Drivers across the UK could be in a position to request their fines and court costs are repaid following the successful acquittal of a driver who was prosecuted for not updating her licence.
Lincolnshire based transport solicitor, Michael Pace, partner at Andrew & Co, proved his client had been wrongly convicted after police charged her for not having insurance because her licence details were out of date and was therefore invalid.
Pace proved that an out of date licence does not constitute an expired licence and that police forces and magistrates had been prosecuting under Section 87 (1) of the Road Traffic Act rather than Section 99 (5) which refers to the update of a photo or address details on the photocard. Under this section, a fine of £1000 can be issued, but police do not have the right to add points, seize vehicles or claim that insurance is affected.
Speaking following the acquittal, Michael Pace said: “The mistake starts with the words used on the plastic licence: ‘licence valid to…’It ought to read: ‘photo valid to…’”
He added: “My goal is to get this out. People need to be more aware of it. If they are stopped and the police talk about seizing their vehicle, they can’t. The police have got it wrong.”
Chief inspector of Lincolnshire Police, Stewart Brinn said: “We have issued clear guidance to all our staff to rectify this situation and we have also raised the issue at both regional and national forums. I can only reinforce that failure to have a current photograph or address on a driving licence remains an offence for which people can face prosecution.”
Story via Commercial Motor. Read the full story here.