Most drivers who are stopped at the roadside by a police officer tend to accept a fixed penalty if it is offered. The vast majority of the time this is the right thing to do as it saves going to court, with all of the time and additional expense that this entails.
However, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that drivers are also accepting these penalties when they do not think they have done anything wrong. Traffic Commissioners are reporting that professional drivers frequently dispute fixed penalties at Driver Conduct Hearings, by which time it is too late. Caution should be used before accepting a penalty, as they all count.
All drivers who reach twelve penalty points face a totting ban. Taxi drivers who reach six points usually have to explain themselves to the Committee, and risk losing their livelihood, as do professional drivers who will be called up to see the Traffic Commissioner if they reach six points.
When at court fighting to keep your licence, or before the Committee or Traffic Commissioner trying to hang on to your job, it is too late to dispute a fixed penalty that has previously been accepted for the sake of convenience.
If you are in any doubt, you should seek legal advice before accepting a fixed penalty.
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