Is It A Defence If I Don’t Know Insurance Has Lapsed

Question:

Driving without insurance

Dear Patterson Law,

I had moved homes and for some reason my insurance company did not get my letter of change of address. Several months later my insurance ran out, the renewal notices had been sent to my old address.

I was stopped by Police who informed me I had no insurance. I feel that because I dd not have the intention to commit an offense, I have a defence.

According to the Road Traffic act 1988

143)A person charged with using a motor vehicle in contravention of this section shall not be convicted if he proves;.

(c)that he neither knew nor had reason to believe that there was not in force in relation to the vehicle such a policy of insurance or security as is mentioned in subsection (1) above.

Paula Says:

I’m afraid driving without insurance is a strict liability offence. This means that not knowing that your insurance had lapsed is not a defence.

The only exception is under s.143(3) where if you are driving in the course of your employment and the vehicle does not belong to you and you think that you are covered then you have a defence

This is where you have got this section from. This section does not apply if you are not driving in the course of your employment – or if the vehicle belongs to you. Or both!

It sounds as though the vehicle did belong to you?

I’m afraid you wont have a special reasons argument – the court will take the view that you are responsible for making sure that you keep on top of your renewal dates etc.

Have you got any points already? If so, how many? Are you a new driver? If so your are going to be at risk of revocation.

Tell me more and I will be happy to assist further.

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