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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70419
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My mother (aged 93) was in a minor car accident last Monday

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My mother (aged 93) was in a minor car accident last Monday (19 Jan). While pulling over to allow an oncoming car to pass, she hit a parked car. There was only a small amount of damage to each car and the owner of the parked car was very understanding – ‘easily done’. As a nurse, the owner insisted on calling an ambulance. The paramedics gave my mother a thorough check and said that she was fine apart from having bruised her sternum. As this was a minor incident and there were no injuries to speak of, the police were not called.
The following evening at 8pm, my mother received a visit from a lone, male police officer. A passer-by had seen my mother get out of the car and she decided that my mother should not be driving. She was worried that she could have hit her children in a double buggy. According to my mother’s passenger, this woman was nowhere near and there was a row of parked cars along the road. The police officer took a statement from my mother and told her that she had to either say she wouldn’t drive any more or take a very tough driving test. My mother found this experience distressing. She has always been a good, strong, confident driver and her skills have not deteriorated. She has no dementia and she is not on any medication. The DVLA renewed her licence last year.
My response to this is:
1. The police officer should not have visited her alone, especially at night.
2. He was intimidating my mother.
3. No crime had been committed and the police do not have the authority to deliver such an edict on the basis of one person’s age prejudiced word. She would probably not have called the police if a younger person had been driving.
Could you please advise if this is correct and if so what the next step should be?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
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Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
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Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
1 No. A male officer is perfectly free to do that. If he is in uniform then he is clearly identifiable and I'm afraid no cause .
2 They can be rude sometimes. That is obviously not best practice but not a breach of a duty. That will really come down to what he said. If all that happened is that he was threatening to refer this to the DVLA of her fitness to drive if she did not agree to drive no more then that is something he can do and probably will.
3 There had been a crime committed. Your mother accepts hitting a parked car. That is driving without due care and attention. It may well not be prosecuted but there was an offence.
Further the police very definitely do have the right to act upon one allegation. That is what they do with many offences such as rape all the time and sometimes people are convicted and sentenced to many years custody on no more than the evidence of one person.
I'm really sorry but I am afraid the police are not at fault here and anybody who has told you to the contrary is completely wrong. The very highest complaint that could be made is about the officer's attitude which is not at all unusual in the force.
Can I clarify anything ?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you . However, she has not been disqualified so why should she resit the test?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I would imagine he was probably referring to revocation by the DVLA on fitness grounds and they can make you pass the medical test before driving.
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