Hot topics this month…. Legal cuts suspended and road traffic law

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One of the tweets that got picked up on recently was the news story on the @LCCSA website that Chris Grayling backed down in a battle with criminal barristers over cuts to the legal aid budget. You’d have to have had your eyes and ears shut over the past year not to have noticed the legal aid debate. But finally in March, the Justice Secretary agreed to postpone the cuts until after the general election next year which resulted in lawyers abandoning industrial action. The MoJ is still intending to save £215m from the annual legal aid budget by 2018-19.

The Guardian reported: The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “Following constructive discussion with leaders of the bar and Law Society, we have agreed further measures to help lawyers as they prepare for legal aid savings. In return the leaders of the bar have dropped their objection to working at reduced rates on very high cost cases, and have agreed to call off their action to disrupt courts.

“An efficient and fair criminal justice system – both for the public and people that work within it – is my top priority, and I believe this agreement is a positive step forward.”

This is certainly something we’re passionate about so we’ll keep you updated on progress on Twitter.

We’re not sure if you’re aware but as of April 1 2014 a number of new legislations regarding road traffic law came into effect. They include:

  • The Road Traffic Offenders (Additional Offences) Order 2014 – This Order amends section 20 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.  It allows records from prescribed devices, such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, to be used as evidence in proceedings for certain offences. This Order adds the offence of using or keeping a heavy goods vehicle on a public road in the UK without paying the levy to the offences for which evidence from prescribed devices is admissible in Great Britain.
  •  The Road Safety (Financial Penalty Deposit) (Amendment) Order 2014 This Order amends the Road Safety (Financial Penalty Deposit) Order 2009 (“the 2009 Order”) by adding to the list of offences for which a financial penalty deposit may be required the offence of using or keeping a heavy goods vehicle (“HGV”) on a public road without paying the HGV road user levy under section 11(1) of the HGV Road User Levy Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”).

Anyone seen to be violating these orders could find themselves facing a penalty provided for by The Fixed Penalty (Amendment) Order 2014. Stated fines are included in the table below.

“27 A fixed penalty offence under section 11 of the HGV Road User Levy Act 2013 £300
28 Any other fixed penalty offence except for a fixed penalty parking offence £50
29 Any other fixed penalty parking offence £30”

 

We’re specialist solicitors dealing with road traffic offences, so if you’ve been prosecuted or, if you’re a vehicle owner or drive HGVs, and are unsure or confused by the road traffic act and the amendments, get in touch.

If you wish to discuss this article, tweet us @Ogarras