UK driving licence

DVLA changes could affect motorbike and scooter riders relying on CBT

Posted Posted in News

Get six points on your licence and you could be stopped from riding until you retake CBT

If you’re a new driver and you get six points on your licence within your first two years of driving, the current rules are that you will lose your licence and have to retake the driving test to obtain a new one.

You can have a provisional licence, and drive with L-plates under supervision, until the test is passed again.

 But for many motorbike or scooter riders things are different as many people who ride a motorbike or scooter never actually take a motorcycle test and hence never obtain a full licence.

Instead, if you are aged over 17 you are entitled to ride a motorcycle (up to 125cc) for up to two years on L plates after taking Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).  

If you do not go on to pass a full motorcycle driving test within two years of taking the CBT, you can simply do the CBT course again.

Since the cost is far less than full motorcycle training, and as it’s quicker and easier to pass than a full driving test, it’s a popular option to simply retake the CBT course every two years, at least for riders of machines of no more than 125cc.

Currently, if you are riding on CBT only and you get six penalty points on your provisional licence, you can still carry on riding.

But the DVLA is proposing to change the rules so that you would instead have to redo your CBT, as your existing certificate would be cancelled. 

In addition, the DVLA is proposing to add a theory test to the CBT and make other changes to the training,

 The proposals are up for consultation until 17 February 2017. You can read more about them, and have your say at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-moped-and-motorcycle-training

 

 

 

Watch out! Notice of Intended Prosecution scam

Posted Posted in News

Have you received a “Notice of Intended Prosecution” by e-mail? If so, it is definitely a scam.

Where a speeding offence has been detected by a camera, Police forces will routinely send out a document requiring the registered keeper of the vehicle to identify the driver at the relevant time, and giving notice of their intention to prosecute. The Notice is headed “Notice of Intended Prosecution”.

Recently, there have been reports of people receiving e-mails – convincing and official looking, and usually with a police logo – stating that the recipient’s vehicle has been involved in a speeding offence and requiring them to submit details of the driver. The addressee is asked to click on a link to see the photographic evidence of the offence.

Clicking any link in the email will install malware (typically “virus” programs that that can be used to collect personal details) on your computer.

No police force in the UK sends out its Notice of Intended Prosecution documents by email: they will always be sent by first class post, for the very good reason that proof of posting is prima facie proof of delivery and enables the Police to mount a prosecution for failure to comply with the requirement to nominate a driver, if the request is not complied with.

So if you receive an “electronic” Notice of Intended Prosecution you can safely ignore it – or better still, report it as a phishing scam to Action Fraud and help protect others too: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime

For more information on what to do if you receive a genuine Notice of Intended Prosecution follow this link  http://www.londonmotoringlawyer.co.uk/notice-of-intended-prosection/

using a mobile phone whilst driving

Higher penalties and fines coming in 2017 if you are convicted of driving using a mobile

Posted Posted in News

There’s been considerable press comment on the Government’s plan to double the penalties (both fines and points) at some point in 2017 for those caught using a mobile phone whilst driving. When the DoT started its consultation in January 2016, the plan was to increase the penalty for car drivers from 3 to 4 points, and increase the fixed penalty fine from 100 to 150, wth doubling of penalties only for HGV drivers. Such was the strength of public support for stiffer penalties – perhaps driven by a number of tragic cases in which phone use was implicated in fatal accidents – that the DoT has now said it will double the penalties for ALL drivers.

This means that you will be facing 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine for this offence from 2017.

If then you are successfully charged for a second offence, that will lead to a disqualification.

Prosecutions have fallen from over 120,000 a year to fewer than 30,000. It’s difficult to say whether that’s because of more widespread use of fully hands free phone kits in cars, less use of hand held phones by drivers, or even the suggestion that there’s been a cut in the number of traffic officers.

Here are some important points to consider if you’re facing a charge of using a mobile phone and are wondering if you may have a defence:

  • Everyone talks about mobile phones – but any device that can send a message (subject to some very tight exceptions to cover authorised radio users, for example) is included
  • You don’t have to be making a phone call or sending/receiving a text to be found guilty. Using any other function on the device can be enough, such as looking at a map, or even taking a video of what another driver on the road in front of you is doing.
  • If an officer says they saw you with the device in your hand, an itemised bill showing that no call was made or received is not guaranteed to save you.
  • If you have to do anything that involves touching the device or anything attached to it, to make or answer a call, then the device is NOT considered “hands free.” Using ear buds or a head set is a risk if you have answered a call using the phone itself, the phone need not even be in your hand.