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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 2:41 pm 
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Hi,

On the charge sheet it states contrary to regulation 104 of the road vehicle (construction of use) regulations 1986 section 41d of the road traffic act 1988 and schedule 2 to the road traffic offenders act 1988. The driver did not have proper control of vehicle in that you were viewing a video of some sort and the mobile was plugged into vehicle charging. The vehicle carries penalty points.

To clarify In the evidence section it states The police officer has stated that he saw from 15m the driver with phone in his right hand in horizontal position and was watching something on the screen the screen was illuminated. The vehicle travelled just over one car length and was still looking at phone. He’s then approached driver (but not stated that engine was off at this point) then put that he was holding with two hand on his lap and the it was on charge and could see he was watching some sort of video.

He’s also added it is quite a busy location for vehicle and pedestrians on foot - which is ridiculous as it’s a no public access taxi queue. It’s a single file lane for taxis with barriers each side pedestrians can’t access.

As stated he was using the calculator to work something out he’s had it in his hand his owner up to that he’s still had it in hand when he’s moved forward one car length approx. He’s then turned engine off and been on his phone which I understand is not an offence.

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:55 pm 
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Can't really advise on the specifics of the law, but 'not having proper control of the vehicle' was the offence used occasionally in the days before using mobile phones became a specific offence.

Of course, the offence was more vague, and possibly a bit more difficult to prove that someone using a phone at the wheel didn't have proper control - driving slowly on a long, straight road in the quiet early hours, for example.

So the more specific offence regarding mobile phones was introduced, which didn't require proof as regards not having proper control, and also using a less cumbersome fixed penalty notice procedure.

Not that that's really relevant to what happened here, but to that extent maybe a bit more difficult for police to prove that the driver wasn't in proper control of the vehicle.

I'm guessing that police have backed down on the original mobile phone offence on the basis of what Sussex said, but now they're digging their heels in and going for the broader charge.

Don't know the case law on having 'proper control', nor the precise scenario here. But in view of the low speed and fact driver not actually communicating on phone etc, suspect good case could be made against the charge.

And if every driver who did this kind of thing was brought to book, the courts would be full and the national debt paid off from the fines revenue :roll:

But I'm sure someone on here can offer more specific and better-informed legal advice [-(

And suspect there's plenty of advice available online regards the specifics of the 'not having proper control' offence.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 7:00 pm 
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Quote:
To clarify In the evidence section it states The police officer has stated that he saw from 15m the driver with phone in his right hand in horizontal position and was watching something on the screen the screen was illuminated. The vehicle travelled just over one car length and was still looking at phone. He’s then approached driver (but not stated that engine was off at this point) then put that he was holding with two hand on his lap and the it was on charge and could see he was watching some sort of video.

So we defo are not dealing with a mobile phone offence ( 6 points and £200 fixed penalty, 6 points up to £1000 if dealt with at court), we are dealing with a case of careless driving, sentencing guideline below.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/of ... ised-2017/

If the info you have contributed to this thread is spot on the offence with come under the lower harm, lower culpability, level which means a level A fine and 3/4 points.

In my opinion if this goes to trial and the officer attends, and gives the evidence I've put in the quotes above, it will not be easy to counter that evidence.

In respect of a charge of driving without due care.

You therefore have two options.

If you disagree with the evidence sent to you by the police then plead not guilty and go to court and let the court hear both sides and decide whether the case is proved or not.

This will not be a long case, two live witnesses, your brother and the police officer. Should be over in an hour. If the case is proved then your brother should get 3/4 points (I suspect 3) and a fine based on his income. Which I suspect is quite modest in today's taxi market.

So if he is earning, say, £200 a week the fine will be £100, and the costs will be about £200. Fines and costs can be paid over a period of time if need be.

However if taking into account what the officer has said, and on reflection thinking he was correct in what he noted, then you can plead guilty and be dealt with via the single justice procedure.

If he pleads guilty and the income that he states on the means form is £200, then his fine will be £67 and the costs will be about £85. Again this can be paid over a period of time.

He will get 3/4 points, but as above I suspect 3.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 7:32 pm 
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Thanks for your help. I can’t believe they are pursuing the charge. I also think it’s umfair that they ask you to contest and then can see you have a valid appeal so then can change the charge to something else. Anyway I guess we’ll be going to court.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:38 pm 
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BladeS1 wrote:
Thanks for your help. I can’t believe they are pursuing the charge. I also think it’s umfair that they ask you to contest and then can see you have a valid appeal so then can change the charge to something else. Anyway I guess we’ll be going to court.

The police can charge someone with a careless driving offence up to 6 months from the day they allege it happened.

What they did before doesn't really matter.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:49 pm 
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Ok thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 12:28 pm 
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Hi Sussex,

Do you think the argument it’s not a public road applicable ?


Thanks

Nikki


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:43 pm 
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BladeS1 wrote:
Hi Sussex,

Do you think the argument it’s not a public road applicable ?


Thanks

Nikki

Nope.

Basically the law, in respect of public road, is if the public have free access then it's public. Clearly a taxi rank must have free access for the public.

So the law wouldn't apply in your back garden, or on a farm, but it would at a taxi rank or even a car driving off a ferry.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 7:04 pm 
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Thank you


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 5:23 pm 
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Hi all,

We are going to complete the I am pleading not guilty because field.

I am pleading not guilty to the charge as I was in full control of the taxi when I moved at snails pace one car length forward in the single file taxi lane queue at the Sheffield taxi rank. I was using my phone in one hand with the engine off whilst in the queue. I then moved at a very low speed one taxi length forward when the taxi in front of me moved with phone still in one hand. I was in full control of the taxi when I moved one taxi length forward very slowly there was no impact on my driving in these few seconds leaving ample room between me and the taxi in front

Does this sound ok ? He’s not using legal firm anymore as can’t afford with COVID-19.

Thanks

Nikki


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 6:19 pm 
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Quote:
Does this sound ok

That would be a horrible explanation for a charge of driving using a mobile, but however that's not the charge.

I'm struggling with that as a defence of driving without due care, but it could work as I know what you mean. Will a court though?

Was your brother using the phone or was he merely holding it?

And was the engine off or was the vehicle stationary?

Words matter.

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:20 pm 
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Hi

He had it in one hand when he drove one car length forward in the taxi queue.

So he did drive with it in one hand.

Thanks

Nikki


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:52 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I'm struggling with that as a defence of driving without due care, but it could work as I know what you mean. Will a court though?

Was your brother using the phone or was he merely holding it?

Isn't this a more specific offence than careless driving or without due care, or whatever - driving without proper control of the vehicle?

Not really sue about the practicalities of all this, but I'm guessing that it's a bad idea to mention the phone at all. Instead, should focus on the having proper control of the vehicle stuff? Ie concentrate on the very low speed, lack of pedestrian access, that no affect on ability to stop etc.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:53 pm 
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Quote:
Isn't this a more specific offence than careless driving or without due care, or whatever - driving without proper control of the vehicle?

It all comes under the same hat.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Quote:
Not really sue about the practicalities of all this, but I'm guessing that it's a bad idea to mention the phone at all. Instead, should focus on the having proper control of the vehicle stuff? Ie concentrate on the very low speed, lack of pedestrian access, that no affect on ability to stop etc.

The police have mentioned the phone, so Mr Taxi Driver has to give a defence to it.

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