How to challenge a roadside fine
One of the things that really gets a good debate going during our driver cpc training is the topic of roadside fines. Most drivers have
a story to tell about spot checks and either being fined or having a lucky escape.
I just wanted to let you know that it is possible to challenge a fixed penalty notice for vehicle defects and win. One of the most
common stories we hear is of a driver who has carried out defect checks on the vehicle at the start of the shift, then during the
shift they have been pulled over for a roadside check where defects were found. Now depending on the defect found, what normally happens is the driver is given a fixed penalty and just accepts it. Unless you feel you are in the wrong DON’T accept it, because unfortunately if a fixed penalty is issued against a driver for an endorsable construction and use offence and the driver hands over their licence for endorsement then it is too late to fight it.
So how can you fight a fixed penalty?
First of all you need to understand a little bit about the “Road Traffic Act 1988”. A driver can be prosecuted for an offence
relating to the condition of the vehicle. At the same time, the employer can be prosecuted as a user of the vehicle under sections
40-42 of the Road Traffic Act.
NOTE: This means that if the operator is a partner or a sole trader then a conviction will lead to the endorsement of the employers
drivers licence. An employer that has formed a limited company can avoid this as the limited company is the operator and does not have a driving licence to endorse.
So offences under 40A (Vehicle use in a dangerous condition) and offences under 41A (Brakes, Steering and Tyre offences) are known as endorsable offences and come with 3 penalty points. Now even if the vehicle was defective endorsement points can be avoided through a special provision found in section 48 of the “Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988”
To do this the driver or the operator will need to challenge the normal course of action by proving that they did not know and had no cause to suspect that the use of the vehicle involved danger of injury to any person. This is where a paper trail of drivers defect
reports will come in handy. As long as you can provide sufficient evidence than the court is not permitted to endorse or disqualify.
In cases like this the court will normally impose an absolute discharge which means that while an offence was technically committed no penalty is imposed.
There are thousands of drivers and operators out there that have unnecessary points on their licences. So if you feel you are in the right then “STAND YOUR GROUND”.
I hope this helps you out of some unnecessary penalty points in the future and as always if you need more information on this please get in touch.