Phone Driving Cases In Scotland -Video Available

Phone Driving Cases In Scotland -Video Available from 1st Road Traffic Law Specialists Scotland

By: 1st Road Traffic Law Specialists Scotland  01/08/2009
Keywords: Motoring Solicitors, Motoring Lawyers, Exceptional Hardship

If charged with using your mobile phone whilst driving contact us today for a . We have found that in many areas of Scotland a common "loophole" exists with the prosecution of these cases and in our legal opinion it is fatal to the Crown case and can mean that we can win YOUR case.

More than 24,000 drivers were handed £60 fines across Scotland, according to statistics published by STV News.

The figures show that 66 people are caught using their mobile phones whilst driving every day in Scotland - one-third higher than last year.

The shocking figures come as no surprise to our firm due to the level of increased enquiries that we have received in the same time.

Using a mobile phone whilst driving can range from inconsiderate use to highly dangerous and the sentences that go with it are similarly wide ranging. If prosecuted for causing death by careless or dangerous driving the possibility of a jail sentence is real.

For most drivers the consequences will be a fixed penalty of 3pp and a £60 fine.

If this penalty is likely to take you near to a totting up ban then it may be time to get in touch with us for some advice on how to proceed

We defend mobile phone prosecutions frequently and find that almost on a daily basis we are contacted in connection with these cases.

Our expertise in mobile phone case prosecutions means that we can make a real positive impact when it comes to defending you in such a case.

If you need to be defended on such a case just give us a call today for a fee quote and a chat about your case.

People are usually surprised that we can win such cases, since the evidence seems clearcut to them. However, we have had a good deal of success on a technical ground that is now presently under appeal by the Crown. If the Crown appeal fails, it will open the floodgates to hundreds if not thousands of cases in the UK wherever the police have failed to retain the mobile phone as an evidential production. The High Court is never keen to open any "Floodgates" therefore we can safely assume that there will be verycareful consideration of the implications involved in this matter.

In these days of multi function devices a phone may be a GPS, a Dictaphone,a Notebook or any number of things that could not be described as "an interactive communication device" as defined by the statute. It is my opinion therefore that in many, if not most cases the police require to seize the device to enable the Crown to establish that   1) That it is a phone and   2) That it was being used as an interactive communication device.

A statutory defence exists where the accused can show he/she was in the process of making an emergency call. Most members of the public are not aware of that and most members of the public do not contact a lawyer until the copy complaint or charge sheet is received from the Procurator Fiscal's office. This is often several months after the event and by this time there is every chance that the phone and the phone records will no longer be available, therefore the accused is left unable to establish with any degree of certainty that he/she was engaged in such an emergency call. The defence do not require to prove their position "beyond a reasonable doubt" but obviously a Magistrate will want all the evidence that can possibly be brought to assist their decision on guilt or innocence. Only a negative inference could be drawn from not having the phone records available. Remember that an "Emergency call" is not fully defined in the statute and has to be considered therefore by the court depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Since it is for the defence to establish this defence my view is that there is an element of prejudice in simply returning the phone to the accused and sending them on their way without a word of warning about how important a piece of evidence this item could be.

I am well aware that this would not make me very popular with the thousands of people who could be inconvenienced by having telephones removed from them and it may even lead to the reconsideration of how the present fixed penalty scheme operates. At present the police provide the accused with a fixed penalty notice (As long as their points don't stack up to the dreaded 12 when disqualification requires to be considered) they have 28 days to pay. If an instant fixed penalty could be paid on the spot then the accused and telephone could be allowed to go on their way. I can visualize police officers now riding around the country with their credit card readers strapped to their waist alongside the CS Gas cannisters and the truncheons.

Who knows what the future holds, certainly I have several clients who presently anxiously await the outcome of this Crown appeal A driver may call 999 or 112 in response to a genuine emergency. Two-way radios are not covered by this offence but other devices for sending or receiving data – such as Blackberrys for example - are included if they are held while driving.

What is the law about using mobile phones while driving?
It is illegal to drive a vehicle or ride a motorbike and use a hand held mobile phone or similar device. It is also illegal to supervise a learner and use a hand-held phone.

A hand held device is something that ‘is or must be held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function’. Such as texting. A device ‘similar’ to a mobile phone includes a device that can be used for sending or receiving spoken or written messages, sending or receiving still or moving images or providing Internet access. A recent English case ruled that using a Dictaphone whilst driving was not an offence under this statute.

If you accept a roadside fixed penalty notice, you will receive three points on your licence and a fine of £60.


How can the police prove that I was using my hands-free or mobile?
The police rely on their own testimony. They do not need video evidence of the alleged offence. If you are seen holding the phone whilst driving the police will suspect use. If they see you with the phone to your ear then the High Court in Scotland has previously commented that a clear inference can of course be made that you were using it. If it goes to court your phone records can be checked to determine whether you were using your phone and what type of call was being made. MSP Ted Brockelbank was found Not Guilty of using his mobile phone when in his case the prosecution evidence was simply that he was looking down towards it.

When is a driver allowed to use a hand-held phone?
Drivers are entitled to use their mobile phones for "emergency use". That Emergency use is not fully defined but one can expect it to mean wherever the driver feel a genuine reason exists to call 999.

Taxi drivers and other drivers are entitled to use  two-way radio equipment when driving, this is not a specific offence. However, you need to remember that a conversation could still distract and if the driving is regarded by the police as careless or dangerous then charges could still result in the loss of your driving licence.

How is driving defined?
Driving is using a motor vehicle on public roads and can include when a vehicle is stopped at traffic lights or during a traffic hold-up. The definition of public road can throw up some interesting legal points therefore if you have been charged as a result of a call from a car park or the like you should take legal advice on how to proceed with your case.

What if I use the phone for work?
Employers can be prosecuted under this piece of legislation simply because they have existing work systems that encourage employees to make calls when driving and they no adequate hands free system in place.

If charged with using your mobile phone whilst driving contact us today for a . We have found that in many areas of Scotland a common "loophole" exists with the prosecution of these cases and in our legal opinion it is fatal to the Crown case and can mean that we can win YOUR case.

Keywords: Exceptional Hardship, Mobile phone driving case, Mobile Phones and driving, Motoring Lawyers, Motoring Solicitors, phone driving case, scotland speeding, The road traffic lawyer,

Contact 1st Road Traffic Law Specialists Scotland


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