The First Prosecution for Middle Lane Hogging
Recently Mr Ian Stephens, a painter and decorator, became the first person to be prosecuted for middle lane hogging. He's been left with a fine of around £1000 and 5 points on his licence.
Mr Stephens was pulled over by the police on the M62 near Huddersfield. He pleaded not guilty, but didn't make his court appearance in Leeds as he had requested it to be heard closer to his business in Wigan.
The court heard that Mr Stephens was driving inconsiderately, and was blocking 6 other vehicles by driving in the middle lane. Mr Stephens, however, said to the Wigan Observer that he feels "harshly treated"
and explains that "there was heavy traffic in all three lanes and the middle one, that my van was in, was going faster."
Why Legal Help Works
Our Head of Motoring Offences
, Julie Robertson, believes that Mr Stephens's case would have benefited from the right legal advice:"Mr Stephens would have been prosecuted under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This covers things from lighting a cigarette whilst driving (which countless drivers do) to driving through puddles splashing pedestrians to doing wheelies on a road.""Certain things must be proven by the prosecution in order for such a conviction to stand. For example, it must be shown that other people were inconvenienced as a result of your actions. This can involve the requesting of proof such as witness statements, which show that other road users have been caused inconvenience. Therefore the right legal support could have helped find in court that the severity of Mr Stephens's prosecution wasn't appropriate, which could have ultimately resulted in a not guilty finding by the Court."
With many motoring offences, contacting a solicitor isn't about trying to get away with something you may have done wrong, but rather about getting the right support and advice in figuring out the best course of action. Julie comments:"People sometimes see a Notice of Intended Prosecution or Court summons come through their door and panic, pleading guilty by post immediately or sticking their head in the sand and then later wishing they'd sought legal advice after they've been prosecuted.""Legal advice could help find that there has been a procedural error, or could help you present the right case to reduce the severity of the punishment."
In some cases, people face prosecution for offences that result in points being given that takes them over the 12 point limit. This is called 'totting up'
, and can result in a period of disqualification. Many individuals have commitments that mean losing their licence would be detrimental to their work or family life.
If you find yourself facing a motoring offence prosecution there is no need to panic and struggle dealing with it by yourself. Legal support from our motoring offences team can make sure you're fully informed and will make all the difference to your case. It costs nothing to make an enquiry
and could result in peace of mind and your licence being saved.