The basic principles of road traffic law
What Offences are there under Road Traffic Law?
Considering the number of cars that are on the roads today, it is essential that road traffic law and its array of areas in which law is required to regulate the drivers actions is in place. Without such regulation drivers would be in somewhat of a free for all. Imagine the condition the roads would be in and how many accidents there would be if there were no laws governing road traffic. People would be free to drink and drive, drive whilst on the phone and drive dangerously with no insurance. It would be mayhem. Road traffic laws are in place to regulate the actions of drivers and ensure the roads are as safe as possible. I aim to look at a variety of the different areas of road traffic law where offences are frequently made and what protection is in place to deter and punish offences.
Drink driving as a road traffic law offence
Drink driving offences are becoming increasingly common. Individuals seem to think that they know exactly how much they can drink and still be under the limit. The police are entitled to pull over and breathalyse any person who is driving, attempting to drive, or in charge of a motor vehicle on the road, to see if they are over the drink and drive limit. The current limit of alcohol legally allowed to still drive is, 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
The 4 most common offences under road traffic law for drink driving offences are the following:
Failing to provide a roadside breath test
- Driving/Attempting to Drive with excess alcohol
- Being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol
- After Driving/Attempting to drive refusing to provide samples for analysis
If you are found to be over the limit and are going to be charged you must attend Court on the date and time given in the notice of impending prosecution. You will not usually be allowed to drive from the station that evening obviously but you are free to drive until the date of your hearing when any ban that may be imposed will come into immediate effect.
Speeding as a road traffic law offence
These are one of the most common forms of offence that road traffic law covers. Minimum offences result in the serving of a notice of impending prosecution, which often results in 3 points on the drivers licence and a £60 fine. Moderate offences result in the individual being prosecuted and taken to court. They can receive 3-6 points on their licence and fines up to £1000. The most severe speeding offences result in a driver being banned from the road for 7-90 days on average, depending on the severity of the speeding offence.
Mobile phone use as a road traffic law offence
Under road traffic law it is now a specific offence to be using a mobile phone in hand whilst in a moving vehicle. The punishment for using a mobile whilst driving is 3 points on the individuals licence and a maximum fine of £60. The fine costs can exceed this if the individual is taken to court, where they used a mobile fine whilst being a driver of a goods vehicle or a bus. These provisions also apply to any driving instructor. Even if the learner is driving the car, the instructor is not allowed to be on their phone as they are in charge of supervising the every move of the learner and should not be distracted.
Driving without insurance as a road traffic law offence
Road traffic law stipulates that every driver must have as a bare minimum 3rd party insurance cover before driving on the road. Driving without insurance can be costly for every party involved and the insurance is there to provide the cover for these damages. Without insurance this cannot be claimed and can result in individuals suffering financial loss. Driving without insurance is a serious offence, the potential punishments for drivers guilty of this offence is a fine up to £5000 and 6-8 points on their licence.
The majority of road traffic offences are relatively easy for police to prove, however in some cases the individual convicted may feel as though they were not guilty of the offence and wish to claim against the convictions. In this situation a solicitor would be required to assist with all relevant claim considerations.