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, August 18, 2009

A Bit More About Careless Driving

Just a few thoughts about the MA's reaction to the proposal to make Driving Without Due Care and Attention a £60 plus three-point fixed penalty:-

1) With speeding or jumping a red light the offence is clear and easy to assess. The police themselves have a cut-off speed above which they send a case to court, because the court has powers to impose penalties that the police cannot.
2) Careless Driving covers a very wide spectrum of behaviour, from a low-speed parking bump right up to taking a corner much too fast, spinning off the road and demolishing another car before hitting a tree. That is why the law allows us to impose between three and nine points or to disqualify in bad cases. Assessing seriousness is a job for a court.
3) The ACPO spokesman refers, inevitably, to the fact that fixed penalties are cheap. So they are, but I am talking about justice.
4) We are told that the huge increase in out of court disposals to over half of cases has freed up police officers to deal with serious crime. That explains the recent phenomenon of police patrols appearing everywhere in our towns and cities then?