Technology has been developed by the DVLA and the Home Office for police officers to use at the roadside to confirm the identity of a driver.
The technology allows instant access to a photograph of the driver. The picture is held on the DVLA driver’s database, and immediate access is provided to officers dealing with motoring offences.
The technology is currently being used by 18 police forces, with a plan to roll it out to a further ten forces over the next few weeks.
The real reason for the development of the technology is to speed up processes. At the moment, it can take up to sixteen minutes for an officer to confirm a person’s identity. An officer may have to conduct further checks on the information given by a driver, and in some cases, it can lead to a person’s arrest for their identity to be verified.
The use of the technology is currently limited to motoring offences and was first piloted in the summer of 2019. In the time to June 2021, the following benefits are said to have occurred:
- 14,000 hours saved by Road Police Unit Officers and local Policing Officers
- roadside checks are 66% faster, meaning less time wasted by drivers
- the police accessed 86,513 images to identify drivers at the roadside.
The system works by the officer searching the police national computer (also known as PNC) for the driving licence number, which is unique to the individual. That is used to obtain the correct image from the DVLA, which can be checked with the driver. The image is only accessible during the check and is not retained. The access to DVLA records is confined to use for the purpose of enforcing road traffic offences.
The 18 forces currently using the technology are:
- The City of London Police
- Police Scotland
- South Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire
- Devon and Cornwall
More technological advances are planned, including the digitalisation of provisional driving licences to be assessed before looking at a digital licence for full licence holders.
During lockdown, the DVLA also introduced new digital services for transactions. These include an online application for a tachograph card, a digitalisation of paper-based prosecutions, and an online service to change an address on a vehicle log book (V5C).
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If you need specialist advice in relation to any driving offences, criminal investigation or prosecution, from the initial investigation through to court proceedings, please get in touch. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email email@example.com. Let us help.[Image credit: Crown Copyright ] Read More
In some instances, more than one person can be responsible for causing death by dangerous driving.
An unusual case arose recently where the “driver” of a car which was stationary on the hard shoulder was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
“A” was the driver of the car on the hard shoulder. She was the designated driver taking her drunk friends’ home in the early hours of the morning. “A” became irritated by her friends arguing and pulled over onto the hard shoulder. She set off driving again before pulling back onto the hard shoulder. She was not displaying her hazard lights. A passing car sounded his horn at them as they had a car door open near to the highway. This time the vehicle was on the hard shoulder for about fifteen minutes.
“L” was driving a truck which, for some reason, swerved across the lanes and struck A’s car on the hard shoulder. One of A’s passengers was killed, and “A” and another passenger were seriously injured.
“A” was prosecuted on the basis that she was ‘driving’, that the driving was dangerous and that it was a contributory factor in the collision.
The first trial judge accepted the defence argument that the chain of causation was broken.
In his judgment, it was not reasonably foreseeable that a third party, at 4.30am, in light traffic, would be so distracted that he would suddenly career across three lanes onto the hard shoulder. He was satisfied that L’s driving was a new and intervening act that broke the chain of causation.
“A” was undoubtedly the driver of her car, even though it wasn’t moving. It was also arguable that what she did was dangerous as she should not have stopped on the hard shoulder, other than in an emergency.
As the judge took this decision, known as a terminating ruling, the case did not go before the jury.
The prosecution appealed that decision saying that the jury should consider these issues. They argued that the prosecution just had to show that A’s driving was a cause, not the cause.
The Court of Appeal decided that the judgment was wrong. The law did not require that the particular circumstances should be foreseeable. What had to be sensibly anticipated was that another vehicle might leave the carriageway and collide with the parked car.
The case was sent back to the Crown Court for “A” to stand trial for the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
How can we help?
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. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help.Read More