In a recently reported news story, a speeding BMW driver faces 107 penalty points after triggering 32 speed cameras along the M6.
The case is one of a string of cases highlighting that drivers were apparently flouting the law whilst the traffic volume was lighter owing to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The driver in question was caught clocking an average of 83mph in heavy fog, speeding through roadworks. On being stopped, the driver was also found to have two bald tyres and driving without car insurance.
What are the options for the court when the Magistrates have to, objectively, sentence drivers who attract many points?
Firstly, the court has to deal with the points. Readers will know that once a driver attracts 12 points they are due to be totted, and therefore, ordinarily lose their licence for at least six months.
But what happens if, as in this case, a large number of points come out of the offence being committed in the same day? This is where, legally, it becomes interesting.
The legislation states that if offences are committed on the same occasion, then only one set of points can be imposed – or as an alternative, a disqualification.
So an argument can be put before the court to state that only six points (the most that can be given for speeding) should be imposed.
However, the legislation also states that the court can, if it wishes to, apply its own judgement as to what ‘committed on the same occasion’ means.
In this type of case the court has its own options – it can disqualify for the offences themselves and not give points, or it can give points for every speeding offence which will trigger a disqualification of six months.
Under the latter, the totting up provision, do not forget that the legislation allows of a minimum of six months. With this in mind, the court could disqualify appropriately on the current state of events.
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