Driving Logic

A letter in the “Your Letters” section of the Daily Mirror regarding thoughts on the penalty-points system enforced under UK driving law caught my attention today. So much so, I may even email a response to it.

Margaret Mellor of Bury St Edmunds, Norfolk wrote:

Up till now the penalties for using a mobile while driving have been derisory.
I agree with Tony Parsons (Mirror, May 11) that offenders should lose their licence, but I say that if they cause a death they should be charged with manslaughter.

I didn’t read Tony Parsons’ article because I find what he writes rather dull, but I agree that anything which causes a distraction or could become dangerous whilst driving should be met with some form of penalty. I also agree with the manslaughter aspect.

Use your mobile phone whilst driving and you could face 14 years of buggery

Correct me if I’m wrong, but such a system already exists; it’s known as the totting up scheme. Get caught committing a motoring offence and you’ll receive penalty points on your driving licence. Get more than 12  penalty points and you’ll lose your driving licence all together.

I get angry with people when I see them using their mobile phone whilst driving because they can’t be in full control of  their car. You can argue it all you like, but the fact remains that you can’t concentrate properly on the road if you’re faffing around with your mobile phone. Not concentrating properly means you could kill someone.

Despite this, I think that to ban someone for using their mobile phone is a little harsh and 3 penalty points is usually enough to make people think twice about doing it again in future, which is why the totting up scheme is a fair system.

As for causing a death and being prosecuted for manslaughter because of it, a death by dangerous driving offence exists already. Being charged with this can result in a maximum of 14 years imprisonment and a minimum disqualification from the road for 2 years.

So, Margaret Mellor of Bury St Edmunds, Norfolk, you can sleep easy knowing that although someone won’t lose their licence immediately for being caught using their mobile phone, they’d only get caught doing it 4 times before they did lose their licence. If, before losing their licence for mobile phone offences, someone causes a death due to their driving, they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years.

Well, I’ve written my email and have sent it to the Daily Mirror. It reads (sensibly):

Margaret Mellor wrote a letter in response to an article written by Tony Parsons (Your Letters, 14/5/13). This is my response to her letter:

Such a thing already exists and is known as the “totting up” system. If you get caught committing motoring offences, you’ll receive penalty points on your driving licence. If you receive more than 12 penalty points, you lose your licence. If you cause a death whilst driving, you can be prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving, which could result in being imprisoned for up to 14 years.
Should people be banned immediately for having a bald tyre, which could also cause a death in certain weather conditions?

Bob Robertson, Pratts Bottom, Kent

I wrote a response to the Daily Mirror once before, but it didn’t get published. Fingers crossed, my “sensible” response will be published. Obviously, I’ll let you know.

For your information, here’s a list of motoring offences and the associated penalty points if prosecuted, from Direct.gov:

Accident offences

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
AC10 Failing to stop after an accident 5 to 10
AC20 Failing to give particulars or report an accident within 24 hours 5 to 10
AC30 Undefined accident offences 4 to 9

Disqualified driver

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
BA10 Driving while disqualified by order of court 6
BA30 Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of court 6

Careless driving

Codes CD10 to CD30 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
CD10 Driving without due care and attention 3 to 9
CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users 3 to 9
CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users 3 to 9

Codes CD40 to CD70 must stay on a driving licence for 11 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
CD40 Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink 3 to 11
CD50 Causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs 3 to 11
CD60 Causing death by careless driving with alcohol level above the limit 3 to 11
CD70 Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis 3 to 11

Codes CD80 and CD90 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
CD80 Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving 3 to 11
CD90 Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 3 to 11

Construction and use offences

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
CU10 Using a vehicle with defective brakes 3
CU20 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition 3
CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) 3
CU40 Using a vehicle with defective steering 3
CU50 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers 3
CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc 3

Reckless/dangerous driving

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
DD10 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD40 Dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle 3 to 11
DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving 3 to 11
DD90 Furious driving 3 to 9

Drink or drugs

Codes DR10 to DR30 must stay on a driving licence for 11 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit 3 to 11
DR20 Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink 3 to 11
DR30 Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis 3 to 11

Codes DR40 to DR70 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
DR40 In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit 10
DR50 In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink 10
DR60 Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10
DR70 Failing to provide specimen for breath test 4

Code DR80 must stay on a driving licence for 11 years from the date of the conviction.

Code Offence Penalty points
DR80 Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs 3 to 11

Code DR90 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
DR90 In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs 10

Insurance offences

Code IN10 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks 6 to 8

Licence offences

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
LC20 Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence 3 to 6
LC30 Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence 3 to 6
LC40 Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability 3 to 6
LC50 Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused on medical grounds 3 to 6

Miscellaneous offences

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
MS10 Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position 3
MS20 Unlawful pillion riding 3
MS30 Play street offences 2
MS50 Motor racing on the highway 3 to 11
MS60 Offences not covered by other codes (including offences relating to breach of requirements as to control of vehicle) 3
MS70 Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight 3
MS80 Refusing to submit to an eyesight test 3
MS90 Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc 6

Motorway offences

Code MW10 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
MW10 Contravention of special roads regulations (excluding speed limits) 3

Pedestrian crossings

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
PC10 Undefined contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations 3
PC20 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with moving vehicle 3
PC30 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with stationary vehicle 3

Speed limits

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits 3 to 6
SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles) 3 to 6
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 3 to 6
SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit 3 to 6
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 3 to 6

Traffic direction and signs

These codes must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signals 3
TS20 Failing to comply with double white lines 3
TS30 Failing to comply with ‘stop’ sign 3
TS40 Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden 3
TS50 Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding ‘stop’ signs, traffic lights or double white lines) 3
TS60 Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign 3
TS70 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign 3

Special code

Code TT99 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of conviction.

It shows disqualification under ‘totting-up’ – if the total of penalty points reaches 12 or more within 3 years, the driver can be disqualified.

Theft or unauthorised taking

Code UT50 must stay on a driving licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

Code Offence Penalty points
UT50 Aggravated taking of a vehicle 3 to 11

‘Mutual recognition’ codes

You’ll get an ‘MR’ code on your licence if you’re disqualified while driving in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. Your disqualification period will also be valid in GB and will stay on your licence for 4 years from the date of conviction.

Code Offence
MR09 Reckless or dangerous driving (whether or not resulting in death, injury or serious risk)
MR19 Wilful failure to carry out the obligation placed on driver after being involved in a road accident (hit or run)
MR29 Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substance affecting or diminishing the mental and physical abilities of a driver
MR39 Driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed
MR49 Driving a vehicle whilst disqualified
MR59 Other conduct constituting an offence for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State of Offence

Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring offences

For these offences, the codes are similar, but with the number 0 on the code changed to 2.

For example, code LC20 (driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence) becomes code LC22 on your licence if you have helped someone to do this.

Causing or permitting offences

For these offences, the codes are similar, but with the number 0 on the code changed to 4.

For example, LC20 (driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence) becomes LC24 on your licence if you’ve caused or permitted someone to do this.

Inciting offences

For these offences, the codes are similar, but with the number 0 on the code changed to 6.

For example, DD40 (dangerous driving) becomes DD46 on your licence if you’ve incited someone to do this.

About Ninja Hedgehog

I’m Ninja Hedgehog, the creator of the Ninja Hedgehog website. I've written various things over the years but started Ninja Hedgehog in October 2011. I write about all kind of subjects but will never write about sport. Ever.
Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *