New Ministry of Justice statistics show that in the 12 months from March 2014 to March 2015, the number of criminal cases – including motoring cases – handled in the Magistrates’ Court increased by 2% on the year before.
This increase is in marked contrast to earlier years. Motoring prosecutions in the Magistrates’ Court had in fact previously been steadily declining since 2005.
The statistics show that the increase in motoring cases was mostly caused by speeding as well as other vehicle offences.
Most speeding cases are detected by police automatic speed cameras or roadside laser vans. Laser guns are often operated by police civilian employees rather than police officers.
Insurance prosecution increases
There has also been an increase in prosecutions for keeping a vehicle which does not meet the insurance requirements. This became an offence in 2011 and is now the fifth most common motoring offence in the Magistrates’ Court. Despite this, many drivers don’t realise that if your vehicle is untaxed or uninsured, you need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), EVEN if you don’t use or keep it on a public road.
Tax disc changes
Prosecutions for failure to pay for a vehicle licence increased by a massive 33%. This may be down to the introduction of digital tax discs. Although many commentators say that the abolition of the physical tax disc makes it easier to forget to renew, the government has no plans to re-introduce it.
The figures suggest that it’s motorists who are bearing the brunt of increased criminal prosecutions.
Whilst the government would claim that increased prosecutions are designed to promote road safety, some motoring organisations have argued that further motoring enforcement is simply a form of stealth tax on harassed motorists. Whoever you believe, increased enforcement is probably here to stay.
If you’re one of the many motorists facing a prosecution, get in touch with us today to see if our expert motoring solicitors can help you.
Source: Criminal Justice Statistics
Quarterly Update to March 2015
England & Wales
Ministry of Justice
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