Further sentencing changes to come in 2018 and beyond

Part 4 of our review of road traffic reform in 2017 In part 1 of our series on road traffic reform in 2017 we set out the new penalties drivers are facing following a number of sentencing reforms. In this article we highlight on going consultations and proposals for further reforms in 2018 and beyond. Causing death by dangerous driving currently attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years – the government has published proposals that drivers caught speeding, using a phone or under influence drink/drugs could now face life sentences if involved in a fatal collision. There is some debate as to whether this reform is necessary as prosecutors already…

haulage vehicle

2017 a year in review for the Haulage industry

A four part review of Road Traffic related legal news in 2017 – Part 3 In 2017 it was announced that DVSA officers will gain increased powers to impose fines for breaches of driver’s hours offences up from £300 for a single day to a possible total fine of £1500 for any five days where breaches have occurred in the last 28 days. This applies regardless of whether the offence was committed in the UK or abroad. Non UK drivers will also be subject to the fines and will require to pay on the spot. The start date for these fines is yet to be announced but will be widely…

How did the Taxi industry fare in 2017?

A four part review of Road Traffic law news in 2017 – Part 2 The big story for 2017 is Transport for London’s (TFL) decision to revoke Uber’s licence. Initially this decision will not result in any change. The Uber TFL licence was due to expire on 30 September however the company will be able to continue to operate until all appeals are exhausted. Given the high-profile nature of this decision, not only in terms of the UK market but also the potential impact internationally we can expect the appeal process to be lengthy and exhaustive. Recent reports are indicating that this initial decision marks the end of the beginning…

2017 changes to penalties for road traffic offences

A four part review of Road Traffic law news in 2017 – Part 1 2017 has been a busy year for road traffic law reforms with no shortage of opportunities to fall foul of road traffic rules (Sky News reported in October that a road traffic penalty is issued every 2.5 seconds with 30% of drivers receiving one penalty annually). The following sentencing guidelines have been amended this year: Careless Driving The approach to sentencing has changed with a more sophisticated analysis of culpability and harm to determine the starting point of a sentence. The new approach addresses a potential anomaly in the previous guidance where low culpability but serious…

New web based transport law information service for businesses and professional drivers

The law is constantly changing with increasingly severe punishments and penalties particularly in the context of road traffic law and health and safety. The impact of this punitive approach to policy making is being felt quite acutely by businesses that have a haulage or fleet operation, or require employees to drive in any capacity. Sills & Betteridge has launched a new and comprehensive web based transport law information service for businesses and professional drivers. This year has brought a number of important reforms aimed at improving road safety including increasing penalty points for using a mobile phone and the recent announcement that drivers involved in fatal road traffic accidents will…

What will happen to my business in a divorce?

Divorce can be emotionally draining for everyone concerned. However, it can be even worse when a business is involved, and has the potential to be financially draining as well, not just for the couple seeking a divorce, but for many other people too. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, any business interests that one of the spouses has can usually be taken into account during the divorce. However, whilst this sounds scary, in reality what often happens is that the court aims to leave the business owner with their business untouched, and as a result will compensate the other spouse by say giving them a greater share of other assets,…

What are the grounds for divorce?

If you are considering a divorce or have definitely decided that a divorce is the only option available to you, then it is quite likely that you are feeling very emotional, and also that you don’t really know what the next step is. This article sets out one of the first things you need to establish in order to begin divorce proceedings. In order to start divorce proceedings, you will need to file a divorce petition at court. In order to do that, you will need to have been married for at least a year (you cannot get a divorce if you have been married for less than a year),…

Making a Will? You Can Make Whatever Bequests You Wish!

It seems only right that people can do what they want with their own money and can make whatever bequests they wish in their wills. In one case which underlined that fundamental freedom, a judge upheld a businessman’s right to cut his daughter out of his estate and leave his entire £2 million fortune to his girlfriend. The man was in a nursing home, suffering from cancer, and had only a few months to live when he changed his will, leaving everything he had to his girlfriend. Under a previous will, his daughter would have received £100,000. She argued that he was confused and lacked the required mental capacity to…

Traffic Noise Blight Householders Win £125,000 Compensation

It is often thought that if a planning decision with which you are unhappy goes ahead and the development takes place, you must simply grin and bear it. This is not always the case. For example, if public construction works have an impact on the value of your home, you should take specialist legal advice to ensure that you are properly compensated for your loss. In one recent case, householders whose properties were blighted by a road building project secured a settlement of more than £125,000. Twelve homeowners argued that their properties had been devalued by the noise of traffic travelling along a newly constructed bypass. However, Transport for London,…

Jersey Tax Avoidance Scheme Runs Aground

The lengths to which people go to avoid paying taxes are sometimes surprising, and the schemes that are created to facilitate tax avoidance come under close scrutiny from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). So it was that a tax avoidance scheme based on a Jersey Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) led to an appearance before the First-tier Tribunal (FTT). The LLP ‘traded’ in the UK and it contained 99 members who put more than £62 million into it. The LLP used the cash to buy the rights to the dividends from a company registered in the Cayman Islands and by a convoluted scheme claimed that it incurred a trading loss, even…