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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:58 
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Daily Mail

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Six-point penalty for car owners who stay silent over speedersBy RAY MASSEY
Last updated at 21:44pm on 21st September 2007

Car owners will get six points on their licence if they fail to reveal who was at the wheel of a vehicle caught speeding.

Tougher rules which take effect on Monday will see a doubling of the current penalty.

Failure to supply details in time to the prosecuting authorities - whether deliberate or due to forgetfulness or tardiness - means the registered keeper of the vehicle will be penalised.

The change to the Road Safety Act 2006 for the offence of "failing to identify the driver" has been introduced partially in response to the increasing number of speed camera offences.

A recent poll for insurance broker Swinton showed 3.7million motorists - 12 per cent - would be prepared to ask a relative or friend to take speed camera penalty points for them if they were facing a driving ban.

The Government is also seeking to close other loopholes by increasing the fine for failing to stop for police and introducing a road ban for those convicted of "furious driving" on private land.

Prosecutors will also be able to offer "alternative verdicts" of death by dangerous driving and careless driving if a driver has been cleared of manslaughter.

But Paul Smith, founder of the pressure group SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: "This change has absolutely nothing to do with road safety - it's just spiteful.

"The authorities have forgotten that driving licence points were supposed to help identify risky drivers. Giving extra points to people who simply fumble the paperwork will further devalue the licence points system."

He went on: "Vehicle owners have no obligation to 'name the driver' if they do not know who the driver was at the time of the alleged offence and cannot discover the identity of the driver using reasonable diligence.

"It's crystal clear that speed cameras haven't made our roads safer.

"We're still waiting for the Department for Transport to admit their policies have failed."

Drivers do have a legal defence if they can prove they genuinely do not recall who was at the wheel of the car when the alleged speeding offence took place.

In November 2003, the TV personality Christine Hamilton escaped a speeding fine by claiming she didn't know whether she or her husband Neil, a former Tory minister, was driving at the time.

She told a court one of them was behind the wheel of her car when it was snapped by a speed camera at 63mph in a temporary 50mph roadworks zone on the M62.

"Yes, it was speeding but I couldn't tell who was driving," Mrs Hamilton, 53, said. District Judge Alan Berg accepted her explanation and threw out the case.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "Road traffic laws exist to protect us all.

"The change in maximum penalty for failing to identify the driver of a vehicle when requested to do so reflects the severity of these offences.

"The increase is designed to discourage the very small minority of drivers who seek to deliberately avoid prosecution or seek to receive a lesser penalty for driving at extreme speeds.

"The keeper of the vehicle has the opportunity to prove at court that he was not the driver at the time of the alleged offence and that he could not reasonably have known who the driver was - such as if the vehicle had been stolen."

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:13 
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"The keeper of the vehicle has the opportunity to prove at court that he was not the driver at the time of the alleged offence and that he could not reasonably have known who the driver was - such as if the vehicle had been stolen."


Un-f***ing-believably wrong on so many levels.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 16:03 
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The change in maximum penalty for failing to identify the driver of a vehicle when requested to do so reflects the severity of these offences.

:?
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The increase is designed to discourage the very small minority of drivers who seek to deliberately avoid prosecution or seek to receive a lesser penalty for driving at extreme speeds

So this very costly change has been put through to try to catch how many people exactly?

As I have said before, the process is deemed more important than increasing safety.

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 16:37 
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I’d say it’s to put people off defending themselves in general. They don’t want the motorist questioning and wasting too much of the courts time because they have too many fines to process. If people plead not guilty it uses up too much of their (the establishments) resources and reduces profits. All these governments are interested in, is production line fining.

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