Solicitors concerned over fixed penalty plan for Driving Without Due Care and Attention offences

Jun 11, 2013, 06:36 ET from Patterson Law

NEWTON ABBOT, England, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Specialist Motoring Solicitors at Patterson law are greeting the introduction of fixed penalties for offences of Driving Without Due Care and Attention with caution. Fixed penalties will start being issued from July this year.

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At the moment if the police suggest that the standard of your driving falls below that of a reasonable and careful driver you face a driving course or a summons to court. At court, if convicted, you can expect 3-9 penalty points (or a discretionary ban), a fine and court costs.

Motoring Solicitors at Patterson Law ( represent hundreds of people every year for similar charges and are experts in assisting those who face the risk of a ban, or who deny the allegation and want to defend it. In most of their cases it is one driver's word against another's.

The lawyers at Patterson Law are concerned that drivers who would normally want to protest their innocence will be tempted into accepting 3 points and a £60 fixed penalty simply because they are too scared to challenge the matter in court, the sanctions at court being so much higher. There is always a risk in litigation that innocent people will be convicted, and lawyers have to warn people of that risk when advising a client to contest the matter at court.

The police may be too keen to issue an "easy" ticket. In the past, officers have had to think long and hard about issuing proceedings for Driving Without Due Care because a degree of effort is required to prepare the case for court. This has acted as a good safety net in forcing officers to make this decision carefully.

The team at Patterson Law understand the need to maintain road safety. Most of the team members drive themselves. It is accepted that drivers should not hog middle lanes and should not use their mobiles whilst driving; however Patterson Law's success rates in defending these matters at court suggest that those accused are often ultimately found not guilty or the prosecutions are withdrawn without the need for a trial. So those who accept a fixed penalty just to get the matter over and done with may end up worse off.

The power to tackle inconsiderate and careless drivers has always been there. This is nothing new. This is just a fast and efficient way for the police to get the matter over and done with if they form the view that an individual is at fault. Many people are concerned that if they take the matter to court they are unlikely to stand a chance against the evidence of a police officer and can feel overwhelmed at the prospect, even if they don't accept they have done anything wrong.

Patterson Law is also concerned that these provisions are likely to hit professional drivers and people whose jobs demand time on the road hardest. It's inevitable that the more you drive the more risk there is that someone will take offence at something you do.

If you have a question about an allegation of Driving Without Due Care and Attention of any other Road Traffic Offence, visit Patterson law at or call +44(0)1626-359800 for a free initial advice call.

SOURCE Patterson Law