Driving A Vehicle In A Dangerous Condition

Published: 24th November 2008
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A vehicle can be deemed dangerous for a whole host of reasons. The police will stop a vehicle if they suspect that anything on or in it or any accessories, or the amount of people or items contained in or carried by it are likely to result in danger of injury. Reasons for the police stopping a vehicle they deem to be potentially dangerous are too long to list in their entirety but include objects protruding from windows, modified tyres and suspension, missing housing for headlights, items ineffectively strapped to the vehicle and so on.

If you find yourself in a situation where the police have stopped you for driving a potentially dangerous vehicle then the police are likely to issue you a vehicle rectification notice. This notices basically orders you to fix the defect within a specific amount of time. Of course you will have the option of refusing the notice and taking the matter to court however, it is usually in your best interests to accept the notice and get the defect mended.

If the police consider the defect to be a more serious issue then they have the option of issuing a fixed penalty notice as well as a vehicle rectification notice. The fixed penalty notice will mean a fine and points added to your driving licence. If the points are important to you i.e. they result in you losing your driving licence then you should not accept the fixed penalty notice if, you feel that your situation would be covered by the "special exclusions" which exist in law and which could result in a court deciding not to impose any penalty points.

The special exclusions, when a court is required not to impose points or disqualify from driving are - if they are satisfied that you did not know, and had no reasonable cause to suspect that the use of the vehicle involved a danger of injury to any person.

If ever you find yourself in a situation where you think the special exclusion apply then you should refuse the fixed penalty and take the matter to court. However, remember the exact meaning of a dangerous vehicle is not something that is written in law. The courts however, are asked to consider this test "is it likely that injury may occur? Likely is deemed to be something more than a bare possibility but less than a probability." So if ever you are stopped for driving a vehicle that is deemed dangerous careful thought is required before deciding how to react in law.

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