resident in the UK, and if the driver has been given an adequate opportunity to defend himself within the laws of Ireland, the UK will impose the disqualification here.
The offence must have resulted from conduct defined in the Convention. The arrangements cover 6 categories of driver behaviour or conduct:
1. Dangerous driving;
2. Hit and run driving;
3. Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol/drugs (and refusal to submit to a test);
5. Driving whilst disqualified;
6. Other road traffic offences resulting in a disqualification period of 6 months or more.
Conduct which gives rise to the disqualification may be covered by the Convention and therefore by the arrangements, even if the offence committed is not an offence in the UK.
Disqualifications as a result of accumulating penalty points (“totting up”) are not included in the arrangements, for the time being, as this gives rise to additional complications and would require further primary legislation.
In Great Britain, the driver will be notified by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and in Northern Ireland by the DVA (NI) , that the disqualification has been recognised and of the period of disqualification due to be served in the UK.
The UK will not recognise a disqualification imposed by Ireland unless the right of appeal has already been exhausted in Ireland.
The driver has a right of appeal in the UK against the disqualification being imposed in the UK, through the magistrates’ courts in England and Wales, the court of summary jurisdiction in Northern Ireland and through Sheriff Courts in Scotland. The original reasons for the disqualification cannot be reopened, since the opportunity to appeal should have already been exercised or exhausted in Ireland. However, there may be limited grounds, for a further UK appeal, if the driver believes the circumstances set out in section 56 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 (CICA) do not apply, for example, if the driver had not been notified of the proceedings in Ireland.
Any period of the disqualification already served in Ireland will be taken into account.
Corresponding conditions imposed
When an Irish Court imposes a disqualification with a “re-test” condition before the disqualification period is lifted, the UK will similarly require the driver to re-sit their driving test and apply a “re-test” condition here. It is rare for the Irish Courts to impose any other conditions, but if they did, then the UK will only impose the disqualification period without any conditions.
Irish residents who commit driving offences in the UK
The DVLA will notify the Irish authorities of anyone resident in Ireland, regardless of nationality, disqualified by the UK courts for any driving offence which falls in category 1 – 5 above. For offences falling within category 6, notification will be sent to the Irish authorities if the disqualification period is for 6 months or more.
No notification will be sent by the DVLA to the Irish authorities until the driver’s right to appeal against the UK court’s decision has been exhausted.
The Irish authorities are responsible for arrangements for recognising the disqualification in Ireland.
You can ask the court to reduce your disqualification period if you’ve been disqualified for:
- 2 years – if the disqualification was for more than 2 but fewer than 4 years
- half the disqualification period – if it was for between 4 and 10 years
- 5 years – if the disqualification was for 10 years or more
You must have a good reason for asking the court to reduce your disqualification.This is done by lodging a document called a Petition for Restoration of Driving Licence with the court that issued the disqualification.
If you have only just been disqualified recently then you are not asking the original court to reduce your disqualification but appealing to a higher court to reduce the disqualification. Therefore you need to consider an appeal against the sentence. Such an appeal has to be made within 7 days of your disqualification you can lodge an appeal against the sentence with the court that issued the ban. This is a very strict time limit and it would be of benefit to most if not all appellants that they speak with a solicitor and obtain some advice BEFORE lodging an appeal. There may be several issues that should be referred to in an appeal, not just the sentence so speak to an experienced Criminal Defence lawyer who can look at the case and provide you with guidance on what may be relevant grounds of appeal.
You might think that the judge has made a legal mistake or there were reasons you committed the driving offence that the court didn’t take into account. It might simply be a feeling that something was fundamentally unfair! I remember as a young lawyer just starting out I objected to a piece of evidence that was being led. The Sheriff asked me “What are you objecting to now!” with a real air of exasperation and all I could say was “I don’t have any case law on this but it just seems unfair” Fortunately for me the Sheriff was well versed in the law and although it almost choked him to say it he said “Although you don’t know why you are right, you are indeed right and I will not allow that evidence to be led”
An appeal point can feel like that to a member of the public who has no knowledge of case law or statute but just knows “It just wasn’t fair” If that is how you feel about a conviction or a sentence then get in touch today and we will provide you with a FREE appeal assessment. I have now had the benefit (Some would say misfortune) of 30 years practising criminal law and I would be happy to discuss your concerns and see if we can help you recover your entitlement to drive.
There is another method available to reduce a period of disqualification and it involves drafting a document called a “Petition for Restoration of Driving Licence” Basically you require to write to the court that disqualified you with the date of offence, date of conviction, a copy of the extract conviction (From the Clerk’s office, once you have paid their admin fee) and any other supporting information. If the court decides to reduce your disqualification period, it will inform DVLA and you will be able to apply for the return of your licence early
If banned for LESS than 2 years this option is simply NOT AVAILABLE to you.
If the court refuses your request you have to wait at least 3 months before you can ask again.
DVLA provide some good information and advice on their website that can assist you with the ground work here.
To check when your disqualification ends you can:
- view your driving licence details online if you previously applied for your licence over the internet
- check the date on the reminder form D27 that DVLA sends you 56 days before your disqualification ends
- check the date on the D811 letter issued 90 days before certain drink-related disqualifications end
- check the date stamped on your paper licence or counterpart document if you’re disqualified for less than 56 days
- phone DVLA customer enquiries
Parking Tickets on Private Land
Gordon Blackstock in this weekend’s Sunday Post raised the thorny issue of Parking Tickets that now seem to be implemented with a process of heavy handed demands and threats of legal cost liability.
From what we are told by callers to the helpline at Roadtrafficlaw.com Debt collection agencies send letters followed up with threatening texts and emails making demands for payment under threat of spiralling legal costs.
Gordon stated that “Private parking firms have been accused of plumbing new depths in their efforts to force motorists to pay fines.”
Several major supermarkets and shopping centres have brought in enforcement companies to monitor car parks. Those staying too long are issued with fines of up to £150. But when motorists dispute the tickets the parking firms are turning to debt collectors to persuade them to cough up.
In his article an example is given of an elderly motorist who was at his wits end with all the tactics used by these debt collection agencies where they are allegedly using threatening text messages, phone calls and a flurry of official looking letters in their pursuit of the charges.
Critics have described the practice as “harassment” and said it borders on “extortion”.
Graham Walker, solicitor with Glasgow-based RoadTrafficLaw.com said: “It’s not unusual to see tickets for parking on private land escalate to between £200 and £300. “Using text messages to chase up the money is going to a whole new level. The cost of chasing up these people gets passed back to the driver and the admin bills that they pay. Some of the heavy duty letters they use are on the edge of extortion.”
What I was getting at is that vulnerable motorists such as elderly or disabled have enough to deal with in their day to day lives without fear of running up legal bills or worries about being “Blacklisted” by credit companies!
Drivers need to know that credit companies cannot “Blacklist” you unless a court grants a decree against you and a court is not going to grant a decree against you without you having a chance to answer the so called debt
The fact is that these letters tend to contain hollow threats that simply would never be followed up with a court order. The company needs to establish who the driver was and therefore prove on the balance of probabilities that this person is liable for the “Parking debt” Most of these car parks do not have CCTV or camera enforcement in place and therefore have to rely on people entering into correspondence with them to enable them to identify the driver in any subsequent civil claim. Why would any driver respond to their request to identify the driver when there is no legal requirement?
Why make the process any easier for companies that are willing to threaten and cajole people into paying fees and charges that are totally disproportionate to the alleged contravention.
One has to wonder why some of the big supermarket chains allow themselves to be associated with these companies when on the other hand they spend millions annually trying to persuade us that Every Little Helps.
Totting Up Driving Ban
If you are convicted of a driving offence, the conviction is recorded by the court and penalty points are endorsed upon your driving licence. When the number of points on your licence increases, it is known as ‘totting up’. Where the number of points accumulated is 12 or more you may be disqualified from driving or holding a driving licence.
Totting up is recorded from the date of offence to the next date of offence; it is therefore not possible to delay your case in order to avoid a totting up. Endorsements must stay on your driving licence for four or eleven years depending on the offence. They are live for totting purposes for 3 years but you cannot have them removed from your licence until the 4th anniversary.
Usually a 6 month ban (more if previously been banned) is imposed when the court finds that totting up has reached 12 points but this is not always the case. Sometimes a ban can be avoided altogether circumstances may be sufficient to establish ‘exceptional hardship’, it must be shown disqualification would cause hardship to others (for example family members, work colleagues and employees).
Each endorsement has a unique offence code and is allocated ‘penalty points’ on a scale from one to eleven, depending on the severity of the offence. The endorsement (and penalty points) is updated on your driver record and written on your paper driving licence or the corresponding document of your photo card driving licence.
If you have been convicted of a driving offence and think you could be subjected to a ban due to ‘totting up’ do not hesitate to contact us. Call us on 0800 612 9597 or fill out the Contact Form found on our website: www.roadtrafficlaw.com/contact-us
Graham Walker Road Traffic Law
Graham Walker of Roadtrafficlaw is a specialist road traffic law solicitor but his services are definitely not just for the rich and famous. Those are just some of the cases you may, get to hear about.
Very often the general public are under the misapprehension that only celebrities and footballers, get the services of, or are able to afford a specialist road traffic lawyer. We deal with ordinary motorists every day and we deal with cases all over Scotland. Although Legal Aid is not available for many road traffic cases Home Insurance often provides cover for legal expenses. Strange that this is not “bolted onto” car cover but it seems that in general you will not receive legal expenses cover on your car insurance (Unless you have specifically requested at time of contract) but you may well have legal expenses cover on that Home contents policy that just renews every year without a thought.
If you already have points on our licence or if you depend upon your driving licence then you really should ask your Home Insurance provider to add this to your policy or give you a quote for doing so. I am told that for as little as £35 per year you can receive several thousand pounds worth of legal expenses cover. The average case costs in he region of £2000+VAT to defend. That is a horrific amount of money for people to find for a crisis purchase.Many of us presently pay more than this per year to make sure we can afford to have someone fix a central heating boiler if that goes on the blink. If your driving licence is as important as your central heating you might want to add legal expenses cover to that list of monthly direct debits!
This misconception is understandable as its only the celebrity cases that tend to get large amounts press and media coverage. But we deal with people from all walks of life… and if your licence is important to you… we are able to help.
Graham Walker explains in the following video…
Speed Cameras on the A9
Up in Dingwall for a case today’s and have suffered the usual 4.5hr drive through summer traffic on the A9 to arrive to headlines that the SNP reckon 40 sets of shiny new average speed cameras are the solution to the frustrations felt by every driver who has the miserable experience of driving for miles behind trucks, caravans or tourist sightseers.
I cannot believe their audacity. To make political capital out of an announcement that they would be at the forefront of dualing the A9 yet to then turn round and invest millions in speed cameras is an affront to the intelligence of Scotland’s voters. Especially those in the Highlands. Look out Alex Salmond because it looks like Lib Dem Danny Alexander has you in his sights and he can tell us all about the £1 billion Westminister has allocated to infrastructure budget in Scotland and can tell us that the expectation was it would be invested in the dualing project of the A9. Instead of that the Scottish motorist can be expected to be milked by speed cameras like the proverbial cash cow of old.
We all know that dualing the A9 is a big job but it is far from being rocket science. lets remember that we are talking about sections of road that go through some of the most scarcely populated areas of Scotland.
On the accident black spots let’s get the cameras in place, immediately but do not litter the entire road with 40 sets. At last count these things cost around £350,000 per set. The Scottish Government claim £2.5 million will cover the installation and servicing of 40 sets. Now I am no Carol Vorderman but I reckon that figure is a lot of baloney. I reckon it will be more like 10 million minimum and we should expect a lot more for our money. These speed cameras will cost a great deal more than the £2.5 suggested by the Scottish Government but the unspoken word is that no one in Government cares because “they always pay for themselves in motorist fines”
Speed Cameras in Scotland
The bigger picture is do we want to be one of the heaviest policed communities in Europe?
Do we want a government that squanders our money on prosecution systems or real road safety solutions?
There is a place for speed cameras but in my view they are merely a sticking plaster. We need real solutions and the dealing of large parts of the A9 is a real solution that has been a long time coming for the people of the Highlands in particular but for every motorist that requires to drive north of the central belt for business and yes, Alex a great many of have to do so regularly and with the development of the renewables economy in the Highlands we should expect a great deal more from our politicians.
The A9 puts us all to shame. Many of us will have had the experience of driving in neighbouring European countries over the summer and we are filled with wonder that vast stretches of the road network are safe and very comfortable to drive on, even in some of the so called economic crisis countries, their road systems are far better than ours.
We are told that £1.1 billion EXTRA funding was set aside by the Westminster government for this so we should all be asking the SNP government to show us that money on the A9. Not with yellow vulture speed cameras systems but with a real commitment to road safety and decent roads.