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Filmed 'failure to stop' driver on my mobile. Police now want footage.
ict_guy
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 19:40
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So, a guy crashed in to me the other day - I was stationary on the motorway. I pulled over to the hard shoulder. He failed to do so and, instead, continued driving within the heavy traffic. I drove down the hard shoulder, filming him on my mobile phone. I have his VRM, footage of the damage to his vehicle and a clear image of the driver.

I phoned 999 and reported everything. I visited my local police the following day to give a statement. The police have told me they have sent the registered owner a NIP and s172 etc etc. They now want the footage from me. But, could I be prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving? I only did this to secure evidence at the time. Not sure if I want to now incriminate myself.

Insurance have sorted everything and fixed the car. It's classed as a non fault accident. The 3rd party acknowledged the accident but is saying it was my fault....not sure how, I was stationary and he went in to the back of me lol.
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post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 19:40
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The Rookie
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 20:14
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I very much doubt the Police will go after you under the circumstances.


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ict_guy
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 20:51
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 21:14) *
I very much doubt the Police will go after you under the circumstances.


I would agree. But, am I right in thinking that they could, anytime within the 6 months from the incident? Or, would a NIP be required? Also, the phone was clearly being used as a video device, not a phone at the time, does this make a difference. Personally, I don't really care if the 3rd party gets prosecuted. I only care about the insurance liability. I have a solicitor chasing the other party for my uninsured losses. My solicitor has the footage and will no doubt allow the other parties insurer to see it if required.

I don't really want to make myself liable to prosecution.
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 21:12
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Presumably you have already told them you have filmed the driver on your phone whilst driving, so you are not in a substantially worse place if you provide them with the footage.

You could of course refuse to provide the footage and just ask them for the insurance details.

You are right in that no NIP is needed for a mobile phone offence so they could decide, or change their mind, during the coming six months. This will possibly be influenced by what the other driver says, e.g. if they allege you were on your phone before the incident.

As for whether you can still be charged with a mobile phone offence if using the camera, this has been debated recently. It is probably fair to say no matter what it is likely you would be convicted at magistrates court. If you appeal it to a more nuanced judge you may have a case, and I have said if you accessed the video camera directly from the lock screen, e.g. the phone was locked and incapable of being used as a mobile phone, perhaps a slightly stronger case. But as with anything relatively untested, there are no guarantees.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 21:16
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NewJudge
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 22:02
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 21:12) *
If you appeal it to a more nuanced judge you may have a case, and I have said if you accessed the video camera directly from the lock screen, e.g. the phone was locked and incapable of being used as a mobile phone, perhaps a slightly stronger case. But as with anything relatively untested, there are no guarantees.


The more nuanced judge will, of course, be accompanied at the appeal by two (presumably) not so nuanced magistrates where each will have an equal say on matters of fact. Whether the phone was being used in contravention of the law is arguably (depending on the basis of the argument put forward) a matter of fact, meaning that the more nuanced judge could be overruled.
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ict_guy
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 22:09
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Thanks for the replies. The phone was in my pocket at the time of the accident. I have hands free in my car and would never use a handheld phone to make calls. I accessed the camera by swiping left from the lock screen, took a photo of the 3rd party car, then put the phone in video mode. I think I will just hand the footage over to the police, I am just the witness/victim and they have made it quite clear that they want to throw the book at the driver who failed to stop/report.

I'll keep you guys updated. Cheers.
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 22:12
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Indeed, and you have the benefit that few of us have of being in the room deciding such matters. Nevertheless anecdotally it seems that technical, detailed arguments about the interpretation of legislation tend to be more well received by judges than magistrates.
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roythebus
post Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 20:40
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You could also be prosecuted for continuing to drive along the hard shoulder.
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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 21:38
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QUOTE (roythebus @ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 20:40) *
You could also be prosecuted for continuing to drive along the hard shoulder.

They are allowed to drive along the hard shoulder if the reason is an accident. Reg 9 of the Motorway Traffic Regulations 1982.
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southpaw82
post Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 21:58
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 21:38) *
QUOTE (roythebus @ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 20:40) *
You could also be prosecuted for continuing to drive along the hard shoulder.

They are allowed to drive along the hard shoulder if the reason is an accident. Reg 9 of the Motorway Traffic Regulations 1982.

He wasn’t though. He drove along the hard shoulder to film the other vehicle. I doubt he’d be prosecuted for it though.


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cp8759
post Wed, 14 Mar 2018 - 00:17
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QUOTE (ict_guy @ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 - 19:40) *
I phoned 999 and reported everything. I visited my local police the following day to give a statement. The police have told me they have sent the registered owner a NIP and s172 etc etc. They now want the footage from me. But, could I be prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving? I only did this to secure evidence at the time. Not sure if I want to now incriminate myself.

It is clearly not in the public interest to prosecute you in the circumstances, I think there's virtually no chance the police will charge you. The police in fact won't want to prosecute you because they wouldn't want to discourage members of the public from handing over evidence in these circumstances.


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