Life & Style

Drivers may be able to break the speed limit and avoid fines for this one reason

Speeding can see drivers land themselves with heavy penalties such as careless driving or dangerous driving changes in some severe cases. However motorists may be allowed to break the speed limit and get away with it under this “special reason” according to legal experts at Patterson law. 

Ms Patterson said the plea tends to succeed better if there is no alternative as motorists can argue they needed to speed up to avoid danger.

However, she revealed that if it becomes clear an offender could have pulled into another lane the case may not be successful.

Ms Patterson said: “We can argue ‘special reasons’ to avoid penalty points or disqualification in similar circumstances – whether that involves another driver or an unmarked police vehicle doing the ‘tailgating’.

“A special reasons argument is like a mini trial in relation to sentencing. It has to relate to why the offence occurred, rather than mitigating circumstances in relation to the individual’s personal predicament or need to be able to drive.  

“Special reasons also need to be established by the defendant on the balance of probabilities. If the magistrates agree that there are special reasons then they will not impose any penalty points or discretionary disqualification.  

“And these arguments tend to succeed better when there is no alternative. It is all about convincing the court that this was the only way they could extricate themselves from a potentially dangerous situation.  

“If it would have been just as easy for the offender to pull into another lane to avoid the tailgater, then special reasons won’t be found.”

Tailgating is considered highly dangerous on the road and is a criminal offence in its own right which may see offenders punished. 

Those caught tailgating can be issued charges starting at just a £100 fine and three penalty points although punishments could rise in some cases. 

If motorists are considered to have put themselves or other road users at risk, tailgaters could find themselves issued a driving ban or a prison sentence. 

The Highway Code saus drivers should always leave at least a two second gap between vats which allow time for motorists to react to car’s slowing down. 

In another shocking claim, Ms Patterson revealed motorists may be able to argue a similar defence if drivers need to break the speed limit to avoid an emergency vehicle. 

This is because staying at the same speed could lead to a dangerous situation if the emergency vehicle could not get passed. 


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