Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Failure to produce licence at roadside

This thread is sponsored by:
Announcements Posted on
TSR Movie Madness in in to the final 16! The group winners battle it out for the overall title! 15-07-2014
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fruit_n_veg)
    Any copper would be quite justified to lawfully seize the vehicle under Section 165A Road Traffic Act 1988 with little more than a belief it's being driven without a licence or insurance. Whether to do so in these circumstances is a proportionate action is another subject, but it's happening day in, day out up and down the country, just on the basis that computerised records aren't holding the detail and no paper copy is available at the roadside. The Secretary of State for Transport has determined under Section 164B that if the police use these powers then the person wanting to recover the vehicle will have to pay the fee.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...2/section/165A

    The only correct thing amongst all of that is the need to check the vehicle for damage if it's been seized.
    That's great, however, read the post. He seized it on the grounds she didn't have a driving license present on her; according to the post the officer stated it was illegal to drive without a license on you. Are you actually saying one is supposedly breaking the law by not carrying their license on them at all times?

    What are his 'reasonable grounds' for believing that the driver was driving without a license? Because he was too lazy to check the database and she didn't have her license on her? That's bull**** and far from reasonable grounds, I'm afraid.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by James')
    That's great, however, read the post. He seized it on the grounds she didn't have a driving license present on her; according to the post the officer stated it was illegal to drive without a license on you. Are you actually saying one is supposedly breaking the law by not carrying their license on them at all times?

    What are his 'reasonable grounds' for believing that the driver was driving without a license? Because he was too lazy to check the database and she didn't have her license on her? That's bull**** and far from reasonable grounds, I'm afraid.
    That's great, however, read the act, Section 165A(2). Driver is required by the section of act to present the constable with both parts of driving licence which she is unable to do as she hasn't got it with her. Now if say the DVLA computer which the constable can check at the roadside also says she hasn't got a driving licence or have her name or date of birth down incorrect (there's countless news articles about their incompetence) it will appear she has no driving licence. Most if not all police force policies state that this lack of a DVLA record of a licence can all by itself form the basis of the reasonable grounds to seize the vehicle for no licence.

    Driver at this point has committed no criminal offences whatsoever, however the constable is entitled to exercise the power on the belief that they have committed the offence - it's designed to prevent illegal driving, not as a punishment for perceived crimes. Production of her paper driving licence and payment of the fee determined by the Department for Transport and you can have the vehicle back.

    Also, most if not all police forces will require such seizures to be authorised by a sergeant or inspector, who will want to know exactly why you want a vehicle to be seized. No database check = no seizure. If it did transpire to be any form of sloppiness or laziness on behalf of the police, then without a doubt complain. There's absolutely no excuse for it and while I'm not sure of the civil law aspect, them not refunding you that would be completely unacceptable. If the DVLA incompetence has cost you, it's worthwhile persecuting them for some compensation for the recovery - stranger things have happened.

    It IS also an offence under Section 137 Road Traffic Act 1988 not to produce driving licence and other documents when required by a constable. However this seems to be a pointless section really as the next line says it's a defence to produce the documents within seven days! So in the legal world it is an offence, in the real world, it isn't. I don't carry mine round, that's for sure. The thing is the Section 165A was an edit to the 1988 act made in 2005, where in 1988 constables didn't have any database access whereas today they do. Also in reality, the only people who get their car seized are the masses of people who can't be bothered to get a driving licence or don't feel they want to pay for car insurance and the occasional poor sod who's a victim of a duff licence or insurance database record.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fruit_n_veg)
    That's great, however, read the act, Section 165A(2). Driver is required by the section of act to present the constable with both parts of driving licence which she is unable to do as she hasn't got it with her. Now if say the DVLA computer which the constable can check at the roadside also says she hasn't got a driving licence or have her name or date of birth down incorrect (there's countless news articles about their incompetence) it will appear she has no driving licence. Most if not all police force policies state that this lack of a DVLA record of a licence can all by itself form the basis of the reasonable grounds to seize the vehicle for no licence

    ...
    So in summary; if it comes down to a police mistake (which it was), one is arguably able to press charges - as I stated, no?

    Although it is technically a law to produce documents, as you said, it's contradicted by the law that presenting documents within a timely manner (7-days) is an acceptable defense. My previous point of taking them for all they're worth is more than an appropriate action to take in this case.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=James';37421002]So in summary; if it comes down to a police mistake (which it was), one is arguably able to press charges - as I stated, no?

    You're not getting it, there is no mistake by police - constable must've checked driving licence database and got no trace of licence record or the sergeant/inspector would've told them to jog on about a seizure. Constable has then in accordance with Section 165B required to see the driving licence which driver was unable to do. At that point constable is completely lawfully entitled to seize the vehicle, regardless of if the driver has a licence or not, just by virtue there is nothing to indicate that they DO have a licence, which is backed up by police force policies. It really is as simple and as sweet as they've got a pretty good feeling you haven't got a licence therefore we shall seize the vehicle. Courts would require much more proof to convict than that. It's a pretty draconian power but unfortunately too many people seem to regard a driving licence as a formality these days, along with insurance.

    Don't get me wrong, if any copper had misused powers or anything like that, I'd agree a complaint would be a very good idea. Anybody who blindly supports police without ever questioning is a fool. There's been numerous incidents of police **** ups over the years. It's only by submitting the complaints that police forces can address poor performance or misconduct and make sure it doesn't happen again. But the complaint in this case would be disposed of very quickly as No Further Action as the Section 165A power has been used in a lawful manner.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=fruit_n_veg;37421514]
    (Original post by James')
    So in summary; if it comes down to a police mistake (which it was), one is arguably able to press charges - as I stated, no?

    You're not getting it, there is no mistake by police - constable must've checked driving licence database and got no trace of licence record or the sergeant/inspector would've told them to jog on about a seizure. Constable has then in accordance with Section 165B required to see the driving licence which driver was unable to do. At that point constable is completely lawfully entitled to seize the vehicle, regardless of if the driver has a licence or not, just by virtue there is nothing to indicate that they DO have a licence, which is backed up by police force policies. It really is as simple and as sweet as they've got a pretty good feeling you haven't got a licence therefore we shall seize the vehicle. Courts would require much more proof to convict than that. It's a pretty draconian power but unfortunately too many people seem to regard a driving licence as a formality these days, along with insurance.

    Don't get me wrong, if any copper had misused powers or anything like that, I'd agree a complaint would be a very good idea. Anybody who blindly supports police without ever questioning is a fool. There's been numerous incidents of police **** ups over the years. It's only by submitting the complaints that police forces can address poor performance or misconduct and make sure it doesn't happen again. But the complaint in this case would be disposed of very quickly as No Further Action as the Section 165A power has been used in a lawful manner.
    You could argue that, assuming everything you've written is the case, you have a valid civil case against whichever agency is responsible for the licence not appearing on the database (presumably the DVLA). You would then be able to claim damages which would at a minimum cover the cost of recovering the car.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    You could argue that, assuming everything you've written is the case, you have a valid civil case against whichever agency is responsible for the licence not appearing on the database (presumably the DVLA). You would then be able to claim damages which would at a minimum cover the cost of recovering the car.
    Absolutely, completely agree! If recovery agent has damaged car, if DVLA screw your driver record up or your insurer don't submit the record to the insurance database then I'd be looking for them to recompense my loss for sure. Same goes for the cops although I'd hazard a guess if they'd used their powers incorrectly they'd pay it back rather than drag it through any civil claims process. As I said earlier, nobody should stand for bad service from police but there comes a point where sometimes a power has been used against you despite the lack of guilt of any offence, unfortunately there's not a lot you can do, save for voting for a party who will repeal all these powers (not going to happen).

    However to PC Bloggs with no database record and no hard copy of the driving licence to hand the fact that someone else can't do their job properly isn't something he can rely on unfortunately!
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fruit_n_veg)
    You're not getting it, there is no mistake by police - constable must've checked driving licence database and got no trace of licence record or the sergeant/inspector would've told them to jog on about a seizure. Constable has then in accordance with Section 165B required to see the driving licence which driver was unable to do. At that point constable is completely lawfully entitled to seize the vehicle, regardless of if the driver has a licence or not, just by virtue there is nothing to indicate that they DO have a licence, which is backed up by police force policies. It really is as simple and as sweet as they've got a pretty good feeling you haven't got a licence therefore we shall seize the vehicle. Courts would require much more proof to convict than that. It's a pretty draconian power but unfortunately too many people seem to regard a driving licence as a formality these days, along with insurance.

    Don't get me wrong, if any copper had misused powers or anything like that, I'd agree a complaint would be a very good idea. Anybody who blindly supports police without ever questioning is a fool. There's been numerous incidents of police **** ups over the years. It's only by submitting the complaints that police forces can address poor performance or misconduct and make sure it doesn't happen again. But the complaint in this case would be disposed of very quickly as No Further Action as the Section 165A power has been used in a lawful manner.
    But as stated in the original post - "When asked if she could take the licence into the local police station, the policeman said that you can no longer do that and that everybody caught without a licence has to go straight to court."

    That's incorrect; if he'd have said at his discression that there is no evidence that she has a license and he has reason to believe she is in fact driving without a license, fair enough, but he didn't. You're assuming he checked the database, and based on his idiotic statement above, it wouldn't be surprising if he hadn't.

    Fair enough, other agencies may be responsible for details not appearing on the database; but based on what has been said in the thread, the officer is completely wrong in what he said. Either way, I'd be claiming off anybody I possibly could.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by James')
    But as stated in the original post - "When asked if she could take the licence into the local police station, the policeman said that you can no longer do that and that everybody caught without a licence has to go straight to court."

    That's incorrect; if he'd have said at his discression that there is no evidence that she has a license and he has reason to believe she is in fact driving without a license, fair enough, but he didn't. You're assuming he checked the database, and based on his idiotic statement above, it wouldn't be surprising if he hadn't.

    Fair enough, other agencies may be responsible for details not appearing on the database; but based on what has been said in the thread, the officer is completely wrong in what he said. Either way, I'd be claiming off anybody I possibly could.
    You have to separate the seizure from the process for any offences. Some forces now don't use the HORT1 form (the 7 day producer form) but report drivers to court for offences like driving with no licence but if you show your driving licence within 7 days (or as soon as reasonably practicable, this may be after 7 days) then cancelling the summons is the only option. There's no point having a court hearing when you've proved you've got a licence beforehand as the cost of a court hearing is huge. It did seem a bit misleading what he said as regardless of whatever force you're dealing with, you can't (in reality) fail to produce documents if it's within 7 days of a requirement.

    I am assuming the driver database was checked as it would also mean poor supervision from a sergeant/inspector if they authorised seizure without reasonable grounds (as I said before, no database record and no hard copy licence available at the roadside is good enough grounds). Copper doesn't need to state it to the driver what the grounds are to use the power (although driver has other ways to get hold if it by law if they have to, so there's no point not telling).

    As stated earlier, if someone's hashed up and you've incurred loss then it's well within your right to claim that loss, although don't expect anything beyond the loss itself. Also, if anyone who is subject to a seizure and feels it was unjust, ring the force and see if you can track down why the seizure was done. There are ways and means of tracking down the grounds of the seizure and who and how it was authorised and it's entirely reasonable for someone to request that. But from the facts to hand, the seizure power was used entirely legitimately so I'd go and start my quest for the loss with the DVLA.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 7, 2012
New on TSR

Moving on from GCSEs

What advice would you give someone starting A-levels?

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.