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Charged With Driving Without Insurance – I Thought I Was Covered



“But I thought I was covered!”


Car Insurance. We all know it’s a legal requirement, though most of us have it not because the law requires it but because we want it there for peace of mind – for the ‘just in case’ situation – that’s why we pay for Fully Comprehensive Cover instead of just the 3rd Party Cover the law requires.


So what happens if you find out that you’re not covered?


For most people once they discover an issue with their policy it’s too late and they are charged – but that’s not to say that it’s too late for help.


The penalty for Driving without Insurance is 6-8 points and up to a £1,000 fine – so what can you do to avoid this?


Check your policy cover. Price comparison websites are brilliant, but it’s important to remember that the cover they are quoting for may not be identical.


We were recently contacted by a client whose previous policy (business) allowed him to drive any other vehicle with the owner’s consent with 3rdparty cover. At renewal time he decided to save a few pounds and changed providers, not realising that the new policy did not offer the same level of cover. Unfortunately this only came to light when he was stopped by the police and charged with Driving without Insurance. An expensive lesson to learn.


Check your bank statements. Not many of us can afford to pay the increasingly high premiums in one lump sum every year and take advantage of the option to spread the premiums out across the year.  Unfortunately this can mean that a missed payment suspends your cover so it’s important to take time each month to make sure that those direct debits have gone through. If in doubt contact your Insurer.


But what if it’s not your responsibility?  What if someone else sorts out the Insurance?  Then you might have a defence to driving without insurance.


Driving without Insurance is, in many ways, quite a Black & White issue – you either are insured or you’re not.  However there is a little known ‘Grey’ area – when you have been misled into believing you were insured.  You cannot assume that cover is in place – that is insufficient – but if you can show that you were led to believe that cover was in place then that could be enough to persuade the courts not to impose any further penalties.


If you think this could apply to you then give our offices a call on 01623 600645 and our team would be happy to have an informal, free chat with you about your situation and advise you further.


Motoring Law FAQs: But It Wasn’t Me Driving!



How unique are you?


You’re you, right? And you would expect the Courts to accept and understand that… but they don’t always.


Forrest Williams specialist motoring lawyers recently had a case of mistaken identity for a client.  He had allowed a family member to drive his car, ensuring that insurance was in place first.  That family member was then stopped for speeding, provided photographic proof of identification to the officer and expected that he would therefore receive the punishment for the offence.


Instead the police prosecuted the owner & registered keeper of the vehicle for the offence – despite having photographic evidence with the actually offenders name on it – simply because their surname was the same.


“It wasn’t me driving!”


Despite pointing this out to the court and prosecution on several occasions this matter went to court in Birmingham where the charge was finally withdrawn against our client.


Unfortunately this is not the first case Forrest Williams have acted in where mistaken identity is involved and it makes us wonder how often this ‘clerical’ error occurs.


Give us a call if you have a case of ‘mistaken identity’ in relation to a motoring matter – I’m sure we could help you just as we have many others before you.



99% of Police Officers Avoid Prosecution for Motoring Offences

Less than one per cent of police officers who were caught speeding have been punished, it has been revealed.


Only a small handful have been prosecuted for speeding or jumping red lights, even though tens of thousands of officers have been noted for breaking the law by committing a motoring offence.


The Freedom of Information Act released figures which showed that only 753 out of 75,434 officers spotted by road-side cameras in the last two-and-a-half years were prosecuted.


These figures have led to accusations, claiming that police officers are routinely let off without proper checks, while ordinary drivers automatically face a £60 fine and three penalty points, never being let off.


Road safety charities said the high number of fines cancelled was ‘worrying’ – and it is feared that senior officers are not carrying out proper checks before letting police off, which could be a big problem in the future as the number of officers being let off will rise.


Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: ‘These figures paint a worrying picture. We recognise that in emergency situations, especially where lives are at stake, police need to be able to respond rapidly, but this must be weighed up against the danger posed to the public – especially people on foot and bicycle – from speeding.


‘We believe police and other emergency services should be doing everything possible to ensure their drivers are not putting people at risk of injury or death, and to help put a stop to the scores of serious casualties that involve emergency service vehicles each year.


In Leicestershire, police were clocked speeding 5,738 times over the two-and-a-half year period – but just three were prosecuted, which works out as one officer in every 1,912.


Police forces are able to cancel tickets given to officers as long as speeding is necessary because they are responding to a 999 call or pursuing a suspect.


But this should be seen as a more serious matter when officers are caught speeding without reason.


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