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Advice? dangerous use of a motor vehicle
Gray
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 19:53
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Hi folks, been looking for a site to get some advice and this seems to be the best one smile.gif

I was stopped in my escort van at Shap on the M6 last thursday night at 12.15 am. The officer told me he had stopped the van for a routine check as "these sort of vans are used for allsorts" fair enough I thought and let him carry on. He knew from my name the van wasnt registered to me but to one my friends although it is insured by me and was fully legal. He then asked me to rotate the steering and checked my tyres which were fine.
This is when it gets complicated.....
He asked what was in the van, I explained my other half is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment and she was asleep in the back (airbed and quilts) and that she was very unwell, no excuse i know but perfectly true, I opened the rear doors, he shone his torch in to check on her and seemed satisfied I was telling the truth then asked me to accompany me to his car. After I got the lecture about the obvious dangers (which in hindsight I completely accept) he gave me a ticket for dangerous use and a 7 day producer. Then he said he wanted to search the van as he had smelt cannabis. My good humour was weaning by now as I dont smoke it and no-one has ever smoked it in that van, i protested and he seemed to think he was sure so I told him he would find morphine and several cancer drugs in the van, all prescribed but if he was going to get my other half (given her condition) out of the van and make her stand in the rain on the hardshoulder while he searched the van then he had better be sure he found something as I would make a complaint. This seemed to satisfy him and he decided not to bother so he then escorted me to a slip road and told me to sort it out before continuing.
Today I went into the police station with my documents, I couldnt find my licence so took my mot and insurance documents in. the girl behind the desk explained I would get a summons etc but to order a new licence from the dvla and when it came they would sort it out. She then went into the backroom to sort the paperwork out and came back out to tell me the registration number on my documents didnt match my ticket, we went outside and she verified my reg and that the motorway police had recorded the registration down wrong. she made note of this and that was that.
I have since been told this may be unenforcable for this reason and I was hoping one of the knowledgable here could shed some light on it?

Thanks for reading
Gray
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post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 19:53
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jobo
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 21:24
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Thats good, so if the van in question was adapted, ie had a bed fitted it would comply ? seatbelt not withstanding


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southpaw82
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 21:24
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QUOTE (lowie @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:20) *
Do the police not need a reason for pulling one over now?


No. Please don't use someone else's thread to ask your own questions.


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uk_mike
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 21:38
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QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:24) *
Thats good, so if the van in question was adapted, ie had a bed fitted it would comply ? seatbelt not withstanding


Well it would be for a court to decide if the arrangement complied. Hypothetically for the purposes of Reg 100, then I would imagine that any passenger using said bed might need to be restrained (using restraints designed for such a purpose), otherwise I would expect a hypothetical prosecutor might use the thrown about in the back argument, to convince a court that it contravened the Reg.

Somehow I don't think being in the bed in the back of a mobile home would pass muster, even if well tucked in, but you never know - perhaps Mr Freedman could get it past an inattentive magistrate. wink.gif

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jobo
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 21:51
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you throwing things that dont exist, restraints( if needed at all) would need to be suitable and sufficient, not sold as being ambulance restraints, no type approval requirement would exist


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mickR
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:02
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i think the point here is that the vehicle had been adapted albeit non profesionally, the OPs wife was not laying on top of his cement mixer and tools. as he wasnt doing an emergency dash i doubt he would have been driving in a manner to cause injury to his wife and aparently wasnt driving in a manner to cause his being stopped by Bib

as for being strapped to a stretcher in an ambulance, well not always the case, i recenty was unfortunate enough to have experienced the inside of an ambulance on blues and twos into central london, not exactly a straight route! however i was not strapped to any stretcher.
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southpaw82
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:06
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Was the van being used as an ambulance? You can't just go with the "conveyance of sick or injured". Otherwise every vehicle that happened to have a sick person in it could be classed as an ambulance - clearly an absurd proposition. If you were to run this line of argument (which I don't recommend) you'd have to look at how carrying her in the passenger seat belted up would have been detrimental to her health, preferably with medical evidence.


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jobo
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:14
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QUOTE (mickR @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:02) *
i think the point here is that the vehicle had been adapted albeit non profesionally, the OPs wife was not laying on top of his cement mixer and tools. as he wasnt doing an emergency dash i doubt he would have been driving in a manner to cause injury to his wife and aparently wasnt driving in a manner to cause his being stopped by Bib

as for being strapped to a stretcher in an ambulance, well not always the case, i recenty was unfortunate enough to have experienced the inside of an ambulance on blues and twos into central london, not exactly a straight route! however i was not strapped to any stretcher.


indeed and the ops OH might have a seat belt exemption,, dont the seat belt laws exemption ambulances ?, they must do, coz they dont use try point belts and there certainly is no a requirement to fit them if they wernt fitted as standard

QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:06) *
Was the van being used as an ambulance? You can't just go with the "conveyance of sick or injured". Otherwise every vehicle that happened to have a sick person in it could be classed as an ambulance - clearly an absurd proposition. If you were to run this line of argument (which I don't recommend) you'd have to look at how carrying her in the passenger seat belted up would have been detrimental to her health, preferably with medical evidence.


no i think adapted for the transportation of a person with a disability is the was to go ?


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uk_mike
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:15
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I think thinks have drifted a little off topic.

Grey, as things have moved onto summons you have a little time as the prosecution have up to 6 months to put things in motion. In the meantime the first decision for you is to go with a guilty or not guilty plea.

To help you decide here is my veiw of things.

Firstly the error on the FPN won't help you as that won't form part of the evidence. That will come from the constables notes and memories, it may well be he has the correct reg in his notes, but even if he does not it will only help you if it could be used to cast doubt on his evidence. As is is likely to remember this incident (they are not very common), I suspect he will be able to convince the court that he has not mixed you up with someone else.

With regard to the charge, the prosecution would need to satisfy the court that you were driving the vehicle, whilst carrying a passenger and that the manner in which that passenger was carried was likely to cause danger. You will no doubt be aware of my view of that point by now, and as you mention you now accept that it may be dangerous. The question to ask yourself is how do you think it will look when described to a court (given that a prosecutor who is on the ball will work to get some of the arguments I have made about how it is dangerous into the evidence presented.

Once you have made a decision about which way you want to go come back and let us know and folks will be able to guide you through the process and advise you what your next steps should be once the summons arrive. In the meantime if you have further questions you need to ask to help you decide do ask them, and folks will endeavour to answer them.

QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:14) *
dont the seat belt laws exemption ambulances ?, they must do, coz they dont use try point belts and there certainly is no a requirement to fit them if they wernt fitted as standard


They do in fact. Reg 46 states that in ambulances only the drivers and front passenger seats must have seat belts. But the ambulances used up here (Scotland) certainly do have point belts in the back. The right hand stretcher is designed to double up as a seat for 3 people with seat backs mounted on the wall of the ambulance which are all fitted with 3 point belts. My experience is that the crew make a point of ensuring that seated passengers are belted in (although they sometimes have to travel unbelted if treating the patient), but I would imagine that if the situation warranted that their attention was better spent concentrating on the patient they might decide not to check that able bodied passengers were secured.

This post has been edited by uk_mike: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:27
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southpaw82
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:16
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QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:14) *
no i think adapted for the transportation of a person with a disability is the was to go ?


Do you have an authority for the proposition that would provide a defence to the charge contemplated?


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mickR
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:19
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QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:09) *
QUOTE (mickR @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:02) *
i think the point here is that the vehicle had been adapted albeit non profesionally, the OPs wife was not laying on top of his cement mixer and tools. as he wasnt doing an emergency dash i doubt he would have been driving in a manner to cause injury to his wife and aparently wasnt driving in a manner to cause his being stopped by Bib

as for being strapped to a stretcher in an ambulance, well not always the case, i recenty was unfortunate enough to have experienced the inside of an ambulance on blues and twos into central london, not exactly a straight route! however i was not strapped to any stretcher.


indeed and the ops OH might have a seat belt exemption,, dont the seat belt laws exemption ambulances ?, they must do, coz they dont use try point belts and there certainly is no a requirement to fit them if they wernt fitted as standard


and.. regadless of it being or not being an ambulance i suspect there may be a consession due to the OPs OH health factor,
i cant see the diference between this situation and say a bus with someone laying on the back seat which in all probability would be far more dangerous, i dont see bus drivers being summoned and niether the bus seat nor the back of the van require seat belts.
or am i missing something here?
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jobo
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:28
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:16) *
QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:14) *
no i think adapted for the transportation of a person with a disability is the was to go ?


Do you have an authority for the proposition that would provide a defence to the charge contemplated?


from some of the adaptation ive done/seen done for the Disabled motorcylists

there are three primacacia facts
1) the Ops OH has a disability
2 The vehicle was adapted to meet that disability
3) the construction and use regs allow everything they dont specifically outlaw

if being in a prone position on a mattress isnt against the C&U regs then that isnt dangerous on its own, there are subsidiary issues like seat-belts and if the mattress was securely fixed, but seems as the copper didnt inspect and the op hasnt conform or dennied, its hard to say

This post has been edited by jobo: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:30


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southpaw82
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:32
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I don't think a court would agree - but that's just my opinion.


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uk_mike
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:34
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QUOTE (mickR @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:19) *
and.. regadless of it being or not being an ambulance i suspect there may be a consession due to the OPs OH health factor,
i cant see the diference between this situation and say a bus with someone laying on the back seat which in all probability would be far more dangerous, i dont see bus drivers being summoned and niether the bus seat nor the back of the van require seat belts.
or am i missing something here?


Passenger carrying vehicles are specifically exempted from Reg 100 with relation to passengers via the Public Service Vehicles (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984. Buses are also excluded from Reg 46. Goods vehicles though are not, although Reg 46 only applies to forwards facing seats, side and rear facing seats do not require seat belts.

Regs 46 - 48

I would point out that the OP was not charged in relation to any seat belt offences.


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mickR
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:39
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uk_mike, you said this was going off topic a little, but i contend it is exactly the topic as this is the bassis of the OPs ticket,

just had a thought, what about a car/van adapted to carry a wheel chair with the occupant seated? does that person have to be belted in? is there a requirement for the chair to be restrained? will the earth explode tommorrow? howhigh is a Chinaman
sorry its getting late wacko.gif
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jobo
post Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:49
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QUOTE (uk_mike @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:34) *
QUOTE (mickR @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:19) *
and.. regadless of it being or not being an ambulance i suspect there may be a consession due to the OPs OH health factor,
i cant see the diference between this situation and say a bus with someone laying on the back seat which in all probability would be far more dangerous, i dont see bus drivers being summoned and niether the bus seat nor the back of the van require seat belts.
or am i missing something here?


Passenger carrying vehicles are specifically exempted from Reg 100 with relation to passengers via the Public Service Vehicles (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984. Buses are also excluded from Reg 46. Goods vehicles though are not, although Reg 46 only applies to forwards facing seats, side and rear facing seats do not require seat belts.

Regs 46 - 48

I would point out that the OP was not charged in relation to any seat belt offences.






no but assuming the Ops oh was rear facing, it takes the, she should have had a seatbelt thing out of the equation

QUOTE (mickR @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:39) *
uk_mike, you said this was going off topic a little, but i contend it is exactly the topic as this is the bassis of the OPs ticket,

just had a thought, what about a car/van adapted to carry a wheel chair with the occupant seated? does that person have to be belted in? is there a requirement for the chair to be restrained? will the earth explode tommorrow? howhigh is a Chinaman
sorry its getting late wacko.gif


no wheel chair just have use the friction brakes fitted to them, it wouldnt be a C&U issues if those brakes were dodgy and no seat belt is required, though most wheel chars have a lap belt fitted

This post has been edited by jobo: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 22:50


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CuriousOrange
post Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 07:25
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QUOTE (jobo @ Wed, 8 Jun 2011 - 23:28) *
there are subsidiary issues like seat-belts and if the mattress was securely fixed, but seems as the copper didnt inspect and the op hasnt conform or dennied, its hard to say
The OP said it was an airbed. He also said he accepts the danger with hindsight, which I think would suggest there was nothing other than an airbed + quilts.

I'm not entirely sure how you'd securely fix an airbed in the back of a van. I don't believe just placing one in the back of a van is going to be enough to be seen as adapting the van.

The officer did look in the back of the van. He may well have seen it was an airbed.

Why would a court accept that lying on an airbed in the back is safer than lying on the floor or on the rear seats of a saloon, if the OP can't stand up and say that the airbed was secured and that there were suitable restraints?

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The Rookie
post Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 08:03
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The one argument I would look at is the fact that the seatbelt regulations don't require seatbelts to be retrofitted to older cars, so if I was still driving my X-reg (1981 not 2000!) car and had a passenger seated correctly in the back, would that make it dangerous, and would a court convict? I think not.

If the charge were carrying someone who was unbelted (as the front seat was available) that would be hard to fight, but was the person laying in the back of a van in any more danger (or create any more danger) than travelling in the rear of a car with no belts? Arguably they were almost certainly safer.

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jobo
post Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 14:50
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[quote name='CuriousOrange' date='Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 08:25' post='597738']
ts.

I'm not entirely sure how you'd securely fix an airbed in the back of a van. I don't believe just placing one in the back of a van is going to be enough to be seen as adapting the van.

/quote]


velcro ? ratchet straps, alradite

The issue is the one Simon touched upon, where we have had many cases of the police taking a potentially non endorsable set of circumstances and making it a mutch more serious offence by tagging dangerous on to it, leaving the OP with the reverse burden of proof to counter the PCs assertion that he thinks it is

we had it with the CV boot and again in the last few days with the child being carried on the mother knee. The difference between that one and this, is that there is a clear line of lodgic that a child strapped within the mother seatbelt is far more at risk of injury than one outside the seat belt or one free sitting with out a child seat

the question id pose9 to (paraphrase simon) was there any greater danger to the passenger than any number of alternative ( incontestably legal) scenarios like carrying an unbelted passenger on a bench seat in the back of a tranny or carrying an unsecured wheel chair bound person in the back of a people carrier

the think both of those have in common,is they dont breach the C&U regs and neither i would suggest would a number of scenarios around the OPs circumstances

I agree that presenting this in court might be problematic against an absolute deceleration by a PC that it was dangerous, but thats not to say it isnt a viable defence available to the OP, as long as he understands this limitation

I have know and been involved with not totally dissimilar cases around (home) adapted motorbikes, one in particular where we took the foot brake lever and stuck it ( replaced it) with handle bar lever on the same side as the clutch, the copper contention was this was dangerous, as he couldnt operate the clutch and the rear brake simultaneously the court disagreed as there was no requirement for this under the C&U regs

A good ( but rather expensive ) way of the op making his point would be to ''formally'' make the adaptation and get a SVA on it

based on past experience the OP will, when he realizes how mutch time trouble and expenses is involved in trying to defend this and the fact he may well end up with the points and fine anyway, decied to take the FPN, and who would blame him, that how they get away with it, more often than not

This post has been edited by jobo: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 15:19


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roadrunner 163
post Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 15:35
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#this is one of the most insane mutilations of topics I have seen in ages.

Its a car derived van, its not made or adapted for use as an ambulance nor was the use an emergency.
Head out of books and regulations and look at it in the real world. OP was caught bang to rights, the obvious question is why if the OH needs to lay down as she was poorly after chemotherapy did they not make relevant arrangements with an ambulance to transport or she remain in hospital, rhetorical questions here but some the Magistrates will not be scared to ask.
also why not get in the front seat and crank the back down nice and flat.

For what its worth, an adaptation to transport people with disabilities (including ambulances) tend to use floor restraints to prevent the bed or chair moving and keeps the passenger restrained and not bounced around the cab in a collision of heavy braking,

keeping a spade a spade and not a mechanical aid controlled by manual manipulation of the biological link to assist in the excavation, of biological or otherwise substances as a means to achieve an increased efficiency in producing voids to receive alternative materials or for aesthetic purposes" this was and always will be a mattress in the back of a van to lay on.

Practical and comfortable for the lady YES legal NO.

This post has been edited by roadrunner 163: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 15:37


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jobo
post Thu, 9 Jun 2011 - 16:33
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your making a number of claims there which arnt supported by law

show me, where its says being reclined to the point of being prone is an offense

show me where the requirements for wheel chairs to be fixed ion a particular way arises from

show me where there is a general over ridding require for seatbelts 'restraints to be used for all passengers

your doing what the copper has done and just conclude that because its unconventional it must be illegal, with out being able to tell us why it is or more so than similare arrangments

there is no reason why i couldnt build a motorised bed, if id i mind to and be legal

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