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Letter from the Police.. What next? Will I lose my license??

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by silver75, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. silver75
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    silver75 Big Ron

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    OK I had a collision with a cyclist... Driving to work I come to a crossroad...(the junction at Rosebery Avenue and Farringdon St by the big Post Office in clerkenwell)

    I get to the lights and I am indicating to turn left into Farringdon Road as I am pulling away I notice a cyclist come from behind me and then to my left. As I am already indicating to turn left I assume that he too is turning left so I drive a little bit wide of him and turn... as I am turning he collides into the near side rear quarter of my car (turns out he was going straight :keule: )

    So I pull over and go over to the guy who is stood by the side of the road... I ask him if he is ok then berate him slightly for the way he rode his bike and then drove off.

    Now I have received a letter from the Met police asking for my name address insurance documents etc and it also says I am accused of:

    Failing to stop after an accident

    Failing to give particulars or to report an accident within 24 hours

    Driving without due care and attention


    ...I realise that I didn’t report the accident to the police but this was because the guy looked fine and I didn’t even know that this was the procedure for minor accidents like these… so what will happen next? Anyone know?? Am I screwed? I am sure he has witnesses but I dont have any :(

    Any help would be appreciated

    Peace :cool:



    :EDIT: just to add if I get 3 more points I will lose my licence
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  3. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    From what you say happened I would say it was his fault but the best advice I could give you is go and see a solicitor ASAP.You may be covered under your car or house insurance so get it sorted ASAP and good look Big Ron.
    #2
  4. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Sorry to hear what has happened. You see cyclists doing all sorts of stupid stuff in central London.

    I got an almost identical letter last year when I brushed past the back of a car in the queue for a roundabout. I thought I'd clipped the kerb with offside front tyre - I'd actually brushed their back bumper with my nearside rear. Anyway, I didn't stop at the time as I didn't know I'd touched them. When I got home and saw the scuff marks, I rang the police to ask what to do and they advised to report it in person just to cover my arse.

    I got the same letter within a few weeks and was also surprised given I'd done everything I had supposed to have done. After giving all my details for the second time, and being worried for a month or so, I got a letter saying that nothing further would happen due to 'lack of evidence'.

    In your instance, you stopped, you made sure the person was ok - were they injured at all? If they weren't injured, then you have satisfied the letter of the law by stopping and exchanging info with them. If they were injured, then you have to report the accident to the police within 24hrs, presenting all your details. (The full list of what you have to do: http://www.theaa.com/allaboutcars/legal/at_the_scene.html)

    Assuming no injuries, it just sounds like the Police are fishing for a possible prosecution - and providing all your paperwork is in order then you'll get the same letter as me a few weeks later once they are satisfied you are legit.

    Good luck.
    #3
  5. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    #4
  6. silver75
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    silver75 Big Ron

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Cheers for the advice and links guys

    He wasnt injured (at the time) but no details were exchanged just seen this...

    I didnt exchange details with guy although I stopped to make sure he was OK, I also did not report the accident to the police (didnt know I had to)

    I am well and truly screwed :(
    #5
  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    I wouldn't worry about it, they're just covering their arses. Sounds like the bike rider has been advised by some litigious ****** to report the incident in case long term injury was caused, (neck brace, slightly achy, I've done something stupid so I want some money, thanks claims direct!).
    All the police are doing is processing the report which triggers the frightening letter you've had, but bear in mind the same letter would go out for someone who committed a real hit & run. Just provide them with everything they have asked for ensure you keep copies and send it recorded delivery, so you have a record of the paper trail. Chances are nothing further will happen.
    Same thing happened to my wife, she lightly bumped a car at a roundabout (which was clear, but the driver started to go then braked), and the driver and passenger both filed for whiplash. There wasn't even any damage to our car, just a slight scuff on the bumper. Our insurance company even came to look at the car and agreed there was no way anyone could have been physically hurt in such a light impact. But they wouldn't fight it and ended up paying out £1,500 each to the tossers as it was cheaper than going to court. This is the state of the nation at the moment, no one takes responsibility for their actions, and it devalues the cases for the real victims.
    #6
  8. Markey
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    Markey Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    How long ago CCTV about ?

    As AndyMac said above, sounds like a standard letter that their computers just spit out.
    #7
  9. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    No, you aren't. Re-read what it says again - you must:
    ...give your vehicle registration number, your name and address, and that of the vehicle owner (if different), to anyone with reasonable grounds for asking for those details

    i.e. what it says is if someone involved in the accident asks you for your details, you must give them to them. If they didn't ask for them at the time, you don't have to starting handing out your details to all and sundry. If the cyclist had asked you for them, and you'd then told him to f*** off and drove away, that would be an offence.

    As others have stated, just do what the letter states and within a few weeks you should get an 'all clear' letter.
    #8
  10. klauster
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    klauster Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    you will be fine dont worry, give the cops the details and then tell them your side of the story. Sounds like the cyclist has been and given them his. Good luck
    #9
  11. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    :thumbsup:
    #10
  12. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Sorry to hear this mate but hopefully I can speak with a bit of authority on this one!

    Technically yes you have failed to stop at the scene of a accident ie biker knocked off.

    However it all depends upon what that biker said...

    If it was "I'm ok etc..." then you should be ok re the not providing the details as they did not ask for them. If they did and you didn't then you have comitted a offence.

    Every accident has to be reported to the police where injury (anyone other than the driver causing the collision) or damage to roadside furniture/another vehicle other than the one causing the accident soon as practicable (ie immediately) or within 24hrs.

    If injury then insurance details must be provided also, if not then just name, address, and vehicle details.

    You say you noticed the cyclist come along side you so you gave it a wide bearth.....

    What should have been done (hindsight is great!) that you should have held back and let it go where it was going then turn yourself.

    Imagine if you were in your car in place of the biker and a car next to you assumed you were going left and moved into your lane and hit you, what would you think there?

    Looking at the law this is careless driving and if prosecuted which there is enough evidence you would be looking at points and fine.

    HOWEVER!!!

    IF prosecuted and I say IF because it can be construed as minor if no injury then the police should offer you the National Driver Improvement Scheme.

    This was brought into force for minor collisions where education is better than enforcement (the Crown Prosecution now decide upon taking cases to court rather than the police, they just present the evidence to them).

    This is taken over a day and a half, costs £155 (money to local council NOT police cause its nowt to do with them) and more importantly NO POINTS and NO COURT PROVIDING YOU GO ON IT!!

    If anything more is said by the police then ask to go on this as a alternative to prosecution if they deem that neccessary.

    You might not like the fact I have said its your fault but looking at the evidence then thats the case, the biker was in the correct lane to go ahead and this should have been anticipated and not assuming they were going the same way as you!

    I think people have been reading this post thinking the bike was behind you and not alongside hence the comparison with you being in your car in place of the bike!

    Its a bit like a 3 lane motorway and someone moving over to the left into the middle lane not noticing the person already there and they collide, its not the middle lane cars fault its the car moving over!

    Give me a PM and I'll pass my mobile number if you want for more advice.
    #11
  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    "What should have been done (hindsight is great!) that you should have held back and let it go where it was going then turn yourself."

    Yes, and let the HGV behind you plough into your rear end.
    Bikers have a responsibility to abide by the law too, if we keep pandering to their inability to do this then we'll just have more & more "safety" processes to follow until it becomes impossible to get anywhere in a car. Traffic lights on roundabouts are exactly the result of pandering to peoples inability to use a roundabout, and now we not only have gridlock on major roundabouts at rush hour we also have incredibly dangerous drivers choosing to go all the way round the roundabout in the lefthand lane.
    Pandering to the lowest common idiot on the road is not the way forward.
    Driving or riding on the road is a dangerous business, you accept the consequences if you're not paying attention as opposed to expecting compensation for being a moron.
    IMO cyclists should:
    1. Require insurance to use the public roads, just like any other road user (don't get me started on horses).
    2. Be using the pavement on major roads where it's pretty unlikely they will cause any fatalities.
    #12
  14. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Yes but the bike was alongside him!

    He has acknowledged this by stating "I assume that he too is turning left so I drive a little bit wide of him and turn... as I am turning he collides into the near side rear quarter of my car (turns out he was going straight )"

    He has tried to cut infront of the bike by this comment and assuming i'm afraid is not the best thing when driving and anticipating what others are going to do.

    Why the HGV example, no mention of things going too fast and the chance of anything ploughing into anyones rear end?

    If the biker was using the pavement then he would have been comitting a offence.
    #13
  15. silver75
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    silver75 Big Ron

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    hope so :sadlike:

    It happened maybe a month or two ago, it is quite a busy junction so I assume they would have CCTV there

    He was fine and nobody asked for any details

    Jam mate I understand what your saying...

    its hard to describe exactly what happened without drawing diagrams etc.. the cyclst originally came from the rear/right side of my car he then went round the back of my car (inbetween my car and the car behind) and then to the left of me. I was indicating the whole time to turn left. As he had made such an effort to get the left of me I (rightly or wrongly) assumed he must be turning left also.
    I was ahead of him when I turned into Farringdon Street and he went straight into the rear quarter of my car.


    If for example I was heading towards this same junction and I notice the car ahead of me in the right hand lane indicating to turn into mine, I wouldnt carry on going straight ahead in the left lane as this would cause an accident surely? I understand where you are coming from but I was indicating the whole time.

    Anyway I am just going to forward the my insurance details to the police and just see what happens thanks for the advice guys..
    #14
  16. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    "Yes but the bike was alongside him!"
    Jam, that's why indicators were put on the side of cars, the onus is on the bike as he is the one technically undertaking silvers car (as cyclists tend to do at traffic lights).
    "Why the HGV example, no mention of things going too fast and the chance of anything ploughing into anyones rear end?
    That was obviously just an example of what could happen if we all started second guessing cyclists behaviour. How many cyclists have commit suicide in this way before they realise it's not a good idea to creep up the inside of traffic at junctions?

    "If the biker was using the pavement then he would have been comitting a offence."
    that's exactly my point - how stupid is that?
    #15
  17. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Andy the law is a ass and unfortunately its against silver in this case believe me!

    If silver was indicating then the biker MAY have seen this but as the law goes silver knocked this person off the bike therefore his fault. I dont think the accident can be claimed that the rider of the bike rode into the side of a car for no reason as mentioning again silver acknowledges he has seen him to THE SIDE and moves out to give him a wide bearth.

    This is exactly the reason I NEVER overtake on a roundabout ie if i'm in the fast lane and someone is in the slow lane I don't accelerate forward to go straight on before I'm sure the person next to me is going straight on too. I look for them turning the steering wheel to the left before I commit. I know the highway code states left lane to go straight on and left etc but the code is only guidelines, if someone wants to go all the way round to the right on a roundabout then they are entitled to, stupid I know but fact!

    I'm not trying to slag him off, I honestly feel sorry for him but i'm giving a unbiased view of how the authorities will look at it. Hopefully for him the police will leave it to insurance companies if the bike rider wants to claim personal injury etc.

    Another point on indications, this is only a guide. How many people have been caught out pulling out a junction and the car coming towards you on the main road is indicating left into the street you are coming from driver ASSUMES oh they are coming in here its ok for me to pull out and bang!

    Driver pulling out is at fault!
    #16
  18. shineydave
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    shineydave Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    i always thought that if someone ran into the back of you (and by back i mean the rear half of the vehicle) then it was automatically their fault as they are the one with visibillity of both vehicles.

    i'd present your case to the police just as you've told it here and hopefully common sense will prevail, it does sound to me like he's totally ignored your indicator and put himself in a dangerous situation, as the architect of his own misfortune i think your in the clear. that's not to say the no win no fee scum of the earth lawyers won't try to drag you into a civil court.

    as for the failing to report thing i think this quote from the squirrel write up stands.


    "It's a common misconception that you are obliged to report to the police a traffic accident involving injury."

    credits for the article seem to point to the authors being soliciters so i'm sure the article is factually correct - Alison France of Bikeline, Sue Bence of Leigh, Day & Co. and Paul Kitson of Russell, Jones & Walker
    #17
  19. rickparmar
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    rickparmar va va voom

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    not sure if this will help or not

    but this is what riders should do


    taken from highway code

    Roundabouts 61: Full details about the correct procedure at roundabouts are contained in Rules 160-166. Roundabouts can be hazardous and should be approached with care.
    62: You may feel safer either keeping to the left on the roundabout or dismounting and walking your cycle round on the pavement or verge. If you decide to keep to the left you should
    • be aware that drivers may not easily see you
    • take extra care when cycling across exits and you may need to signal right to show you are not leaving the roundabout
    • watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout.
    63: Give plenty of room to long vehicles on the roundabout as they need more space to manoeuvre. Do not ride in the space they need to get round the roundabout. It may be safer to wait until they have cleared the roundabout.
    #18
  20. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]

    Believe me you MUST report a injury accident to the Police sec 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states this.
    #19
  21. ManicMunky
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    ManicMunky Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    the important thing (since the cyclist is fine, and clearly an imbecile), is the car ok?
    #20
  22. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    the indication was mentioned in the first post:
    "I get to the lights and I am indicating to turn left into Farringdon Road"

    "if someone wants to go all the way round to the right on a roundabout then they are entitled to, stupid I know but fact!"
    Not fact at all, just a blatant disregard for the highway code.
    If everybody did this you'd be left in the inside lane at a standstill waiting for someone to give way to you so you could get over to the left to take your exit.
    The highway code is only guidance? What, just like speed limits and traffic lights?

    It is just this sort of ignorance on how to use a roundabout in accordance with the highway code that has led to traffic lights having to be sited on them to tell incompetant drivers what to do, and ironically it's actually made those drivers even worse as now it's even more difficult to change lanes in stationary traffic.
    #21
  23. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]

    No in that speed limits and traffic lights are enforced by law and have their separate sections in the law i.e Road Traffic Act 1988, the highway code is not law, it is is a guide booklet on best practice.

    So I'm afraid if you want to go all the way round a roundabout in the outside lane then you can, there is no provision in the traffic act for this!
    #22
  24. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    No its not

    This is because the Highways Agency in conjunction with the local council road safety departments have deemed the peak or non peak traffic flow too much on the approach roads so have it traffic light controlled in order for vehicles to actually pull onto the roundabout. Otherwise you would be sat there for days waiting to pull onto the roundabout if the road to your right onto the roundabout was busy.

    Hence sometimes they are "part time" traffic lights on them, others are not if it's a busy road all the time.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with bad lane discipline on roundabouts!

    The Highways and councils would not spend any money because of that.
    #23
  25. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    "It has nothing whatsoever to do with bad lane discipline on roundabouts!"
    The congestion is caused by people who don't know how to use a roundabout. As they approach one they stop, then look right. For a roundabout to work the traffic flow should be continuous, no one should ever come to a halt. As you approach you alter your speed to join the flow of traffic just like a motorway on ramp. There are a few badly designed roundabouts that don't work properly where traffic lights do help, but as soon as traffic comes to a halt the roundabout no longer works as a roundabout and becomes just another road junction, which was what it initially replaced.

    As to the highway code, if you are in breach of it you can be prosecuted, it's as simple as that.
    #24
  26. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
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  27. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    As I said, "As to the highway code, if you are in breach of it you can be prosecuted, it's as simple as that."

    "As stated yes some parts are law as you say, traffic lights and speeds.
    Others are not such as lane discipline."

    So undertaking on the motorway is not illegal, just frowned upon?
    I'll be sure to mention that to the traffic cop, should I ever get pulled for such an offence, sorry I meant cheeky manoevour.
    #26
  28. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Andy

    Things are getting taken out of context here, the lane discipline was re my comment about a roundabout and nothing else, there is no offence in going all the way round a roundabout in the right hand lane apart from pissing people off inc me!

    I never mentioned overtaking/undertaking/going through red lights/speed limits and how they are not offences because I know they are.

    I can't see how so many people thinking that a car that technically cuts off a cyclists path by moving infront and cutting in left and knocking him off thinks the cyclist is at fault!

    After all why give the cyclist a wide bearth by moving out (like silver states) if it was behind you and in no way to impede your path?

    Any accident investigator could conclude that this cyclist was behind then moved into the blind spot of the driver who failed to notice it and then the collision occured when the car turned left.

    And before anyone says how can you say that etc, I can believe me I have alot of knowledge and practical experience on these things.
    #27
  29. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Just answer the question: can you be prosecuted for not obeying the highway code?

    As for the cyclist, in order for him to have beaten silver to the left turn, he must have been cruising up to the lights and thus undertaking from a rolling start. I guess it all depends on when silver indicated. Was he sitting at the lights indicating or only indicated once the lights went green.
    Either way though, my beef is with the cyclists behaviour after the event. If he thought he was in the right he would have had a right go at silver at the time. Not later when he's suddenly realised he could make some easy money.
    #28
  30. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]

    Directly in certain circumstances no, obvious things such as speed limits and red lights yes you can.

    However the actual Highway Code is not law the things in it if deemed necessary to be law such as red lights are given separate acts in the Road Traffic Act 1988.

    Lift from the Highway Code site itself:

    "Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, it itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under Traffic Acts to establish liability."
    #29
  31. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Oh and Silver i'm def not having a go just some friendly banter with Andy and hopefully giving you some more ammo and trying to work things out for you!
    #30
  32. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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  33. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Silver mate, you are going to jail!, becareful if you drop the soap in the showers haha. :lmfao:
    #32
  34. filipharvey
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    filipharvey Amusing Tagline

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    No, you can't be prosecuted, UNLESS you have contravened a law. As has been said already, the highway code is NOT the law, only guidance, however, many parts of it are covered by law.


    BTW, leaving the scene of an accident (AC10) is 3-6 points :whistle2:
    #33
  35. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    "can you be prosecuted for not obeying the highway code?"

    From the Highway Code:
    "The highway code consists of road traffic laws, which must be obeyed, and advisable rules which, although not compulsory, could bring criminal prosecution against yourself if you break them"

    So when you said no, you presumably meant yes?.

    As above.
    No wonder the standard of driving is so pitiful in this country, this is basic, basic stuff.
    #34
  36. filipharvey
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    filipharvey Amusing Tagline

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.
    Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, it itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under Traffic Acts to establish liability.
    #35
  37. filipharvey
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    filipharvey Amusing Tagline

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Just to be clear, was the cyclist in his own lane to the left? Were you stationary when he came to be beside you?
    #36
  38. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    Give me strength!

    Andy i'll put it nice and simply....

    Some things in the code are not law they are guidelines...bit like best practice but not enforceable.

    Some things are enforceable if you break them like speed limits etc.

    Therefore if you do something against the code which is not law such as going all the way round a roundabout in the right ahnd lane then you CANT be prosecuted for it!

    Highway Code = NO LAW or STATUTE, guidelines and best practice book.

    Road Traffic Act 1988 = LAW and referred to in the Highway Code

    Its like saying "Mr Andymac you were doing 56mph in a 30mph limit when you went through that red light, I'm going to summons you for those offences under the highway code act.....does not happen!
    #37
  39. filipharvey
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    filipharvey Amusing Tagline

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    I wonder if that has cleared things up??? :rolleyes:
    #38
  40. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    I'm not debating the areas that are law, that kind of goes without saying, but you are saying you cannot be prosecuted for any of the others?
    Not "may not" but "cannot"?
    You can be prosecuted for driving without due care & attention which pretty much covers anything the police feel is unsafe use of a motor vehicle:
    Road Traffic Act 1991:
    "If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.”

    I'd say that was vague enough to encompass pretty much anything including turning right at a roundabout using the lefthand lane as it puts other road users at risk. You can be prosecuted for eating a Twix while driving but I doubt there's a law listing the specific items of confectionery, (although I believe you can still eat imperial mints in relative safety).
    #39
  41. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    [Aug 21, 2007]
    I'd delete this thread and deny all knowledge!;-0
    #40

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