We all know that the use of mobile phones is banned whilst driving.
Or are they?
The answer, according to the High Court’s recent decision in Director of Public Prosecutions v Barreto  EWHC 2044 (Admin), is that it depends what you’re doing with it.
What did Mr Barreto do?
Ramsey Barreto was convicted in the Magistrates’ Court of using his phone to film an accident while he was driving. The prosecution was under s 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Regulation 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
What do these laws say?
These provisions make it an offence to use ‘a hand-held mobile telephone or other hand-held interactive communication device.’
‘Interactive communication’ means ‘sending or receiving oral or written messages, sending or receiving facsimile documents, sending or receiving still or moving images, and providing access to the internet.’
How did Mr Barreto overturn his conviction?
Barreto appealed his conviction to the Crown Court. The Crown Court acquitted him on the basis that videoing on a phone did not come within the definition of the offence. This was because no interactive communication was taking place.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, appealed on that point of law to the High Court.
As the High Court pointed out, the Crown had assumed the legislation banned all use of mobile phones. Mr Barreto said that was not the case.
What did the High Court say?
The High Court agreed with Mr Barreto and the Crown Court. He was allowed to go free without a stain on his character. The Court said:
“The legislation does not prohibit all use of a mobile phone held while driving. It prohibits driving while using a mobile phone or other device for calls and other interactive communication (and holding it at some stage during that process).”
Does this mean you can play Candy Crush while you’re driving?
No, probably not. The High Court made the point in their concluding paragraphs, saying:
“It should not be thought that this is a green light for people to make films as they drive. As I have already said, driving while filming events or taking photographs whether with a separate camera or with the camera on a phone, may be cogent evidence of careless driving, and possibly of dangerous driving.”
There is also a related offence (although it carries fewer penalty points) of not being in control of a motor vehicle.
Once again, road traffic law has proved to be one of the trickiest areas of criminal work. Don’t leave your licence to chance. Ensure you use a firm that is fully up to date with all developing legal arguments.
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If you need specialist advice in relation to any criminal investigation or prosecution, then get in touch. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email email@example.com and let us help. We can advise on all aspects of your case.Read More
The Government has published new plans to increase road safety. The idea is to make the roads safer for everyone; drivers, passengers and pedestrians . The plans include several changes for people of all ages, and for more specialised drivers like HGV drivers and motorcycle riders.
The Department for Transport has granted funding of £225,000 to Good Egg Safety to develop a training course for fitting child seats. This is because information suggests that most parents don’t know how to install a child seat correctly.
Additional funding will go towards developing educational resources for schools and researching road safety for children with special education needs.
The largest at-risk age group on the road is young adults. Therefore, the Department for Transport is considering ways to make young drivers safer. This includes consulting on several new learning and licence schemes; the potential use of Graduated Learner Schemes pre-test, and Graduated Driving Licences post-test.
The USA, Canada and Australia already uses these schemes and licences. The pre-test scheme imposes requirements for a learner before they can take their test. This is usually a certain number of hours of instruction. The post-test scheme involves restrictions on a new licence for several years or until a certain age.
In California, for example, new drivers under eighteen cannot drive unsupervised at night, carry passengers under 20 unless supervised, or use mobile phones including hands-free devices.
One change along these lines recently in the UK was for the revocation of a new driver’s licence. The licence will be revoked if six penalty points are acquired within two years of their test. A new driver getting six points will have to re-sit their test.
Driving tests will also continue to be updated to take into account technological changes. This is similar to the recent move to include satnav driving in the test.
The Government will consult on the use of penalty points for people who don’t use their seatbelt, as well as the current fine. 27% of fatalities on the road in 2017 involving people not wearing a seatbelt.
Portable breathalysers are being developed, meaning police officers will be able to take a sample that is good enough for court proceedings at the side of the road. At the moment, a driver takes a preliminary test at the roadside, followed by an official test at the police station. The proposal would free up officers for other duties quicker.
The Government is also researching the feasibility of ‘alcolocks’. This is a device which immobilises a car until someone under the limit blows into a tube. These would be introduced for those convicted of drink-driving to try and prevent re-offending.
New cycling offences are also being considered so that those who cause serious harm can be dealt with in a similar way to those who cause serious harm by driving.
The second-largest at-risk age group on our roads are the elderly; the Government will continue to fund Mobility Centres for those who are unable to drive, most of whom are sixty-five or over.
Safety tests will also be updated, using old-age crash test dummies, as well as female dummies. This is in a bid to reduce injuries in those groups by allowing cars to be designed differently.
A consultation will also be launched into whether to require drivers to undertake mandatory eye tests at seventy, and upon licence renewal every three years thereafter.
Drivers who drive for a living are already tightly regulated by the use of tachographs and more stringent testing. The Government will consult on banning tyres older than ten years, as well as on changes to side guards, which protect pedestrians and cyclists if the HGV changes direction while alongside someone.
The Government will develop a new training regime for bikers. This will include a compulsory theory test before they can ride on the road, and changes to the current CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). They also plan to develop post-test training further and increase the uptake of this Enhanced Rider Scheme.
Better protective equipment is also under development, and the SHARP system of rating helmets is being continued and improved. The Government are also working with the UK protective clothing industry to understand how to encourage riders to wear the best equipment.
How we can assist
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Most people know that driving bans may follow for serious road traffic offences or a series of lower-level traffic crimes as a result of ‘totting up’. Few of our clients know that disqualifications can follow in other cases. For example, using a vehicle to facilitate the commission of an offence.
What is the relevant law?
There are two relevant provisions in the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.
General power to disqualify
Section 146 provides for a general power to disqualify a person from driving following a conviction for any offence. There is no requirement for a vehicle to have been used during the crime.
In Cliff  EWCA Crim 3139, the court held:
‘In our judgment, it is not necessary for the offence to be connected to the use of the motor car. The section provides an additional punishment available to the court. That is not to say that a court can impose a period of disqualification arbitrarily. There must be a sufficient reason for the disqualification. The reasons will, of course, be open to scrutiny by an appellate court, as they are in this case.’
The disqualification period can be ‘…for such period as it thinks fit’.
The case law is not always consistent (see for example Bye  EWCA Crim 1230 and compare with Cornell-Gallardo  EWCA Crim 3151). An advocate must always be careful to scrutinise the facts of each case and challenge the making of such orders if appropriate.
Using a vehicle to commit an offence
The provisions under section 147 of the Act are much better known and can only be used where the offence is punishable on indictment with imprisonment of 2 years or more or is an offence involving an assault. The magistrates’ only have power in relation to the latter.
In order to impose a driving ban, the court must be:
‘…satisfied that a motor vehicle was used (by the person convicted or by anyone else) for the purpose of committing, or facilitating the commission of, the offence in question’, or
concerning assault offences ‘…satisfied that the assault was committed by driving a motor vehicle’.
Again, the disqualification period can be ‘…for such period as it thinks fit’.
Some Judges appear to be very keen to use this power and impose driving bans, while it rarely seems to occur to others. It can be very much a lottery so far as the sentencing process is concerned.
The case law concerning this provision is complex and voluminous. All advocates need to ensure that they are not taken by surprise when it is mentioned (often with no notice) as part of the sentencing process.
All of our advocates are highly trained and able to respond appropriately to all sentencing and other issues.
How we can assist
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The idea of speed limits causes immense confusion, with many people believing that the speed limit is at least the minimum speed you should ordinarily drive at.
Most of us have experienced the rage of a motorist behind us if we adhere to the limit. A step below it to any degree can often cause outrage.
In reality, however, the safe speed is always linked to the conditions. We need to factor in lighting, road conditions, traffic etc., while keeping an eye on the overall speed limit.
But, just how strictly are those limits enforced?
Research published recently by Auto Express magazine showed that most police forces adopt a 10% +2 policy, so if the speed limit is 40 miles per hour (mph), there will be no fixed penalty or prosecution unless the speed exceeds 46 mph. Interestingly some police forces, including Greater Manchester and the West-Midlands among others, refused to confirm the margin. Lancashire Police and the Metropolitan Police stated that they adopt 10% +3. Essex said they operate no threshold, and several other forces refused to say anything about the issue.
Even where a margin of error is allowed for, this would not preclude a prosecution if the police wished to pursue one. So unless you are going to drive around with a current and comprehensive list of speed policies in your head, the safe course is to stick to the limit.
As well as exploring police policies to speed, the research also disclosed that car speedometers typically display a speed which is 1 or 2 mph above the actual speed of the vehicle. This again provides some welcome tolerance for those times when you might not be fully observing the applicable limit.
But speeding isn’t really a crime is it?
In criminal law terms, speeding is often seen at the bottom of the list when compared to other crimes. Despite the relative low penalties, those points can soon hit the magic 12. At that point, the risk of disqualification can become very real for many people. Even gaining 6 points can mean some new drivers forfeiting their licence. Speeding far in excess of the limit can result in instant disqualification. In some circumstances, you could end up being charged with a more serious offence such as dangerous driving.
When looking at the more serious offences, in particular causing death by careless or dangerous driving, we see that excess speed is often a feature highlighted by the prosecution. What starts as nothing other than a rush to get home can soon become an unintended tragedy for all concerned.
How we can assist
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Sentences imposed for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving regularly cause controversy.
In a recent case His Honour Judge Jeremy Richardson QC was faced with the task of sentencing 3 offenders for their part in causing the death of 4 people, and seriously injuring 3 others. All 7 people were travelling in the same car. The main offender Elliot Bower received a total prison sentence of 11 1/2 years.
The offence of causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, but what happens if 4 deaths are caused during a single incident, does the total rise to a maximum of 56 years?
The answer to that question is no, the maximum remains at 14 years.
There is nothing wrong in principle with consecutive prison sentences. Had the defendants committed 4 offences over 4 days, causing one death on each occasion, the theoretical maximum sentence would have been 56 years (i.e. 4 x 14 years). So, why not in this case?
The Judge was obliged to follow the case of R v Jaynesh Chadusama  EWCA Crim 2867 which led to the Judge observing:
“I am compelled to take 14 years imprisonment as the maximum sentence open to me where multiple fatalities arise from a single incident of dangerous driving.”
Unease about the state of the law
The Judge did, however, say the following, which indicated his general unease as to the state of the law:
“Before passing sentence, I wish to make this observation. It is my intention to refer these sentencing remarks to the Secretary of State for Transport. I am aware that HM Government has embarked upon a review of extant road traffic legislation including sentencing. It is not for me to recommend changes in the law. I simply invite those who have that responsibility, namely the Secretary of State, to consider the following point.
It may be worthy of consideration whether a court, when there are multiple deaths arising from a single episode of dangerous driving, particularly when the dangerous driving is of an exceptionally serious kind – as in this case, should have power to impose a higher level of custodial sentence than would be permitted by the current law.
I merely call this case to the attention of the Secretary of State for consideration.
It is not for me to make this observation, but there may be some who feel that Parliament may wish to revisit the issue of the powers available to a court when sentencing in an exceptionally serious case of this kind. I repeat what I said earlier – the sentence I pass today is governed by the law which is operational today. I am bound by that law and I shall pass sentence in accordance with it.”
Will the law change?
The Attorney General in the days following this case indicated that a change in sentencing policy is likely. There are a number of ways in which this could be done. However, it will be more easily achieved not by trying to reverse the rule in R v Jaynesh Chadusama, but by simply increasing the maximum penalty available to one of life imprisonment.
It is also likely that we will see increases in other death by driving sentences. Perhaps there may even be a new offence covering the causing of serious injury.
How can we help?
This is only a general overview of the law. If you need specialist advice in relation to any criminal investigation or prosecution, from the initial investigation through to court proceedings, please get in touch with. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help.Read More
There has been much ado in the press about police forces undertaking random eyesight checks on motorists and revoking licences at the roadside. So, what are their powers?
Can the police stop me?
Under section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 a police officer in uniform has the power to require a driver of a vehicle on a road to stop. It is an offence to fail to comply with such a request.
Does the officer have to be in uniform?
To use this power the officer has to be in uniform. (There is a widely-held belief that if an officer is not wearing a helmet they are not in uniform is not correct). There is a common law power, however, for an officer not in uniform to request a vehicle to stop although there would be no penalty for failing to comply.
What is the law about vision and driving?
You must be able to read a registration plate from 20 metres (approximately five car lengths). It is an offence to drive with uncorrected defective eyesight.
Can the police ask me to do a roadside eye test?
You could be asked to undertake the test voluntarily. Otherwise, there must be a suspicion that you may be guilty of driving when you cannot comply with the vision test requirement. If the officer does suspect, you can be required to submit to a test.
Section 96 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides this power. The test can be carried out between 8am and 9pm, only in daylight.
What if I refuse to do the test?
If the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you have been driving while your eyesight is such that you could not pass the test and you refuse to do so, you are committing an offence.
What could happen?
Failing to stop for a police officer, under section 163, can be punished by a fine.
Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight or refusing to submit to a test of vision carries a fine, discretionary disqualification and an obligatory endorsement of three penalty points.
What about my licence, can it be revoked?
If you fail a vision test at the roadside, or fail to comply, the police can immediately report this fact to the DVLA.
There is a fast track system whereby a decision to revoke your licence can quickly be made, such a decision taking place within hours. Once your licence is revoked, it will be not be returned until you can demonstrate that your eyesight meets the required standard.
Your licence being revoked will not prevent a prosecution for the offences outlined above.
Why is this in the news?
The power for fast-track revocation has existed since 2013. The power is now being widely reported as three police forces have announced their intention to undertake such checks at the roadside, this may be extended nationwide.
Based on a study by the Association of Optometrists it is estimated that some 1 million people in the UK are driving illegally. RSA Insurance estimates that eyesight problems cause nearly 3000 casualties per year on the UK roads.
The police forces involved in the initiative have said that they will be gathering data as to the extent of any issues. Potentially, this could lead to a further mandatory vision test at some stage after the practical driving test.
What can we do to help?
We are experts in road traffic law and can advise you if you are facing investigation or prosecution. To discuss any aspect of your case, please call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email, email@example.com
The government has announced its intention to use new roadside breathalysers, in a move that could see a further 6,000 convictions per year for drink driving.
At the moment, the breath test procedure is carried out in 2 stages. A person who tests positive at the roadside will be arrested and taken to a police station for a further test to be administered. This is known as the ‘evidential test’ and is the one that forms the basis of any prosecution decision.
The gap in time between the first positive breath test and the one administered at the police station may be significant enough to ensure that a person blows a negative reading – this is due to falling alcohol levels over time (although in some cases the reverse can also happen).
While ‘back calculation’ tests can be carried out, the evidence base is such that they are seldom used for this scenario. Arguably, therefore, some drink drivers go free.
The legislation allowing for a definitive roadside evidential breath test procedure is already in place, but today the government has announced a competition aimed at device manufacturers, with the aim of ensuring that suitable devices are approved and in use by 2020.
Around 460,000 breath tests are conducted each year, with some 59,000 people providing a positive reading.
Approximately 6,000 people provide a positive reading at the roadside but are found to be under the limit when tested at the police station – this change will see those people prosecuted.
In many instances these will be people who have ‘gambled’ on the quick lunchtime drink or have not allowed quite enough time to sober up from the night before.
The changes will also reduce the scope for so-called ‘loophole defences’, popular due to the complexities of the police station procedure. It is expected that decades of case law will become redundant once the new devices have been rolled out. Experience tells us however, that as one legal challenge closes, another pops up!
The penalties for drink driving are severe, with minimum periods of disqualification, high financial penalties and punishing insurance premiums for many years to come. In many cases, offenders face the loss of employment. ‘One for the road’ often comes at a very high price.
How can we assist?
We are experts in all aspects of drink and drug driving law. This is one of the most complex areas of criminal law, and early advice should be sought in order to achieve the best outcome. Contact John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
It may be an offence to fail to provide information as the identity of a driver when you receive a written request to do so from (or on behalf of) the police. If convicted, you face a hefty fine and 6 penalty points.
How long do they have to make the request?
A request must normally be served within 14 days of the offence being committed. There is case law where because a postal strike delayed the mail and it was delivered after the 14-day period, the offence was not committed.
If you have any doubt as to whether the notice was served within the requisite time, please contact us for further advice. In some circumstances a valid request can be made after the 14-day period, so do not ignore a request simply because you believe it to be out of time – always seek legal advice.
How long do I have to reply?
From the date the notice is served you have 28 days to reply, or “as soon as practicable after the end of that period”.
Right against self-incrimination
A number of case have dealt with this issue and, put simply, it doesn’t matter, the requirement to identify the driver does not affect your human rights. The court has said “those who choose to keep and drive a car can be taken to have accepted certain responsibilities” and those include the obligation to provide information upon request as to the driver.
What if I really don’t know who was driving?
If you genuinely do not know who was driving, you may have a defence to an allegation of failing to provide driver information.
The defence is that you “could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was”. You need, therefore, to make all reasonable enquiries to find out who the driver was, and you will still need to reply to the request, providing what assistance you can. Again, it is best to seek early legal advice as a recent case involving the former politician Lord Howard, has opened up a number of interesting legal arguments.
I did not receive the request and now I have been summonsed, what do I do?
You may have a defence to the allegation. Please contact us for further advice.
What if I provide false information?
It can be tempting to name a spouse, or even someone abroad, in the hope of avoiding penalty points. To do so would amount to perverting the course of justice – which almost always results in a prison sentence. Chris Huhne, a former cabinet minister and his wife, Vicky Pryce, found this out the hard way. So, don’t do it.
It is a defence to show that there was no record kept of the driver and that the failure to keep a record was reasonable. The notice can be served by sending it to a secretary or a clerk, at the registered or principal office. It may seem obvious, but a company cannot be given penalty points, so the penalty here would be a fine.
In certain circumstances proceedings can also be brought against company directors, so a company cannot be used as a shield against prosecution for this offence. If your company operates a company car pool it would be wise to ensure that you have robust procedures in place in order to track vehicle usage.
Public funding may be available for such a case, so please contact us for further information.
How we can assist
The law concerning requests for driver information can be complicated. This article is intended to give only a very brief overview of the issues involved.
If you have any concerns or simply to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email@example.comRead More
Once again, there have been numerous news stories this week about deaths and serious injuries caused by bad driving.
There is a specific offence of dangerous driving, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 2 years. However, if that driving is a cause of someone’s death, the maximum sentence rises to one of 14 years. Since 2012, if the dangerous driving results in serious injury, then the maximum sentence is one of 5 years.
In each case there are minimum disqualification periods, very lengthy actual disqualifications and insurance premiums which will be significant for many years to come; some drivers may not even be able to secure insurance at all, at any price.
What is dangerous driving?
Dangerous driving is defined by section 2A Road Traffic Act 1988:
“…a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if (and, subject to subsection (2) below, only if)—
(a) the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
The test is an ‘objective one’ which means that it is not to be judged through the eyes of the actual driver but the eyes of a ‘competent and careful driver’. Effectively, therefore, it will be for a magistrate/judge, or jury to decide.
The crucial part of the test is that the driving falls ‘far below’ the standard expected, and it is this that on occasion makes advising in these cases such a very skilled task.
In some instances, it will be obvious that the driving falls ‘far below’ the required standard. So, if you drive at 100 mph on the wrong side of the motorway at night without lights, there is no room for debate.
But, what if, believing that you have sufficient sight of the road ahead, you overtake only to hit an oncoming vehicle in the opposite lane. Is that driving ‘far below’ the standard, or it is simply an unfortunate error of judgment, one that could perhaps be properly categorised as careless driving not dangerous?
There is no statutory definition of what is meant by “far below”, but section 2A(3) of the 1988 Act states that “dangerous” must refer to the danger of personal injury or serious damage to property.
We also know from case law that the driver’s particular skill or lack of is not relevant (Bannister  EWCA Crim 1571).
The Crown Prosecution Service regards the following as being examples of dangerous driving, but it must be stressed that ultimately it will be a matter for the court to decide:
- racing or competitive driving;
- failing to have proper and safe regard for vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders, the elderly and pedestrians or when in the vicinity of a pedestrian crossing, hospital, school or residential home;
- speed, which is particularly inappropriate for the prevailing road or traffic conditions;
- aggressive driving, such as sudden lane changes, cutting into a line of vehicles or driving much too close to the vehicle in front;
- disregard of traffic lights and other road signs, which, on an objective analysis, would appear to be deliberate;
- disregard of warnings from fellow passengers;
- overtaking which could not have been carried out safely;
- driving when knowingly suffering from a medical or physical condition that significantly and dangerously impairs the offender’s driving skills such as having an arm or leg in plaster, or impaired eyesight. It can include the failure to take prescribed medication;
- driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest;
- driving a vehicle knowing it has a dangerous defect or is poorly maintained or is dangerously loaded;
- using a hand-held mobile phone or other hand-held electronic equipment whether as a phone or to compose or read text messages when the driver was avoidably and dangerously distracted by that use; R v Browning (2001) EWCA Crim 1831, R v Payne  EWCA Crim 157;
- driving whilst avoidably and dangerously distracted such as whilst reading a newspaper/map, talking to and looking at a passenger, selecting and lighting a cigarette or by adjusting the controls of electronic equipment such as a radio, hands-free mobile phone or satellite navigation equipment;
- a brief but obvious danger arising from a seriously dangerous manoeuvre. This covers situations where a driver has made a mistake or an error of judgement that was so substantial that it caused the driving to be dangerous even for only a short time. Cases that illustrate this principle include:
Att.Gens’ Reference No 32 of 2001 (2002) 1 Cr.App.R. (S) 121 (offender failed to stop at a junction where there was a give way sign, failing to see a taxi that was being driven across the junction perfectly properly and colliding with it);
Att.Gen’s Reference No 4 of 2000 2000]) EWCA Crim 780 (offender unintentionally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake);
Att.Gen’s Reference No.76 of 2002 (Hodges) (2003) 1 Cr.App.R. (S) 100 (offender drove across a junction marked by a give way sign and collided with a car that was being driven along the major road and had no explanation for his failure to see the other car) “this was a single misjudgement. It was a bad misjudgement but nevertheless a single one”
Some of the examples in the above list may seem surprising, for example where a person unintentionally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. Again, it is worth stressing that much will depend on what actually happened, with concepts such as ‘…even for only a short time…’ being open to argument.
Similarly, when does ‘…failing to have proper and safe regard…’ (a legal duty anyway) stray over the line from being careless driving to dangerous driving?
And finally, is ‘overtaking which could not have been carried out safely…’ something that is inherently in danger of being judged by hindsight?
In stressful situations, particularly where serious harm has been caused, there is an instinctive reaction to think that the driving error must have been very serious.
What we know of course is that on occasion even the slightest error can result in very serious consequences. It is therefore vital that if you are going to be interviewed by police after an accident that you have legal representation from the outset.
It does not matter if you are arrested or have been asked to go for an interview under caution (a Caution +3 interview), legal advice and assistance at a police station is free of charge, regardless of your financial means.
Accident investigation and reconstruction is now an important consideration in these cases, allowing scientists and engineers to see exactly the cause(s) of an accident and the magnitude of error, often exposing the culpability of others.
Eye-witness testimony is not always reliable and is also often tainted by the result of the driving as opposed to the driving itself.
In some cases, it will be clear-cut, but there may still be room for manoeuvre and a plea to the lesser offence of careless driving may be an option.
How we can assist
Whether an act of driving amounts to dangerous driving is often not easy to ascertain, but our experienced lawyers routinely deal with all manner of driving cases, from the minor to the most serious.
Whether facing imprisonment or not, the loss of a driving licence is for many people an incredibly serious penalty in itself, so all steps should be taken to avoid that happening.
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From June 4th, learner drivers are to be allowed to drive on the motorway. This is to encourage learner drivers to develop an understanding of how to drive on roads that are vastly different from the urban environment that most people learn to drive in.
There will be conditions attached though. Unlike non-motorway roads, where a learner must simply be supervised by someone aged over 21 who has held a full driving licence for at least three years, a learner on the motorway will have to be supervised by a qualified driving instructor, and be driving a dual control car.
There are no plans to introduce motorway driving into the driving test, and it will be left to the instructor and the learner to decide if they want to take advantage of this change.
Younger, inexperienced drivers are significantly more likely to be killed or seriously injured whilst driving than older drivers, and it is to be hoped that providing learner drivers with motorway experience may help reduce those numbers.
In other driving news, more than 26,000 motorists have been caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving in the first year since harsher penalties came into force.
Among these are 500 novice drivers who have had their licences revoked for using their phone behind the wheel in their first 2 years of driving. Drivers who acquire 6 penalty points in their first two years of driving have their licence revoked and have to retake their test.
On 1 March 2017, the penalties for this offence doubled from £100 and 3 penalty points to £200 and 6 points.”
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