Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Valbrona
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Joined: 7 Feb 2011, 4:49pm

Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby Valbrona » 22 Nov 2014, 1:31am

'Police Officers in London Fine Speeding Cyclists £1,000,000 ... But Enforcement Operation Costs £2,000,000'

Isn't this whole business of having regular Police Officers hand out fines for minor infringements like using a mobile phone while driving or speeding utterly bonkers? In other countries non-arrestable offences are in large part dealt with by people other than regular Police Officers at much cheaper cost, like dedicated road traffic police or municipal law enforcement officers.
I should coco.

merseymouth
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby merseymouth » 22 Nov 2014, 8:04am

Hello there, You couldn't be more wrong! You obviously would be surprised at how one can be arrested for offences such the ones you cite? It is within the power of a police officer to carry out such an act if he believes he has grounds! The simple fact that he/she feels unsure that a person identity is in doubt allows them to do so.
Speeding & the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is serious and should not be made light of! A phone offender can be charged under "Careless Driving" Statutes, enabling harder penalties to be applied, including suspension of one's driving licence? Should happen routinely! TTFN MM

Psamathe
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby Psamathe » 22 Nov 2014, 9:53am

Valbrona wrote:'Police Officers in London Fine Speeding Cyclists £1,000,000 ... But Enforcement Operation Costs £2,000,000'

Interesting quote, particularly given that regular speed limits do not apply to cyclists (Highway Code section 124? or somewhere nearby). Apparently there are a few places with local bylaws; another thread mentions Royal Parks where the Police admit to the 5mph speed limit being unenforceable).

Where did you get this quote from ?

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby reohn2 » 22 Nov 2014, 10:32am

merseymouth wrote:Speeding & the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is serious and should not be made light of! A phone offender can be charged under "Careless Driving" Statutes, enabling harder penalties to be applied, including suspension of one's driving licence? Should happen routinely! TTFN MM


The problem being that unless mobile use whilst driving involves a more serious motoring crime,it seldom gets the offender anything more than £60+3points.
Until that fine becomes £200+3points with a second offence attracting an automatic 2 month driving ban plus a £500 fine,enthusiastically enforced,mobile use whilst driving will persist.
And TBH something needs doing,as mobile use whilst driving is at epidemic proportions in the UK,stand at any junction and witness it.
Speeding cyclists are negligible by comparison,both in number and danger to the general public.
That said,idiots on bikes need stopping but the punishment should fit the crime IMHO.
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Thermostat9
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby Thermostat9 » 22 Nov 2014, 10:45am

Valbrona wrote:'Police Officers in London Fine Speeding Cyclists £1,000,000 ... But Enforcement Operation Costs £2,000,000'

Isn't this whole business of having regular Police Officers hand out fines for minor infringements like using a mobile phone while driving or speeding utterly bonkers? In other countries non-arrestable offences are in large part dealt with by people other than regular Police Officers at much cheaper cost, like dedicated road traffic police or municipal law enforcement officers.

Are 'public services' (such as the police) ever individually cost effective? Surely the 'cost' is going to be borne whatever they do with their time and if some have found fining speeding cyclists in London is beneficial to the general population, that is what it costs......?

I'm not sure what your point is other than 'Look! They are picking on cyclists while others 'get away' with things!' :roll: (Not entirely sure that you have copied and pasted a genuine quote either)

beardy
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby beardy » 22 Nov 2014, 10:47am

My little antennae are wriggling about that quote.

The figure of £1 million pounds for an offence that only exists in a park, I find that too hard to believe.
How big or busy are those parks?

oldstrath
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby oldstrath » 22 Nov 2014, 10:56am

reohn2 wrote:
merseymouth wrote:Speeding & the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is serious and should not be made light of! A phone offender can be charged under "Careless Driving" Statutes, enabling harder penalties to be applied, including suspension of one's driving licence? Should happen routinely! TTFN MM


The problem being that unless mobile use whilst driving involves a more serious motoring crime,it seldom gets the offender anything more than £60+3points.
Until that fine becomes £200+3points with a second offence attracting an automatic 2 month driving ban plus a £500 fine,enthusiastically enforced,mobile use whilst driving will persist.
And TBH something needs doing,as mobile use whilst driving is at epidemic proportions in the UK,stand at any junction and witness it.
Speeding cyclists are negligible by comparison,both in number and danger to the general public.
That said,idiots on bikes need stopping but the punishment should fit the crime IMHO.


The technology exists to jam mobile phones in cars. Unfortunately its use in illegal, rather than compulsory. Maybe the CTC should ask its technical officer to campaign on this, instead of spending time writing about nonexistent problems with 'dazzling' bike lights.

Psamathe
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby Psamathe » 22 Nov 2014, 11:01am

It's clicked (in my slow mind). I assume this is talking about Operation Safeway. If it is, then the headline is very very misleading.

In that "Operation", I seem to recall that cyclists were not booked for speeding, but were booked for e.g. riding without lights (after dark), jumping red lights, etc. and were issued with fixed penalty notices. And motorists and lorry drivers were also booked for a wide range of offences (e.. using mobile phones whilst driving, parking in a cycle lane).

And from (unreliable emory) about twice as may penalty notices were issued to vehicles than cyclists. I'm sure there is loads of other data but the headline (if it is about that operation) is very misleading.

Again, on the same assumption, I have no issue with cyclists who break the rules being booked just as with motorists. And the Operation was not targeted at cyclists but at anybody breaking the rules. And from what I heard, I think it a good idea (given that it primarily involved traffic police anyway). If we are to make the roads safer, some enforcement has got to help.

Ian

irc
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby irc » 22 Nov 2014, 11:45am

A phone offender can be charged under "Careless Driving" Statutes, enabling harder penalties to be applied, including suspension of one's driving licence? Should happen routinely! TTFN MM


I beg to differ. One of the reasons the specific mobile phone offence was introduced was that drivers charged with careless driving were being found not guilty when there driving wasn't badly affected. To get a conviction there also needed to be evidence of weaving, crossing white lines, etc. I think there may even have been a specific instruction in Glasgow that phone use, in itslefy, was not to be charged as careless driving because of the difficulty in getting convictions.


As for driving licence suspension. I'm prepared to be corrected but from memory careless driving was a sliding scale of points from 3-9 depending on the seriousness. I can't recall anyone anywhere (with a clean licence) being banned for a careless driving charge.Disq is an option for careless driving but very rarely used.

What is needed for mobile phone use is a recognition of the evidence that it is as dangerous as driving at the legal alcohol limit and therefore deserves an immediate ban. I'd suggest a 3 month ban would get the message across. I could forsee an increase in not guilty pleas though and maybe the necessity of seizing phones for evidential purposes to avoid loopholes being used like the claim the phone was being held but not used.

For example

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edi ... 366887.stm

reohn2
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby reohn2 » 22 Nov 2014, 12:04pm

oldstrath wrote:The technology exists to jam mobile phones in cars. Unfortunately its use in illegal, rather than compulsory. Maybe the CTC should ask its technical officer to campaign on this, instead of spending time writing about nonexistent problems with 'dazzling' bike lights.


Oh! without doubt,and a shed load of other things that motorists do to make life more difficult for cyclists!
Not to mention 'facility paint' and obstructions deliberately put in place by local councils to dissuade cycling for all but the very determined :twisted:
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reohn2
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby reohn2 » 22 Nov 2014, 12:13pm

irc
Spot on.
And I suspect it's not just me that get's tired of worms wriggling and squirming off the hook!
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thirdcrank
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Nov 2014, 1:15pm

The underlying issue here is what's been referred to as a "two-tier" police service. Historically, the police in England and Wales dealt with everything involved in a criminal case, right up to prosecuting in the magistrates' court. The establishment of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) brought England and Wales into line with Scotland some thirty years ago. That was intended to improve the standard of prosecution and better prosecutions require better evidence. This, combined with things like the number of historic cases which have been reopened have led to a big realignment of police commitment to investigation, rather than patrol. In any case, many of the police who appeared to be on patrol were simply dashing about in a panda car between incidents. Modern detective work involves training to a very high standard if it's to be done properly. It's arguable that that level of training is not required for uniform patrol but the general public is said to like to see "bobbies on the beat." The result of this was the Blunkett cover provided by PCSO's (and everybody up to including the Metropolitan Commissioner wearing hi-viz togs to increase "visible policing.)

The obvious next step would be for PCSO's to undertake more enforcement of summary offences, following the precedent of traffic wardens. IMO, apart from any resistance to this by the Police Federation, the obvious (to me) problem is that it's impossible without a lot of training. At present, anybody given a fixed penalty for a summary offence can opt to go to court and plead not guilty, when the "all-the-King's-horses-and-all-the-King's-men swings into action. ie the person issuing the ticket has to have a good knowledge of the rules of evidence and the "points to prove" for the offence in question. PCSO's have, therefore, been restricted to the apparently easy stuff like pavement cycling. The SOAS fiasco showed the weakness in that line of thinking. In another case, a part-time judge of the High Court achieved deadlock when he was prosecuted for a traffic light offence, rather than being issued with a ticket.

Our legal system wasn't intended to deal with large numbers of minor offences and it only used to cope because the vast majority of defendants pleaded guilty and the police witnesses had been trained in the rules of evidence etc and could generally prove a case when necessary. The likes of Mr Loophole simply demonstrate the reality of what I'm saying.

For the first time in centuries, we have a Lord Chancellor who is only a politician, rather than a lawyer who dabbles in politics. The vested interests in the form of lawyers and the police staff associations are being taken on. Eventually, we'll have a system of fixed penalty enforcement for the type of stuff mentioned in the OP without recourse to the criminal courts. There will be appeals, of course, for contested cases, but they will consider the truth of what happened, rather than whether all the loopholes have been properly sealed.

irc
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby irc » 22 Nov 2014, 1:31pm

Isn't this whole business of having regular Police Officers hand out fines for minor infringements like using a mobile phone while driving or speeding utterly bonkers?


I'm not sure what the alternative is. People are killed every year by drivers talking or texting. Is it a minor infirngement?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1885775.stm


There is a problem and unlike speeding where camera enforcement works mobile phone crimes can only be enforced by people seeing the offence being committed and stopping the driver concerned.

PCSOs don't (AFAIK) have the power to stop vehicles. Who else but the police can enforce it? In any case stopping a vehicle for a minor offence can often lead to detection of other offences. Police officers cost more than PCSOs but then they are also more flexible. A cop issuing tickets for mobile phones in the morning can be dealing with a housebreaking or RTA later on. In fact aside from the traffic dept most cops issue tickets for RTA offences only when not dealing with more pressing matters.

hufty
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby hufty » 22 Nov 2014, 3:53pm

irc wrote:There is a problem and unlike speeding where camera enforcement works mobile phone crimes can only be enforced by people seeing the offence being committed and stopping the driver concerned.

I am sure if they wanted to allocate resources to this the police could send a pcso with a camera to a suitable raised vantage point to photograph people who are driving whilst on the phone. Then contact the registered keeper of the vehicle to identify the driver.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Police Enforcement of Road Traffic and Other Minor Laws

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Nov 2014, 3:58pm

hufty wrote: ... I am sure if they wanted to allocate resources to this the police could send a pcso with a camera to a suitable raised vantage point to photograph people who are driving whilst on the phone. Then contact the registered keeper of the vehicle to identify the driver.


A loophole paradise, as things stand.