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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I was involed in a car crash last April I started to overtake

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I was involed in a car crash last April I started to overtake a lorry and did not se a car comming towards me because of a dip in the road, when I saw the roof of the car I slowed down to get back behind the lorry only the lorry driver also slowed down but the other car was travelling at some speed and continued towards me I then stopped my car but he crashed into there front and side of it. As I was overtaking I accepted responsibility and was given three points and one hundred pound fine or to go on driving awareness course, I accepted the offer to go on course but the first one I called to arrange it could not take automatic drivers as the didn't have a car , the next one gave me a date but canceled just before the day again because they didn't have a car , they gave me anouther date and because it had now gone over the time allowed they contacted the police involed. But again just before the date they cancelled completely returned my fee and said they could not do it . I contacted the police because I had mislaid the papers they had sent me and they said someone would be in touch with me, I heard nothing untill a few weeks ago when I recieved a letter from the courts saying I had not attended a hearing with a fine for £800and 8 points on my license, I when to local magistrate court and they set aside that date and now have to appear again on the 24th of March , the magistrate ask me to explain what happened and I did, he then said he thought I should plead not guilty and to get some legal advice before I go to court so can you help me please.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

The case was heard in your absence. What is the charge please?

Customer: Driving without due care and attention
Alex Watts :

Do you intend to plead guilty?

Customer: L I was but the magistrate said I shouldent and entered a plea of not guilty
Alex Watts :

So you have pleaded not guilty?

Alex Watts :

If so on what basis?

Customer: I don't know, I thought I was in the wrong , but did try to do course but there fault that didn't happen, should have said I was badly injured ripped all tendons and muscles in my upper back and was in a lot of pain and unable to look after myself for near on 3 months
Alex Watts :

The test is this, did your driving fall below that of a reasonable driver.

Alex Watts :

Given you tried to overtake and there was a dip, I think your driving DID fall below the standard

Alex Watts :

Clearly the other driver going too fast is mitigation but I do not think it amounts to a defence.

Alex Watts :

You tried to overtake and there was a dip

Alex Watts :

This is not the actions of a reasonable and prudent driver

Alex Watts :

Therefore sadly I do think if you plead not guilty you will be convicted

Customer: Did not know there was a dip untill I saw roof of the car
Alex Watts :

Ok - if you did not know and did not know the road itself then you may have a claim for not being careless

Alex Watts :

If that is the case then you can plead not guilty

Alex Watts :

If it was not signed or not reasonably obvious then you could argue you were not careless

Alex Watts :

But the test is did your driving fall below that of a reasonable and prudent driver

Alex Watts :

If you think it did not then you should plead not guilty

Customer: The problem is the driving awareness classes did not alow me to take that option. As I would have done
Customer: I need to go to a doctors appointment now can I come back to you later please
Alex Watts :

Indeed of course you can

Customer: I have been thinking about what you have said and as the police office at the time of the accident told me about the dip there and it was difficult to see at that time of day as there was also a ground mist , I don't think I was careless as I did not see the car when I started to overtake and as soon as I did I tried to get back behind the lorry but he had slowed down, I was told that they do that so you can. Speed up. And overtake but I didn't know that and could not read his mind from my car. There was no traffic behind me and as if he had carried on at his normal speed I would have been able to get back behind him, also when I saw the other car he must have seen me and slowed down but didn't if he had he would have had time to stop or go past me safely aas it was a dual carriage way and on the with a grass verg on. The side my car was stationary and Ia few seconds more I would have pulled in behind the lorry, I I looked behind me to make sure there was no other trafficking when he hit the drivers side wink of my car spinning me round and onto the grass verg , he ended up about a hundred yards down the road just missing another lorry coming in the opposite direction , the lorry I was trying to overtake was about a hundred yards in front of me and had stopped . I automatically thought it was my fault because I was overtaking but did shout at the other driver twice although I new he couldn't hear me but you know what I mean to slow down and could not understand why he didn't ,if he had the accident would have been avoided.. Do you think this is how I should present it to the court.
Alex Watts : Ok. Yes this seems to be a valid defence. If your driving did not fall below the standard of a reasonable driver you are not guilty.
Alex Watts : i would though suggest a solicitor for the trial.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Alex Watts :

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