The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Toad In A Hole (2)

There have been some interesting comments on the previous thread, and a deal of misunderstanding. Here we go, then:-
This was a matter of Dangerous Driving (not speeding). Dangerous driving is that where the standard falls far below that to be expected of a reasonably careful and competent driver. It is an either-way offence, which means that it could be tried before magistrates or the Crown Court. Since the driver pleaded guilty I presume that the lower court declined jurisdiction on the grounds that the case was too serious for its powers (it wasn't, apparently).
There was an earlier charge of TWOC since he did not have his employer's permission to use the vehicle but the Crown seems to have settled for a plea to Dangerous Driving. Speeding and No Insurance matters were not charged either.
As to the comments:- Some say this was a victimless crime. Indeed, but that was sheer good fortune. You could say the same about heaving a heavy object off a tall building where it misses passers-by on landing. The PC Milton case was in the lower court, so it is not a guide to subsequent cases in the way that a Crown Court case can be.
On a personal note I entirely agree about the way in which drivers who wish to break the law try to intimidate the law-abiding. I do most of my driving on motorways, and since I try to drive responsibly I am well used to being tailgated on a motorway that is full. I will always move to the left when there is room, but sometimes there is none. Because I am meticulous about maintaining a safe distance from the car in front, some other drivers become desperate to get by, presumably to tailgate the next car in the high speed queue. With the almost total lack of police patrols these days, this is going to get worse until the day that is not too far off, when car speeds will be electronically regulated from the roadside.