Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1988 c. 53


Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

1988 CHAPTER 53

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the prosecution and punishment (including the punishment without conviction) of road traffic offences with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.

[15th November 1988]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Trial

Part I

Trial

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 Requirement of warning etc. of prosecutions for certain offences.

1 Requirement of warning etc. of prosecutions for certain offences.

(1) Subject to section 2 of this Act, where a person is prosecuted for an offence to which this section applies, he is not to be convicted unless—

(a) he was warned at the time the offence was committed that the question of prosecuting him for some one or other of the offences to which this section applies would be taken into consideration, or

(b) within fourteen days of the commission of the offence a summons (or, in Scotland, a complaint) for the offence was served on him, or

(c) within fourteen days of the commission of the offence a notice of the intended prosecution specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed, was—

(i)in the case of an offence under section 28 or 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988(cyclingoffences), served on him,

(ii) in the case of any other offence, served on him or on the person, if any, registered as the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the commission of the offence.

(2) A notice shall be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above to have been served on a person if it was sent by registered post or recorded delivery service addressed to him at his last known address, notwithstanding that the notice was returned as undelivered or was for any other reason not received by him.

(3) The requirement of subsection (1) above shall in every case be deemed to have been complied with unless and until the contrary is proved.

(4) Schedule 1 to this Act shows the offences to which this section applies.

S-2 Requirement of warning etc: supplementary.

2 Requirement of warning etc: supplementary.

(1) The requirement of section 1(1) of this Act does not apply in relation to an offence if, at the time of the offence or immediately after it, an accident occurs owing to the presence on a road of the vehicle in respect of which the offence was committed.

(2) The requirement of section 1(1) of this Act does not apply in relation to an offence in respect of which—

(a) a fixed penalty notice (within the meaning of Part III of this Act) has been given or fixed under any provision of that Part, or

(b) a notice has been given under section 54(4) of this Act.

(3) Failure to comply with the requirement of section 1(1) of this Act is not a bar to the conviction of the accused in a case where the court is satisfied—

(a) that neither the name and address of the accused nor the name and address of the registered keeper, if any, could with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for a summons or, as the case may be, a complaint to be served or for a notice to be served or sent in compliance with the requirement, or

(b) that the accused by his own conduct contributed to the failure.

(4) Where a person is prosecuted on indictment in England and Wales—

(a) for an offence to which section 1 of this Act does not apply, or

(b) for an offence to which that section does apply, but as respects which the requirement of subsection (1) of that section has been satisfied,

that subsection does not prejudice any power of the jury on the charge for that offence, if they find him not guilty of it, to find him guilty of an offence under section 2 or 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (reckless driving or careless or inconsiderate driving).

(5) In Scotland a person may be convicted of an offence under section 2 of that Act by virtue of section 23(1) or (2) of this Act notwithstanding that the requirement of section 1(1) of this Act has not been satisfied as respects that offence.

(6) A person may be convicted of an offence under section 3 or 29 of that Act (careless and inconsiderate driving or careless and inconsiderate cycling) notwithstanding that the requirement of section 1(1) of this Act has not been satisfied as respects that offence where—

(a) the charge for the offence has been preferred against him by virtue of section 24(3) of this Act, and

(b) that requirement has been satisfied as respects the alleged offence under section 2 or, as the case may be, 28 of that Act (reckless driving or reckless cycling).

S-3 Restriction on institution of proceedings for certain offences.

3 Restriction on institution of proceedings for certain offences.

(1) Proceedings for an offence under section 110 or 112(6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (driving, or causing or permitting another to drive, an HGV without an HGV driver's licence, or failing to comply with conditions of such a licence) shall not be instituted in England and Wales except—

(a) by or on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, or

(b) by a person authorised in that behalf by a traffic commissioner (within the meaning of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 ), a chief officer of police or the council of a county or county district.

(2) In England and Wales, proceedings for an offence under section 94(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (notice about relevant or prospective disability) shall not be instituted except by the Secretary of State or by a constable acting with the approval of the Secretary of State.

S-4 Offences for which local authorities in England andWales may institute proceedings.

4 Offences for which local authorities in England andWales may institute proceedings.

(1) The council of a county, metropolitan district or London Borough or the Common Council of the City of London may institute proceedings for an offence under section 17 or 18 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (helmets and other head-worn appliances for motor cyclists).

(2) The council of a county, metropolitan district or London Borough or the Common Council of the City of London may institute proceedings for an offence under section 27 of that Act (dogs on roads) relating to a road in their area.

(3) The council of a county, district or London borough or the Common Council of the City of London may institute proceedings for offences under section 35(4), (5) or (7) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 which are committed in connection with parking places provided by the council, or provided under any letting arrangements made by the council under section 33(4) of that Act.

(4) The council of a county, metropolitan district or London borough or the Common Council of the City of London may institute proceedings for an offence under section 47 or 52 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 in connection with a designated parking place controlled by the council.

(5) In England, the council of a county or metropolitan district and, in Wales, the council of a county or district may institute proceedings for an offence under section 53 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 in connection with a designated parking place in the council's area except, in Wales, any parking place for which another council has responsibility.

(6) In this section ‘parking place’ means a place where vehicles, or vehicles of any class, may wait and ‘designated parking place’ has the same meaning as in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 .

(7) This section extends to England and Wales only.

S-5 Exemption from Licensing Act offence.

5 Exemption from Licensing Act offence.

A person liable to be charged with an offence under section 4, 5, 7 or 30 of the Road Traffic Act 1988(drink and drugs) is not liable to be charged under section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872with the offence of being drunk while in charge, on a highway or other public place, of a carriage.

S-6 Time within which summary proceedings for certainoffences must be commenced.

6 Time within which summary proceedings for certainoffences must be commenced.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, summary proceedings for an offence to which this section applies may be brought within a period of six months from the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge.

(2) No such proceedings shall be brought by virtue of this section more than three years after the commission of the offence.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor and stating the date on which evidence sufficient in his opinion to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge...

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