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Is it an offence?

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A post has circulated arounf Facebook – asserting that it is a criminal offence – punishable by a fine of £60 and 3 points on the offender’s driving licence – to drive whilst there is snow on the car roof.

IT IS DANGEROUS TO DRIVE WITH SNOW ON THE ROOF – as your own vision may be suddenly impaired – and a sudden fall can cause dangers to other road users. But where is the legal authority for the claim made on Facebook?

I checked the online “Highway Code” It doesn’t mention any offence – but does warn of the dangers. There are references to primary and secondary legislation, but none that state would be authority for the claim.

My point is – that it is difficult for citizens to find out what is – and isn’t an offence. Perhaps we need to consider how citizens can easily find a straightforward reference to what acts are illegal and will be punished.

Please do clear the snow away from your car roof before driving – but also ask your MP why a citizen can’t, with ease, know what is an offence and what isn’t. Isn’t that a central idea which lay behind the Magna Carta?

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Written by David

December 3, 2010 at 8:04 am

Posted in access to law, offence

One Response

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  1. The closest I could get on this is that a departure from the standards laid down for drivers in the Highway Code, whilst not technically an offence in itself, may give rise to a liability under s.3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988… or driving without due care and attention as it is better known.

    In comment to your main point though, given our previous government’s love of creating new and imaginative offences at a quite terrifying rate I’m not sure how feasible it would be to educate the general population as to each of the potential liabilities. Surely a better approach is to instil into our young people a sense of right and wrong, this having the added benefit of the motivation to behave coming from within rather than without.

    Kay Gridley

    December 3, 2010 at 11:46 am


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