Queen’s Speech – Waivers are Still Illegal

Readers of this blog will be aware that a Bill was going through Parliament before the General Election that aimed to make the offering by the police of waivers in return for attending an “education” course undoubtedly legal (after speeding and other road traffic offences). Or at least it aimed to clarify the law because we have argued it was a perversion of justice and illegal on other grounds, i.e. the whole speed awareness cash cow and the associated industry was a corruption of English law.

That Bill was called the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill but was abandoned when the last Parliament ended. Is a revised or resubmitted version in the Queen’s Speech for the new Parliament – given in the House yesterday? Or has it been crowded out by all the Brexit legislation and other popular measures?

The answer in brief is that it is not clear. There is a new Bill proposed called the “Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill” which certainly covers some of the aforementioned abandoned Bill. Whether the additional “Courses Offered as an Alternative to Prosecution” clauses will be snuck into that Bill again, as it was into the previous Bill, we will have to wait and see. An inquiry to the Department of Transport elicited a response of “we don’t know and neither do we know when the Bill might be published”.

As it may anyway take some time to get through Parliament, readers can assume that it is still a matter that would be vulnerable to a legal challenge in the meantime. But let us hope that condoning bribery of the police to waive prosecution is not added to the Bill so it does not set a dangerous precedent in English law.

In the meantime, if you are offered a speed awareness or other education course, you may care to ask the ABD for a suggested response. For the avoidance of doubt, and to remind you, the ABD opposes such waivers and payments because they are financing the increases in speed cameras and resulting rises in prosecutions. This has nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with profiteering by the police, course operators and others involved in this industry. See www.speed-awareness.org for the evidence.

Roger Lawson

Comments by NDORS on AMPOW Campaign

 

Road Safety GB have published an article on our campaign which you can read here: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/5199.html . It quotes an NDORS spokesman (who it seems prefers to remain anonymous) who grossly misleads readers about the legality of the current arrangements, plus makes some other false claims. This was the comment I posted in response:

NDORS claim “that the provision of ….educational courses has been deemed lawful”. But all they have done is obtained a QC’s opinion. That does not make it lawful, and we have also taken a QC’s opinion and ours gave a contrary opinion. (Note: QC’s opinions are not law and their views may be swayed by the questions their clients pose and the answers they are looking for. Nobody argues that the police can waive prosecutions where appropriate but turning it into a money making opportunity is another matter altogether).

NDORS also repeat the false allegation that all the police recover is their administration costs which is definitely wrong. They generate a surplus which finances more cameras, more staff to operate them, etc, etc. It’s a money making scheme in essence.

Our manifesto advocates the offer of training course as an alternative to other penalties after conviction, not for the police to tout waivers to collect money. Nowhere do we support that the police should profit from waiving prosecution.

Roger Lawson