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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was driving on The Green in Southall, there was a single

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I was driving on The Green in Southall, there was a single lane open for both sides. I was asked by an officer ahead to stop, I believe he wanted the other side to start. I stopped.
Seeing the congregation on the street ahead, that had blocked the traffic, I pick up my cell phone to take a picture, but there was an officer nearby who saw me and asked why I was using the phone, I told her I wasn't using it (I may have misunderstood her on the concept of
using the phone as I did not intend making a call, just a picture). I wasn't moving and had stopped on officer instructions.
The officer who saw me with the phone asked me to wait till she took my vehicle number and then called someone on her phone. She says I will be fined more for lying.
I have a new driving licence and do not want any points added to my licence.
Will I be only fined for this or will points be added to my licence. This will be my first other than some parking fines.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
So the allegation is that you took this picture while you are at the wheel?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No I had not yet taken any picture. I just picked the phone from the seat next to mine. The officer was standing right there, I did not know I was breaking a law.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The definition of 'using' is quite wide. Phones do have other purposes now than just making or receiving calls.
Even if that isn't made out though, there is a lesser offence of not having control over the vehicle which carries the same penalty. That was the offence that was always used before a specific offence relating to mobile phones was passed by parliament.
If you are sitting stationary then I'm not sure a prosecution is in the public interest but that doesn't always deter them now.
I'm not sure what she means by being fined more for lying. This isn't perverting the course of justice on any reasonable interpretation.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm more concerned to know if this will add points to my driving licence. I do not plan to contest this if there is no points addition to driving licence.

Can you advise more on this and addition of points on the driving licence ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If they do summons then it will either be for not having control over the vehicle or for use of a mobile phone either of which carries 3 points and a fine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

With my situation in view, is this contestable in court or do I just take it ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It depends what they charge you with and what you actually did.
You seem to be saying that you did prepare the phone to take a photograph which is certainly not having control over the vehicle. Since the penalties are the same it really doesn't matter all that much.
You can ask them to review the public interest of the prosecution but I would have expected a fixed penalty.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was not driving at that time as I was asked to stop by another officer. Will this still be considered as not having control over the vehicle ?

If I'm charged any points will this be 3 points or 6 points (my driving licence is new, since January 2015).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If you were at the wheel then you are in charge of a car.
If they do summons then it will either be for not having control over the vehicle or for use of a mobile phone either of which carries 3 points and a fine.
I would have expected a fixed penalty.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you elaborate on what you mean when mention 'fixed penalty' ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The fixed penalty. I am not sure how to express it differently. the penalty fixed in law. 3 points and a fine.
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