Penalty points are not only accrued behind the wheel

13th October 2017

Penalty points are not only accrued behind the wheel

Dreaded driving licence penalty points are the scourge of motorists everywhere. With the increase in speed cameras and advancements in vehicle recognition technology, it seems as though drivers are scrutinised like never before.

And – as a recent court case proves – points are not only accrued behind the wheel.

The case concerns a motorist who was punished for failing to respond to a request from the police for information after his car triggered a red-light traffic camera.

The force had written to the driver, giving notice of their intention to prosecute and requesting he identify who was driving at the time of the alleged offence.

He duly completed the response but instead of posting the document himself, he left it in a post tray at the university where he worked – where it subsequently went astray.

The driver was convicted by magistrates for failing to give the required information as per the Road Traffic Act. Earlier this week, his appeal against his conviction was rejected, despite the court accepting he had completed and signed the form indicating that the driver at the relevant time was a third party.

The Deputy District Judge ruled that the claimant, in leaving the notice in a post tray at his place of work, had not discharged his obligation under the law to respond to police.

The court found that section 172(2) of the act had to be interpreted in a way that provided a ‘practical, fair and enforceable system’ for identifying the drivers of vehicles.

Had the driver actually put the letter in the post himself, he would have ‘given the required information’.

How can Gotelee help?

Even with the best of intentions, we can all fall foul of driving laws, particularly given our reliance on car travel – and this case is an unusual but stark example of how easy it is to do just that.

If you find yourself under investigation, Gotelee is here to help. We won’t judge – instead, we’ll assess your situation and advise you on the best way forward.

We have a wealth of experience in representing those who are under investigation and our team of expert lawyers can explain the options open to you in a clear and understandable way.

Gotelee has offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Melton.

If you would like to know where you stand on any issue of criminal law, contact Hugh Rowland on 01473 298140 or at, or Howard Catherall on 01473 298167 or at

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