Showing posts from September 2013
Ridiculous Delays In The Prosecution Of Road Traffic Cases
The Government has overseen a brutal series of cost cutting exercises within the criminal justice system. The sole purpose has been to save money at the expense of justice. Nowhere is this more evident than in road traffic cases.
I have just fixed a trial for a client facing prosecution for allegedly driving while impaired through drugs. The issues are straightforward and the trial will take no more than 3 hours. The earliest the court can hear the case is April 2014.
France Drop Speed Camera Offenses For The Day
Today looks like being a good day for motorists in France. The French Police are so fed up with Francois Hollande that for today only they are not going to enforce the law when it comes to speeding motorists. I'm not quite sure how the French logic links the Prime Minister with speeding offences, but I am sure that it will provide a welcome respite for the beleagured motorists.
It also provides an excellent opportunity to see what impact this will have upon road safety. One assumes that if there is no increase in road traffic accidents then speed camera enforcement is not there to make the roads safer. But simply to generate Government revenue.
What New Laws Could Reduce Cyclist/Motorist Accidents?
I have spent the last 24 years defending a whole range of people facing criminal prosecution for virtually every known offence. One area that still never fails to touch me is a fatal accident involving a motorist and a cylist/pedestrian or any other road user. In my opinion criminal law has lost sight of the fact that in the majority of these cases are ACCIDENTS.
These cases almost always involve a perfectly normal, respectable person driving to work and colliding with another on foot or bike doing the exact same thing. The fact is that human beings are fallible, we all make mistakes and people caught up in fatal road collisions never mean to hurt anyone.
In an instant, people's lives are changed and sometimes destroyed.
New Plans To Reduce Accidents
The key to reducing these fatal accidents is the education of all road users. New plans to be implemented will soon make it obligatory for trucks to have a mirror fitted to the nearside to enable the driver to see a cyclist between the truck and the pavement. Failure to have one will result in a fine. Lets go one step further. Why not impose an on the spot fine for cyclists who ride on the inside of a truck when it is indicating to turn right? The combination of both of these would reduce road deaths.
Add to that the compulsory wearing of high visibility clothing for all cyclists on the highway and I am convinced that fatal accidents involving cyclists would significantly fall.
If you are facing criminal prosecution and require assistance please contact us on 0800 195 6567 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What Is The Definition of a Motor Vehicle?
I think this is the first time in my 24 year career that I have disagreed with a magistrates court that found in favour of the motorist.
A few weeks ago a chap appeared before the Bury St. Edmunds Magistrates Court. He was charged with driving whilst disqualified. He had previously been disqualified for driving with excess alcohol. Being a particularly resourceful gentleman he decided as he couldnt drive a motor car he would transport himself by way of a motorised skateboard. The police saw him, arrested him and prosecuted him for driving a motor vehicle whilst disqualified.
The chap pleaded not guilty upon the basis that the skateboard was not a motor vehicle. Having considered all the evidence, the magistrates found him not guilty. They felt a reasonable person would not think it was a motor vehicle.
Please note that decision was wrong! Please do not follow it.
In any other court, on any other day this would have been a guilty verdict. The skateboard was powered by an engine and specific case law on virtually the exact same thing confirms that it is a motor vehicle, so I advise you, do not drive one if you are disqualified, drunk, etc, etc. I suspect that the Crown Prosecution Service will appeal the decision and it will be overturned.
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