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Hi all,

Seeking a bit of advice for my son actually, so I hope someone can shed some light on this situation.

 

He drives for a courier firm so is up and down the motorway everyday, usually travelling down to London and back.

Today completely out of the blue he received a letter from Staffordshire Police offering him the opportunity to attend a 'CRASH' course rather than face prosecution and any attached endorsements to his license. As you can imagine he was totally gobsmacked as he hasn't got a clue what it is about because the letter has no information about the alleged offence, when, where, who seen him ....etc.

The police must have written to his firm to get his details and they haven't even mentioned it to him, but that's a different matter.

 

Letter Page 1 :

[ATTACH=CONFIG]49776[/ATTACH]

 

On Page 2 it states:

 

To take up the offer, you must contact our CRASH Administration Team on 01785 232722 to reserve your place within 21 days of the above date.

No correspondence will be entered into following the expiry of this date and we will at this time commence proceedings against you for the offence. The cost of the course is £85.

 

The final paragraph states:

 

Should you consider that you are not liable for the offence for which this offer has been made, or you choose not to take up this offer, please disregard this letter. You will then receive further communication from us in due course.

 

[ATTACH]49775[/ATTACH]

 

 

I hope someone can just clear a few points up from this.

 

Is it normal to offer someone a course for an offence that they know nothing about, for speeding or other offences at least you have the facts first, and then the offer of a course.

How can anyone consider themselves liable or not liable for an offence when they have no knowledge of when or where the alleged offence took place ?

Considering his van has hands free which is fitted by his company and transmits through the radio how and who has come to this conclusion and decided he was driving whilst using a mobile phone ?

If he wants details of the alleged offence and the circumstances would he likely get them before the 21 day deadline expires ?

 

Thanks for any input on this.

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Hi odds,. Could it be the "New" offence of not changing lane after overtaking ???

You need to find out what offence has been committed. Is there no way of finding out?

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Hi odds,

You need to find out what offence has been committed. Is there no way of finding out?

 

The alleged offence is in the attached letters and mentioned at the end of my post, it is for Driving a vehicle whilst using a mobile phone/not in proper control of a vehicle.

The issue is why would anyone agree to go on a course when they have no facts to consider, such as where or when this was supposed to have occurred and under what circumstances was it observed and by who. For all you know they could just sit at the side of a road and randomly pick No. plates out and then offer people to pay £85 to go on a course.

Seems strange as his company fit hands free kits to all the vans in the fleet.

 

Thanks

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Hi again,

 

My son has spoken to his employees this morning and apparently this alleged offence occurred on the M6 at 12:40 on the 5th of March.

He has checked his personal phone account and that was definately not in use at that time, which means he would only have been talking on his company phone, which is hands free.

So given that he was not pulled over at the time is it safe to assume that it was someone on the other side of the motorway that has made this observation ?

Any thoughts ?

 

Thanks

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If he believes that no offence has been committed, the instructions he has received tell him to ignore the offer and that he will hear from the Police in due course. He has heard nothing prior to receiving the offer because the original NIP was sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle he was driving. I.e. his employer. They are required by law to identify the driver of the vehicle. They have done this and he has received the CRASH course offer which is an alternative to the standard tariff of 3 points and £100. If he pleads "not guilty", it will go to court and he will have the opportunity to defend himself.

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His company phone is hands free.

 

Does the account for his mobile phone show calls he's received as if he was on the phone while driving it's more likely to be a call he received rather than made

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If he believes that no offence has been committed, the instructions he has received tell him to ignore the offer and that he will hear from the Police in due course. He has heard nothing prior to receiving the offer because the original NIP was sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle he was driving. I.e. his employer. They are required by law to identify the driver of the vehicle. They have done this and he has received the CRASH course offer which is an alternative to the standard tariff of 3 points and £100. If he pleads "not guilty", it will go to court and he will have the opportunity to defend himself.

 

 

How come the driver is not sent a copy of the NIP, instead just a letter offering a course for an alleged offence. At least his employers knew where and when it was supposed to have happened, yet the one facing prosecution has no idea at all what it is all about.

To be honest, it seems similar tactics that a PPC or DCA would stoop to. Offer a discount and threaten worse action if you don't pay up in a certain timeframe, without actually supplying any info to back their claim up.

 

Thanks.

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Does the account for his mobile phone show calls he's received as if he was on the phone while driving it's more likely to be a call he received rather than made

 

His personal phone log only shows calls made as you say, but he never uses his personal phone when driving, his company phone is hands free and he should be able to get details from his company of what times they called him. He only ever gets one call from his firm, so that they know when he will be finished and ready for loading.

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How come the driver is not sent a copy of the NIP, instead just a letter offering a course for an alleged offence. At least his employers knew where and when it was supposed to have happened, yet the one facing prosecution has no idea at all what it is all about.

To be honest, it seems similar tactics that a PPC or DCA would stoop to. Offer a discount and threaten worse action if you don't pay up in a certain timeframe, without actually supplying any info to back their claim up.

 

Thanks.

 

The Police receive details of the Registered Keeper from the DVLA. They have no idea who was driving unless the driver is also the the RK. It's exactly the same as if he was zapped by a speed camera. It is his choice whether to accept the course or challenge the alleged offence in court.

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The Police receive details of the Registered Keeper from the DVLA. They have no idea who was driving unless the driver is also the the RK. It's exactly the same as if he was zapped by a speed camera. It is his choice whether to accept the course or challenge the alleged offence in court.

 

 

As the police would not know who the driver was at the time, they would have sent the registered keeper a requirement to name the driver (s.172 RTA1988). And then the same requirement to any subsequently nominated person until someone admitted they were the driver at the time - until then they have no evidence who it was.

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As the police would not know who the driver was at the time, they would have sent the registered keeper a requirement to name the driver (s.172 RTA1988). And then the same requirement to any subsequently nominated person until someone admitted they were the driver at the time - until then they have no evidence who it was.

 

Well that is certainly not the case here, like I have previously asked, how come they are offering the chance of a course without even knowing who the driver is ?

I know they said wait 21 days if you believe you are not liable, but then the chance of the course is gone and you face prosecution.

The RK was given the opportunity to name the driver as you have rightly said, but you say the same requirement is given to the subsequently nominated person and so on, until someone admits to being the driver.

 

My point is, they are offering the course to someone who hasn't even confirmed/admitted to be driving at the time and if the course is refused they will then prosecute.

 

Thanks

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Well that is certainly not the case here, like I have previously asked, how come they are offering the chance of a course without even knowing who the driver is ?

I know they said wait 21 days if you believe you are not liable, but then the chance of the course is gone and you face prosecution.

The RK was given the opportunity to name the driver as you have rightly said, but you say the same requirement is given to the subsequently nominated person and so on, until someone admits to being the driver.

 

My point is, they are offering the course to someone who hasn't even confirmed/admitted to be driving at the time and if the course is refused they will then prosecute.

 

Thanks

 

Perhaps the forces has an initiative on mobile phone use while driving where they automatically offer the course, it's the sort of offence police forces would be looking to reduce through education.

 

It would be worth asking the relevant police force

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Perhaps the forces has an initiative on mobile phone use while driving where they automatically offer the course, it's the sort of offence police forces would be looking to reduce through education.

 

It would be worth asking the relevant police force

 

It may be an initiative they have , but I think my point is being overlooked here.

They are offering a course as an alternative to prosecution BEFORE the recipient of the letter has even admitted to be the driver let alone admitting guilt of any alleged offence.

They offer 21 days to take the course or face prosecution, yet offer absolutely no details of where or when this offence occurred. Surely it should be offered AFTER admitting the offence as they do with Speed Awareness courses, as an alternative to points and a fine.

The way they are doing this seems to be coercing people to pay up and admit guilt even before they have to prove the case against anyone.

 

Anyway, as he will be denying the charge how does he go about collecting the evidence against him, or will he have to wait till the 21 days elapse and then wait for the police to write again ?

 

Thanks

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He would need to take the matter to court and argue his case in front of a magistrate.

 

If the evidence is from police officers as witnesses it would be unusual for the magistrate not to believe the police.

 

If he's found guilty at magistrates court the fine is typically higher.

Edited by ims21
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