Tag Archives: Road traffic law

Fraudsters on the Road

‘Crash For Cash’ (CFC) scams are officially defined by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) as a scam that aims to “stage or deliberately cause a road traffic collision solely for the purpose of financial gain. Crash For Cash scams are a very serious and widespread issue in the UK. It’s estimated the scams cost motorists around £340 million a year, and over the years these CFC scams have become more and more sophisticated.  It’s bad enough having to be alert to email and internet scams all the time without having to dodge criminals on the roads too but that is the world we now live in.

There are numerous criminal gangs staging road traffic accidents and the following (potentially very dangerous) methods are just a few examples of the ways in which the average driver can be swindled:

Waving
Most commonly happens when there’s a lot of traffic. The other driver waves for you to merge into their lane. As you join it, the car speeds up and collides with your vehicle. The other driver will then deny offering you the right of way and will assert that you were at fault for ‘cutting them up’.

Swooping and squatting
This scam requires two fraudsters. As you’re driving along, a car will pull out on the driver in front, forcing them to brake suddenly. Even if you’re moving at a slow speed there’s still a high risk of a collision. The car that pulled out in front will be the ‘swoop’ and they will leave the scene quickly. The car in front of you will be the ‘squat’ and is likely to be filled with passengers that all claim injury if you have the misfortune to run into the back of them.  You can practically see the pound signs in their eyes!

Flashing
Also called ‘flash for cash’. When trying to pull out of a junction, a driver will ‘flash’ their lights indicating that he/she is letting you out. As you pull out, the driver will accelerate and crash into you. As you’re pulling into a lane of oncoming traffic, you’re at fault.  How you deal with the aftermath of such a collision is critical to a good outcome for you and your insurance company.

Slamming on
The fraudster will disconnect their brake lights (a brazen act of illegality) and then slam them on for no apparent reason. You won’t realise until it’s too late and a collision has occurred.  Of course, he or she will blame you for not maintaining an adequate distance but brake lights are fitted for a very good reason, to warn other motorists, and you would be a victim in such circumstances.

To protect yourself from these types of frauds, remember to always keep a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you and drive responsibly. If you’re unsure of another driver’s signalling to you be very cautious; protect yourself always.

If you do get involved in a suspicious road traffic accident take your time and make sure you have as many details as possible of the driver and passengers, and any witnesses at the scene.  If possible, take multiple pictures of the damage to both vehicles, the general layout of the road, and some of the driver and any passengers might not be a bad thing either.  Not letting anyone drive off until you have all the details might make them think twice about pursuing a dodgy claim anyway.  If you are suspicious that you’re being set up as the target of a fraudster, do not for a second hesitate to contact the police to attend the scene.

If you believe you’ve become victim of “crash for cash” fraudsters contact Michael McGhie today on 01202 877400 or via his email michaelmcghie@newnham-jordan.co.uk!

Fraudsters on the Road
Road Traffic Accidents in Autumn

Road Traffic Accidents in Autumn

 

As beautiful as Autumn is, the many changes, particularly those in the weather, pose new and dangerous problems on the road.

The transition season brings with it all kinds of problematic hazards for motorists, like:

  • Falling and wet leaves
  • Increased levels of rainfall
  • Increased frequency and strength of winds and breezes
  • Sunsets and sunrises around rush hour times

 

Accidents on the road increase by an average of 15% in October, statistics from the Department of Transport show.

The number of road traffic accidents suffered in October is approximately 21% higher than the figures for similar road incidents in August, which clearly indicates that drivers and cyclists are not adapting to the changing conditions quick enough.

Even more alarmingly, the Department of Transport revealed that car crash fatalities also rise around 14% above the monthly average each October.

The safety advice for driving in the autumn months is simple, but crucial:

  • Go slower than you otherwise might do – it’s better to be late than not arrive at all.
  • Remember to use your lights – once the clocks change again, the evenings start to darken quicker.
  • Have a pair of sunglasses handy – by blocking or shielding the setting or rising sun from your eyes you can prevent a potential car accident.

 

New Speeding Fines

From Monday this week the punishment for speeding became harsher. For those a couple of miles an hour over the limit, nothing will change – but the big difference is a significant increase in fines for the worst offenders. For the most serious cases the fine equals to 150% of the offender’s earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500.

The harshest fines will be for people driving on motorways, which gives drivers an indication on government thinking over road safety issues. Those who drive above the speed limit elsewhere could be fined £1,000.

In 2015, 166,695 people in England and Wales were sentenced for speeding with the average fine being £188.

The maximum fines will stay the same, however higher fines are likely to be applied with the new guidelines.

Details of the various speeding bands are in the table below.

New Speeding Fines
Are you fit to drive?

Are you fit to drive?

are you fit to drive main blog image

Driving requires a level of skill and the ability to interact with both the vehicle and the external environment. Rule 90, 91, 92, 93 and 94 of The Highway Code states the different factors that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

Safe driving requires some of the following:

  • vision
  • visuospatial perception
  • hearing
  • attention and concentration
  • memory
  • insight and understanding
  • judgement
  • adaptive strategies
  • good reaction time
  • planning and organisation
  • ability to self-monitor
  • sensation
  • muscle power and control
  • coordination

 

If a person develops a medical condition that could affect the safety of their driving, they should contact the DVLA as soon as possible. If a driver does not inform the DVLA, they could be fined up to £1,000. The DVLA have listed over 200 medical conditions for which people MAY need to notify them about.

The list below show some examples of conditions in which the DVLA should be informed about:

  • An epileptic event (seizure or fit).
  • Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness, fainting or blackouts.
  • Severe learning disability.
  • A pacemaker or implanted defibrillator device fitted.
  • Diabetes controlled by insulin or tablets that have a high risk of causing hypoglycaemia
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Any other chronic neurological condition.
  • Dementia or a serious problem with memory.
  • A major or minor cerebrovascular event (only if there is residual neurological or cognitive deficit one month after the event).
  • Multiple transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) over a short period but not single TIA.
  • Any type of brain surgery, brain tumour or severe head injury involving inpatient treatment at hospital.
  • Any severe psychiatric illness or mental disorder including acute psychosis, mania and severe depressive illness if there are features which affect risk to drive safely or suicidal thoughts.
  • Continuing/permanent difficulty in the use of arms or legs which affects your ability to control a vehicle.
  • Dependence on or misuse of alcohol, illicit drugs or chemical substances in the previous three years (do not include drink/driving offences).
  • Any visual disability which affects BOTH eyes (do not declare short/long sight or colour blindness).
  • Narcolepsy or other primary hypersomnia.

 

See GOV.UK Health Conditions and Driving for a full list of potentially notifiable conditions.

Rule 90

Make sure that you are fit to drive. You MUST report to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) any health condition likely to affect your driving.

Law RTA 1988 sect 94

Rule 91

Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision. To minimise this risk

  • make sure you are fit to drive. Do not begin a journey if you are tired. Get a good night’s sleep before embarking on a long journey
  • avoid undertaking long journeys between midnight and 6 am, when natural alertness is at a minimum
  • plan your journey to take sufficient breaks. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended
  • if you feel at all sleepy, stop in a safe place. Do not stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway
  • the most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink, for example, two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap (at least 15 minutes)

Rule 92

Vision. You MUST be able to read a vehicle number plate, in good daylight, from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres where the old style number plate is used). If you need to wear glasses (or contact lenses) to do this, you MUSTwear them at all times while driving. The police have the power to require a driver to undertake an eyesight test.

Laws RTA 1988 sect 96, & MV(DL)R reg 40 & sched 8

Rule 93

Slow down, and if necessary stop, if you are dazzled by bright sunlight.

Rule 94

At night or in poor visibility, do not use tinted glasses, lenses or visors if they restrict your vision.


This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.


 

What to do at the scene of an accident

Rule 283 main blog imagePhoto credit: jf01350 via Visualhunt / CC BY

Rule 283

If you are involved in a crash or stop to give assistance at the scene of an accident you should:

Warn others:

Park your vehicle and then turn your hazard lights on, ideally facing approaching traffic. Also if you have a warning triangle proceed to place this in the road.

If there are other people who can help send them back along the road to wave traffic in order to slow it down. Take care on fast moving roads … Other drivers might not understand what you are trying to do.

Reduce risks:

Check the scene, make sure all engines are turned off,  ensure nobody is smoking at the scene .

Get help:

Arrange for the emergency services to be called immediately with full details of the incident location and any casualties (on a motorway, use the emergency telephone which allows easy location by the emergency services. If you use a mobile phone, first make sure you have identified your location from the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder)

Assess injuries:

move uninjured people away from the vehicles to safety; on a motorway this should, if possible, be well away from the traffic, the hard shoulder and the central reservation

Simple first aid:

  • Don’t move casualties: As you could cause further injury, unless they are in immediate danger from fire or explosion
  • Do not remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless it is essential to do so
  • Check for breathing: If the casualty is not breathing, clear the mouth (false teeth, chewing gum, sweets) very gently tilt the head back and, holding their nose, gently blow into them at five second intervals allowing the chest to exhale naturally. See the links below for detailed information and methods.
  • Stop bleeding: Firm pressure on a wound will stem bleeding.
  • Don’t give casualties anything to eat or drink: This can cause complications for medics and delay life saving treatment.

stay at the scene until emergency services arrive. If you are involved in any other medical emergency on the motorway you should contact the emergency services in the same way.

To read more about the Highway Code, click here.


This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.


 

What to do at the scene of an accident