DVLA extends driving licence renewals

It has long been the case that your full photocard driving licence needs to be renewed every 10 years. However, due to recent uncertainty caused by Covid19, the DVLA has extended driving licence renewals until November 2021. If your photocard driving licence is due to expire before the end of 2020, you will now be granted an 11-month extension.

Covid19 extra lbs

Welcome news if you need a little extra time to lose the additional famous Covid19 lbs generated by the previous lockdown before taking to the photobooths for your next photocard renewal picture!

The extension is automatic, so no application is necessary. However the extension only applies to full licence holders. If you are a provisional licence holder, then unfortunately, the expiry date remains the same.

DVLA: Being able to drive is a “lifeline”

Noting that a seven month extension on photocard renewal had already been made earlier in the year, Julie Lenard, DVLA chief executive said :

“Being able to drive is a lifeline for millions of people and this further extension will ensure that in these continued uncertain times, drivers don’t need to worry about the admin or the associated forms with renewing their licences. “

Julie Lenard, DVLA chief executive

Ordinarily, a failure to renew your driving licence would result in a fine of up to £1000. It could even invalidate your car insurance if you are involved in an accident since you could be deemed to be driving without a valid driving licence. Failure to update the licence for over two years could even result in the need to retake your driving test.

DVLA driving licence

Licence renewals: How to renew your driving licence

You can renew your driving licence at the post office, via the post or online up to 2 months before it expires, and you must always ensure to update your current address; not only on your vehicle registration document (V5C) but also with the DVLA.

Need advice regarding a motoring offence? Call our free advice line on 0330 33 22 770 to speak to a Solicitor who specialises in Motoring Law today. Lines are open round the clock. We look forward to hearing from you.

Covid19 lockdown Update

Covid discount for NHS staff

As another National Covid19 Lockdown looms, no doubt our current and future clients will be concerned about the impact this may have on their case.

Rest assured that our Expert Motoring Law Solicitors, Barristers and Support Staff continue to give their all to deliver you the best results during Local and National Lockdowns.

We are pleased to report that since the beginning of the pandemic, the Criminal Justice System has adapted significantly to accommodate the ‘new normal’ including reducing overall footfall within Court buildings, practicing social distancing and permitting remote hearings by video link where possible.

At Ashworth Motoring Law, we are deeply grateful for, and supportive of the wonderful work of our National Health Service and would like to reiterate this support by offering a 10% discount on all initial fees for new clients who work for the NHS.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team of Specialist Motoring Lawyers who have proven that a global pandemic is no match for our grit and determination when it comes to delivering outstanding results, even in the midst of a global emergency.

Thank You and Well Done.

Ashworth Motoring Law support our National Health Service

When Speeding turns into Dangerous Driving

speedometer

When a person is caught speeding, the usual consequences include:

  1. An invitation to attend a speed awareness course;
  2. A fixed penalty of 3 points and a £100 fine;
  3. A Court summons to attend a hearing at the Magistrates’ Court and up to 6 penalty points or a ban of up to 56 days and a fine of up to £1000 (or £2500 if speeding on the motorway).

However, where the level of the speed is so excessive, the Crown Prosecution Service could consider laying an additional charge of Dangerous Driving.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no uniform approach to what level of speed would provoke the more serious charge of dangerous driving. Sadly, some geographical areas tend to take a different approach to others. I’ve acted on cases where motorists have been ‘lucky’ and avoided the more serious charge and on cases where they have not.

The Dangerous Driving charge can be, and is laid in cases where the only ‘dangerous’ factor is the speed.

There is a common misconception that to be charged with dangerous driving, you must have performed some type of risky manoeuvre such as overtaking multiple cars on a blind bend or driving on the wrong side of the road. It is a further misconception that there must be some form of consequence from the dangerous driving, such as an accident.  This is simply not the case.

I have acted on a number of previous cases where the only factor which made the person’s driving dangerous was the speed.  This is not difficult to understand when the test for dangerous driving is explored:

The test for dangerous driving is simply: whether the person’s standard of driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent driver, and whether it would be obvious to a competent driver that the person’s manner of driving would be dangerous.

The consequences of a conviction for dangerous driving when speed is the only ‘dangerous’ factor

Unfortunately, regardless of how the driving is deemed dangerous, the basic legal consequences of a dangerous driving conviction remain the same:

  • A mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification from driving;
  • An extended re-test;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • Community service or a prison sentence.

In addition, the case could be sent to Crown Court if the Magistrates feel their sentencing powers are insufficient for the nature of the offence.

How many people are driving at excessive speeds during the lockdown?

The Department of Transport has advised that motor vehicle use on Great Britain’s roads has decreased by two thirds since the lockdown started on 23rd March.

Despite this statistic, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) say that they caught more than 6,200 drivers breaking speed limits during the period 23rd March to 22nd April. One driver was clocked driving 115 miles per hour (mph) on a 40 mph road and another 129 mph on the M62.

It is not just the GMP that has noticed the high number of speeding offences during the lockdown. Avon and Somerset Police have stated that 1,391 drivers were charged with speeding offences during the same period. 144 of those caught were charged with high end offences due to the high speeds they were travelling, meaning they will automatically face prosecution due to the severity of their offences.

Gloucestershire Police recorded one driver at 74 mph in a 30 mph speed limit.

Police in Wales have seen a multitude of high-speed offences including speeds of 105 mph in a 60 mph speed limit, 114 mph and 104 mph on 70 mph roads.

Lincolnshire Police forces have stated that they have experienced a doubling in the number of speeding offences despite a reduction by two thirds in the amount of traffic.

These statistics certainly are shocking. However, they make no mention of the number of motorists who are routinely caught driving at excessive speeds in lower speed limit areas. Having acted on such cases in the past, I know that these offences, which often take place in built up areas, can be viewed far more harshly in the Courts.

If you’ve been caught driving at an excessive speed and are worried about a dangerous driving charge

Ashworth Motoring Law are specialists in representing drivers who are charged with driving at particularly excessive speeds. No matter how bad your case might seem, we can assure you it’s probably not the worst we’ve seen!

Whether you’re looking for a specialist speeding or dangerous driving solicitor to identify a defence to clear your name, or want to secure the best possible outcome and ultimately avoid a prison sentence, we can help.

Our specialist motoring law solicitors have secured some truly phenomenal results in cases just like yours. We are proud to say that despite the very real likelihood of a custodial sentence in dangerous driving cases, not a single previous client of ours has ever been sent to prison.

Call now!

Feel free to take a look at our specialist sections on Speeding, Dangerous Driving, or our Guilty Plea and Mitigation Service for more information, or call one of our expert motoring lawyers on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Article written by Expert Motoring Law Solicitor and Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of www.ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk

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