7 Dangerous Internet Myths & Fictitious Driving Loopholes
Dangerous Motoring Law Myths
There are many sites online promoting all sorts of different internet myths to do with getting away with motoring offences. We get to hear them all the time, and the sad fact is that most of them don’t work.
We appreciate that you might be desperate to defend the allegations against you and will reach out for anything that might help you, but in most instances, by the time the man in the street has heard about a supposed loophole, it has already been addressed by law and so drivers then using those loopholes end up with a weak argument, or no argument at all and often ends up in a worse position than they would have been by pleading guilty in the first place.
Listen to Emma’s BBC Radio interview with Mark Forrest discussing some common motoring law myths and misapprehensions:
We can advise you on legitimate defences once we have heard the circumstances of your case and stop you from getting into trouble by trying to use one of the dodgy ‘internet’ defences below.
Number 1 myth
Identifying the Driver is a breach of my human rights!
As the registered keeper of my vehicle, I have been asked under Section 172 of the RTA to provide the identity of the person driving my vehicle when an offence happened.
My human rights say that I don’t have to incriminate myself by providing this information.
I also believe that it is up to the prosecution to prove the allegations against me beyond reasonable doubt and so it is not up to me to tell them anything.
This is not a valid argument. This has been argued over and over in court and indeed all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.
The ECHR clearly states that the keeper of a vehicle is obliged by law to give information relating to the identity of the person driving if and when that vehicle is involved in an alleged road traffic offence. It also states that this compromise is proportionate to the requirement to maintain safe roads.
This means that you are required to name the driver of the vehicle at the time of an alleged offence and that you can be punished if you fail to do so. (Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – a large fine and six points).
Until you register a car you can drive it on your old car insurance policy
I have purchased a car and haven’t insured it because I am covered on the policy for my old car. I am covered to drive any vehicle owned by someone else with their permission. I haven’t yet registered my new car so it is still owned by someone else.
As soon as you do the deal for a car, pay for it, part exchange against it, or take possession of it, you enter into a legally binding contract and you own the vehicle.
You don’t have to be the registered keeper in order to be considered the owner of the car. This means in the above instance, you are not driving another persons car, and therefore you are not insured.
There is a Mistake on my Fixed Penalty Notice
The police officer made a mistake when he issued the fixed penalty notice so I can get away with the offence.
Mistakes on fixed penalty notices are surprisingly common. These are usually issued for offences such as speeding, traffic sign violations, traffic light offences etc.
But….. does a mistake on the FPN invalidate it?
Normally no it doesn’t.
The fixed penalty notice should be considered as an offer by the police which will allow you to get the matter settled quickly and cost effectively.
The ticket does not represent the evidence that the police have against you, but is instead just a summary of the offence and an opportunity if you choose to settle the matter by paying £60 – £200 and receiving three to six penalty points on your driving licence.
Many people want to argue that the FPN is defective because it has the wrong date, registration number, a misspelt name or an incorrect date of birth, but please remember this is not the officers evidence that you have in front of you.
If you reject the fixed penalty notice then the police will ask the court to issue a summons and when that happens, the officer will refer to his notebook for details of your case. He is unlikely to make the same errors on the summons.
It is a different case however if you don’t agree with the details of the offence itself. If you don’t accept that you are guilty then you should ask the court for a hearing so that you can contest the allegations.
The fact that the police officer originally made a mistake will help your defence as it makes it easier for you to prove that the officer in question was not thorough in his approach and that therefore the rest of his evidence may be unreliable.
There is a process to go through and you will not win if you simply stand up and claim that there is an error on your paperwork.
The police officers job in court is to prove that you committed the offence beyond reasonable doubt, if he can prove that then a mistake on the original ticket will not help your case.
It’s a really minor speeding offence. If I ignore the NIP and the request to provide information the police won’t bother with a summons.
Regardless of the severity of your alleged offence, if the prosecution are convinced that they have reliable evidence that you committed the motoring offence then you will be summonsed to appear in court.
It is not wise to ignore the initial request for the drivers identity because if you do, you will add the offence of failing to provide the drivers identity onto your offences and it carries a hefty fine (usually in the region of £700) and 6 penalty points on your licence.
In addition you won’t have a defence to the allegation if you just ignore it and hope it will go away.
If I name a foreign national the police will just forget about it.
This used to happen a lot and so if you do this, the police will assume that you are lying in an attempt to avoid the points yourself.
The police hear this defence all the time, and their normal procedure is to initially ask you to prove that the person in question was insured to drive your vehicle.
If you can’t provide that proof then you may well be charged with allowing someone to drive uninsured which itself carries 6 – 8 penalty points as well as a substantial fine.
If however you can demonstrate that the person concerned was insured then you will have a defence. You can additionally argue that the burden of proving that the person wasn’t insured lies with the prosecution.
When you receive an NIP it is always best to tell the truth because there is a very real risk of digging a deep hole for yourself if you don’t.
Letters from Online Websites
If I purchase a pack of letters online guaranteed to get me off a speeding offence they will be successful. The police won’t take any action against me.
You need to know that the police have seen all these letters many times before. These letters are sold in bulk and as such are pro-forma’s which won’t be totally applicable to your case in every instance.
If the police believe that you are trying to pervert the course of justice then you could get your self into real trouble, so be very careful that you do not attempt to mislead them with your response to your notice of intended prosecution.
We would advise against trying to use those letters. They have not been created by legal professionals and if they do not contain the specific details of your case then you could easily find yourself facing a prison sentence.
Giving the Points to Someone Else
I already have 9 points on my licence. I am going to get my partner to take the points for my latest speeding offence. The police have better things to do than investigate me.
Often, the police will look into any case where a third party has been identified as the driver. If you are already close a totting up ban then alarm bells will start to ring and this is when the police will investigate further.
A couple of years ago a vicar was imprisoned for 2 months for attempting to pervert the course of justice when he named his wife are the car driver. He already had 9 points on his licence and the police decided to investigate.
The MP Chris Huhne is currently in court (Feb 2013) for the same offence and faces the very real prospect of a prison sentence.
It is a dangerous path to tread, and we strongly advise you not to do it. Stick to the truth.
If you speak to us about your case we can advise you of the legitimate ways we can defend your allegations and can advise whether you would be able to use an exceptional hardship argument.
We currently have a 85% success rate mounting exceptional hardship arguments and are always willing to look at your circumstances and advise you on the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Don’t take a chance with your court case, take charge of it…… Ask a FREE question without obligation and let us help to minimise your punishment….. TODAY!
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