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Road Traffic Law Scotland

Road Traffic Law In Scotland Flouted

Death by dangerous driving

Death By Dangerous Driving Nightmare For All concerned

Road Traffic Law In Scotland Flouted


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HALF of drivers in the UK admit flouting road traffic law in Scotland, according to a new survey. The Glasgow Herald ran a news story today that highlighted the problem.

Nearly half of those interviewed in the survey said they ignored the road traffic law deliberately because they did not believe they would be caught or because they did not agree with the laws.

Examples of the type of road traffic laws that were being flouted included, seven in ten respondents said they had seen motorists using mobile phones, eating or drinking at the wheel and tailgating.

Speeding and risking overtakes were reported by a third of respondents and more than half had seen drivers changing lanes or pulling out in front of traffic without checking properly.

The survey of 1000 drivers, carried out by road safety charity Brake and insurer Direct Line, comes at a time of diverging approaches to road policing north and south of the Border. While traffic police numbers in England and Wales have been cut by 23 per cent over the past four years, Police Scotland has been accused of waging a “war on motorists” after the number of people convicted over driving offences such as speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt or breaching parking restrictions rose 14 per cent to its highest level in seven years.

Is it the case that motorists in Scotland present a bigger road safety menace on our roads? Do they deserve to be targetted and punished in a more harsh manner than our neighbours over the border? Is it OK to experiment with new road traffic laws in Scotland before rolling them out elsewhere in the UK?

These are a few of the questions that I would like to see answered

Statistics indicate that overall road casualties in Scotland continue to fall but there are some indicators that there may yet be a problem with road deaths count increasing UK wide. A small but non the less highly significant number to all of those families involved in the tragedy of a road death. These cases have a massive impact on all concerned. We have dealt with several such cases in the past year and whilst it is always the case that our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the deceased it is NOT always the case that the other driver was to blame for that death or that the death was not in fact the fault of the deceased. Brutal to say but the facts of each case have to be examined very thoruoghly to attribute any kind of culpability and guilt in cases of death by careless driving or death by dangerous driving.

The most recent UK-wide road casualty figures showed that deaths and serious injuries increased by 4 per cent in the year ending September 2014, with deaths up by one per cent. Child casualties also saw their first rolling year increase in 20 years.

My own view is that training must play a much more significant role in driver rehabilitaion. Low level offences such as speeding and use of mobile phones should be punished with an element of driver trainiong. It is only through addressing the problems at an early stage that we will be able to reduce further the road deaths and accidents on our roads. The continual bludgeoning of drivers with penalty points is not the anser. It may be the stick but drivers also respond to the carrot.

Dangerous Driving is very serious matter even when it does not involve a fatality therefore it is important to get decent legal advice right from the outset. You can obtain a FREE e book download from our site or just call for a Caseplanner Meeting ™ and more information about how we can help.

Driving Licence Endorsements

Driving Licence Endorsements

David Cameron’s Driving Licence

Driving Licence Endorsements

From 8 June 2015, the photocard licence counterpart will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.

Driving licence endorsements run from the date of offence until date of offence, so delaying proceedings will not overcome the points totting up provisions. Driving licence endorsements, disqualifications, convictions and acceptance of fixed penalties payments in respect of driving offences are notified to the DVLA by the courts. The details are entered onto the driver’s record and the licence is returned to the driver to show penalty points and date of conviction.

In Scotland, you will not be disqualified in your absence but penalty points can be endorsed on the licence in your absence; as a result certain road traffic cases can be dealt with by letter instead of attending court.

For drivers whop presently hold a photocard driving licence, from 8th June 2015 you can destroy the counterpart as it will no longer be required. Keep the PHOTOCARD it remains valid and indeed remains the main piece of evidence that you are entitled to drive in the UK.

Courts and the police will no longer refer to the paper counterpart as it will be obsolete and they will refer to the DVLA computer records instead

Therefore the actual status of your driving licence won’t change. You can still drive the same type of vehicles

Paper driving licence holders (those issued before 1998)

These will remain valid, and should not be destroyed.

The next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.

Penalty points (endorsements)

From 8 June 2015 penalty points (endorsements) will no longer be shown on driving licences. This information will be held on DVLA’s driver record, and can be checked online, by phone or post.

 

When paying a fine or a fixed penalty the drivers licence will be endorsed with a penalty ranging from 3-11 points or a disqualification period may be imposed, which is dependent on the severity of the offence. Where 12 or more penalty points are accumulated within a 3-year period, the driver faces an automatic disqualification under the “totting up” system.

Endorsements Timescale

The timescale that an endorsement remains on the licence depends on the offence. They must remain for 11 years from the date of conviction if related to drink/drug driving, causing death by dangerous driving whilst under influence of drink/drugs, or, causing death by careless driving, then failing to provide a specimen for analysis. Endorsements can also last 4 years from the date of conviction if the offence includes reckless or dangerous driving, offences resulting in disqualification, and, disqualified from holding a full licence until a driving test has been passed. All other cases are 4 years from the date of offence and, as already mentioned, the “totting up” procedures relevant period is 3 years.

If you have had endorsements on your licence or have any further questions about endorsements then do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0800 612 9597 or email at GW@roadtrafficlaw.com.

Road Traffic Lawyer Says “Offer Speed Awareness Courses In Scotland”

Speed Awareness Course

Road Traffic Lawyer: Speed Awareness Courses?

Road traffic lawyers, like myself have been crying out for speed awareness courses for years but at last someone with some authority is asking about speed awareness course in Scotland and encouraging training and NOT speeding fines and penalty points to be handed out by the police.

Now speeding drivers in Scotland- May Be Offered Training or if not they should get a road traffic lawyer on board for some free initial case advice. As a road traffic lawyer, I have been banging on about it for years but it seems that finally Government officials are considering  speed awareness courses in Scotland  instead of  fines and penalty points.

It was reported in the Scotsman today that, transport minister Derek Mackay has told Conservative justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell that he “supported the concept of driver education as an alternative to prosecution where appropriate”.

English clients and drivers who have been pulled over by the police in England have long extolled the virtues of training instead of fines and points. We all know that points are extremely punitive for low level speeding cases. They impact insurance premiums for years and build up to a threatening “totting up” ban for those drivers who accumulate 12 or more within a 3 year period.

Many motorists spend most of their working day on the road and we have several clients past and present who do not consider it unusual to do 40 thousand miles a year. That is about 4 times the national average so if those people are on the road for that amount of time you can expect that on occasion they may drift over the speed limit so it has long been my personal view that points should not be the automatic consequence of low level speeding but a speed awareness course should be.

Such courses are seen as being popular and successful in reducing re-offending south of the Border, but are not currently available in Scotland.

The minister said officials were discussing whether they would be “an appropriate addition to our efforts to tackle road traffic offences in Scotland and what barriers might exist to setting them up.”

It was reported that Ms Mitchell said she had asked the Scottish Government to consider it following an increase in the number of speeders caught under a crackdown by Police Scotland.

She said the introduction of courses could coincide with the planned 20mph limit across much of Edinburgh.

Ms Mitchell said: “Given the increase in traffic convictions, it is surely time to consider an alternative for those who are not significantly over the speed limit.

“Offering speed awareness courses would be a more effective alternative to points and a hefty fine.

“Motorists – many of whom rely on their car for work and family – consider they are being disproportionately targeted by overzealous crackdowns.

“I’m glad therefore that the Scottish Government is now looking at this in an effort to put in place a fairer system which prioritises safer driving.”

Policy and research director Neil Greig, who is part of a Scottish Government-led group considering the move, said: “The IAM are long-time supporters of alternatives to prosecution but progress has been slow as we try to convince the Advocate General’s office that speed awareness courses work and cut re-offending.

My clients often report that these course are Not an easy option, particularly when they are based in England and Scottish drivers require to attend the courses in the region of England where the offence took place.

Speed awareness course could give Police Scotland a useful extra disposal for drivers who are just over the limit without adding to the administrative burden of courts, fiscals or the police.

If you get pulled over for speeding in Scotland and you need the advice of a road traffic lawyer then please give us a call. You can receive preliminary advice over the telephone, without charge, from one of our legal team or come into our office in Glasgow for a detailed Caseplanner(TM) Meeting where we will examine your case in detail and give you a breakdown of the Costs-v- Benefits of defending it and the chances of winning the case.

In the meantime have a look at our short video about what to look for in a road traffic lawyer and how to choose a road traffic law specialist lawyer

Drunk In Charge Of A Space Hopper

Drunk in charge

Drunk In Charge Of A Spacehopper

Drunk In Charge Of A Space Hopper

Reported in the Scotsman today:-

Being found drunk in charge of a vehicle can be a very serious matter but thankfully Dundee police saw the lighter side of things this Xmas when a man was found on the roadway drunk in charge of a Spacehopper.

POLICE pulled over a man on a busy road in Dundee – for drunkenly riding a space hopper through a tunnel.

Officers were patrolling on Dundee’s Marketgait on Hogmanay when they spotted the man taking the air filled toy down the dual carriageway towards the tunnel on the northern part of the city centre ring road.

A witness said the man tried to run away from cops – but they had “no problem” catching him.

A passer by reported that the Spacewhopper man was seen as “He was running out from inside the tunnel when police stopped him. He looked very drunk and police had blocked the left-hand lane because he was on the road.

“I had to pass slowly and, as I did, I saw another policeman walking up the tunnel to pick up a red space hopper.

“I wondered what it was at first but then I saw the two wee horns sticking out the top.”

He added: “The look on the guy’s face was priceless – you could just tell he was thinking ‘what have I done?’

In the spirit of Xmas the man was not charged. Well done police in Dundee for having a sense of humour and allowing this chap to bounce off home in shame.

Being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle is a whole different ball game and drivers can expect no mercy fromt he police if they are found in their vehicles at any time whilst over the drink drive limit. Remember that is has been lowered so being in charge of a vehicle the day after ahheavy drinking session can also mean you face a conviction and a lengthy ban

If you face the more serious charge of drunk in charge of a vvehicle then get in touch today for a FREE Caseplanner (TM) Strategy meeting with one of our legal team. Call 0800 612 9597 or email us today using our contact form.

Under section 5(1(b)) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence for someone to be ‘drunk in charge’ of a motor vehicle. Not driving it but simply sitting in the driving seat or even pushing the vehicle down the road!

Therefore you do NOT need to be driving to be convicted of this offence!
Conviction for this offence carries with it a minimum of ten penalty points or discretionary disqualification and up to three months imprisonment. Usually courts deal with this type of charge by way of disqualification

If you can establish, in terms of the law, that you did not intend to drive this can result in a finding of not guilty but it is tough to win this type of case unless you go a long way to prove to the court, on the balance of probabilities that there was no likeliehood of you driving whilst still over the limit. Very difficult with the new lower drink drive limit and almost always something that requires a report from a forensic analyst and evidence regarding when you would be under the new drink drive limit.

This is a technically complex defence which can often be difficult to establish.

Any person charged with an offence of this nature should seek advice from a specialist road traffic firm immediately. We offer the FREE Caseplanner(TM) meeting to analyse and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case without charge, so get in touch today.

Rise in convictions linked to crackdown on motorists

Rise in convictions linked to crackdown on motorists

Reporter for the Glasgow Herald Victoria Weldon

Reporter for the Glasgow Herald Victoria Weldon

Victoria Weldon
Reporter

An interesting article in todays Glasgow Herald has sprked debate in Scotland over the focus of our police force on the motorists of Scotland. Radio Scotland hosted an energetic phone in about the subject this morning but Victoria Weldon was the first to rasie the issue upon her review of the crime statistics for this year.

 

Her article is published again here to ashare with roadtrafficlaw.com viewers and subscribers

CRIMINAL proceedings and convictions are up for the first time in seven years – with a police crackdown on motorists being linked to the increase.

Scotland’s courts saw a four per cent rise in criminal cases in 2013/14, an increase of almost 5,000 proceedings, while the number of convictions also went up by four per cent.

A report released yesterday by the Scottish Government said the rise was “primarily driven” by an increase of more than 4,800 motoring convictions, linked to Police Scotland’s “operational practice” over the year.

The figures have been welcomed by road safety groups, who say they point to a crackdown on law-breaking motorists who put lives at risk.

However, road traffic lawyer Graham Walker claimed Police Scotland’s pursuit of lower level motoring offences risked damaging the force’s relationship with the public.

Mr Walker said: “The rise in prosecutions is not a surprise to those of us who are at the coal face of the justice system, where we can see Justice of the Peace courts throughout the land being turned into de facto motorist courts because of the amount of low level motoring offences being prosecuted.

“It’s all very well for government officials and senior police officers to tout road safety as the banner they raise when they go into battle against Scotland’s motorists, but they need to remember that those same people are the ones who will be called for jury duty or as witnesses in more serious cases, the people who normally support our police wherever required.

“This pitiful police focus on low level motoring offences will drive a wedge between ordinary decent citizens and our police force.”

The report showed that vehicle defect convictions were up by 30 per cent, while seatbelt offences increased by 24 per cent and speeding offences rose by 17 per cent.

However, convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs dropped by 14 per cent.

Police Scotland chief constable, Sir Stephen House, has been clear about his intention to crack down on motoring offences and introduced a specialist trunk roads patrol team when the single police force came into operation last year.

This resulted in “significant” increases in the number of driving offences, now being borne out in the number of convictions.

A spokesman for the AA said: “Police in Scotland have had a number of crackdowns on motoring offences and these figures appear to be reflecting that.

“It sends out a very clear message to drivers who might be tempted not to get their cars MOT’d or drive around in faulty cars, and also the ones who try their luck breaking the law, that the police in Scotland are a bit more proactive than maybe those in other parts of the UK and they shouldn’t assume that they will be able to get away with it.”

Road safety charity Brake also welcomed the report, saying it was good to see Police Scotland “taking a tough line on driving offences”.

A charity spokeswoman added: “The increase in convictions should send a clear message to any drivers tempted to break the law that driving offences are real crimes, with real victims, and they will not get away with it.”

Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, Police Scotland’s head of road policing, said road safety remains one of the top priorities for Scottish communities.

He said: “We are committed to influencing road user behaviour and reducing the numbers of casualties on Scotland’s roads and officers routinely deal with risk-taking behaviour that we know puts people unnecessarily at risk .

“A total of 172 people were killed on Scotland’s road in 2013, more than three times the number that were murdered, and more than 1,600 were seriously injured.

“Many of these collisions were avoidable and officers take every opportunity to engage positively with road users, provide real-time advice and education and enforce legislation when necessary. This is all with the aim of preventing death and injury and making Scotland’s roads safer

‘When it comes to risk-taking, there is no such thing as a low level motoring offence, and the consequences of speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt or using your mobile phone whilst driving can be catastrophic.”

Recent Case Results

Mobile phone case at Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court

Mobile phone case at Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court - outcome Case deserted simpliciter[read more]

Speeding Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court

Speeding Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court - Outcome case deserted simpliciter[read more]