New Schedule 1

Road Safety Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 20th April 2006.

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Prohibition on driving: immobilisation, removal and disposal of vehicles

1 The Secretary of State may make regulations with respect to any case where, on or after such date as may be prescribed, the driving of a vehicle has been prohibited under—

(a) section 99A(1) of the Transport Act 1968 (c. 73) (powers to prohibit driving of vehicles in connection with contravention of provisions about drivers' hours),

(b) section 1 of the Road Traffic (Foreign Vehicles) Act 1972 (c. 27) (powers to prohibit driving of foreign goods vehicles and foreign public service vehicles),

(c) section 69 or 70 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (powers to prohibit driving of unfit or overloaded vehicles), or

(d) section 90D of that Act (power to prohibit driving of vehicle on failure to make payment in compliance with financial penalty deposit requirement).

Immobilisation

2 (1) The regulations may provide that an authorised person or a person acting under his direction may—

(a) fix an immobilisation device to the vehicle, and

(b) move the vehicle, or direct it to be moved, for the purpose of enabling an immobilisation device to be fitted it.

(2) The regulations may provide that on any occasion when an immobilisation device is fixed to a vehicle in accordance with the regulations the person fixing the device must also fix to the vehicle a notice—

(a) indicating that the device has been fixed to the vehicle and warning that no attempt should be made to drive it or otherwise put it in motion until it has been released from the device,

(b) specifying the steps to be taken to secure its release, and

(c) giving such other information as may be prescribed.

(3) The regulations may provide that a vehicle to which an immobilisation device has been fixed in accordance with the regulations—

(a) may only be released from the device by or under the direction of an authorised person, but

(b) subject to that, must be released from the device if the first and second requirements specified below are met.

(4) The first requirement is that such charge in respect of the release as may be prescribed is paid in any manner specified in the immobilisation notice.

(5) The second requirement is that, in accordance with instructions specified in the immobilisation notice, there is produced such evidence as may be prescribed establishing that the prohibition has been removed.

(6) The regulations may provide that they do not apply in relation to a vehicle if—

(a) a current disabled person's badge is displayed on the vehicle, or

(b) such other conditions as may be prescribed are fulfilled,

and “disabled person's badge” means a badge issued, or having effect as if issued, under any regulations for the time being in force under section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (c.44).

(7) The regulations may provide that an immobilisation notice is not to be removed or interfered with except by or on the authority of a person falling within a prescribed description.

Offences connected with immobilisation etc.

3 (1) The regulations may provide that a person who fails to comply within a reasonable time with a direction under provision made under paragraph 2(1)(b) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2) The regulations may provide that a person contravening provision made under paragraph 2(7) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.

(3) The regulations may provide that a person who, without being authorised to do so in accordance with provision made under paragraph 2, removes or attempts to remove an immobilisation device fixed to a vehicle in accordance with the regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(4) The regulations may provide that where they would otherwise have applied in relation to a vehicle but for provision made under paragraph 2(6)(a) and the vehicle was not, at the time at which they would otherwise have applied, being used—

(a) in accordance with regulations under section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (c.44), and

(b) in circumstances falling within section 117(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c.27) (use where a disabled person's concession would be available),

the person in charge of the vehicle at that time is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(5) The regulations may provide that where—

(a) a person makes a declaration with a view to securing the release of a vehicle from an immobilisation device purported to have been fixed in accordance with the regulations,

(b) the declaration is that the prohibition has been removed, and

(c) the declaration is to the person's knowledge either false or in any material respect misleading,

he is guilty of an offence.

(6) The regulations may provide that a person guilty of an offence for which provision is made under sub-paragraph (5) is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or both.

Removal and disposal of vehicles

4 (1) The regulations may provide that where such conditions as may be prescribed are fulfilled an authorised person, or a person acting under his direction, may remove the vehicle or direct it to be removed.

(2) The regulations may provide that where such conditions as may be prescribed are fulfilled an authorised person, or a person acting under his direction, may deliver the vehicle, or direct it to be delivered, into the custody of a person—

(a) who is identified in accordance with prescribed rules, and

(b) who agrees to accept delivery in accordance with arrangements agreed between that person and the Secretary of State,

and the arrangements may include provision as to the payment of a sum to the person into whose custody the vehicle is delivered.

(3) The regulations may make provision for such persons as may be prescribed to be informed that a vehicle has been removed and delivered into a person's custody and may, in particular, include provision requiring—

(a) the publication by an authorised person of such notices as may be prescribed, and

(b) the giving of notice by an authorised person to such persons as may be prescribed.

(4) The regulations may provide that the person into whose custody the vehicle is delivered may dispose of it, and may in particular make provision as to—

(a) the time at which the vehicle may be disposed of, and

(b) the manner in which it may be disposed of.

(5) The regulations may make provision allowing a person to take possession of the vehicle if—

(a) he claims it before it is disposed of, and

(b) any prescribed conditions are fulfilled.

(6) The regulations may provide for a sum of an amount arrived at under prescribed rules to be paid to a person if—

(a) he claims after the vehicle's disposal to be or to have been its owner or to have been the person in charge of the vehicle when it was removed,

(b) the claim is made within a prescribed time of the disposal, and

(c) any other prescribed conditions are fulfilled.

(7) The regulations may provide that (whether or not a claim is made under provision made under sub-paragraph (5) or (6))—

(a) the Secretary of State, or

(b) a person into whose custody the vehicle is delivered under the regulations,

may recover from the vehicle's owner or the person in charge of the vehicle such charges as may be prescribed in respect of all or any of its release, removal, custody and disposal.

(8) In sub-paragraph (7) “person in charge” and “owner”, in relation to a vehicle, means the person who was in charge of the vehicle or was the vehicle's owner when it was removed.

(9) The conditions prescribed under sub-paragraph (5) may include conditions as to—

(a) satisfying the person with custody that the claimant is the vehicle's owner or was the person in charge of the vehicle when it was removed,

(b) the payment of prescribed charges in respect of the vehicle's release, removal and custody, and

(c) the production of such evidence as may be prescribed establishing that the prohibition has been removed.

(10) The regulations may in particular include provision for purposes corresponding to those of sections 101 and 102 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27) (disposal and charges) subject to such additions, omissions or other modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

Offences as to securing possession of vehicles

5 (1) The regulations may provide that a person who fails to comply within a reasonable time with a direction under provision made under sub-paragraph (1) or (2) of paragraph 4 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2) The regulations may provide that where—

(a) a person makes a declaration with a view to securing possession of a vehicle purported to have been delivered into the custody of a person in accordance with provision made under paragraph 4,

(b) the declaration is that the prohibition has been removed, and

(c) the declaration is to the person's knowledge either false or in any material respect misleading,

he is guilty of an offence.

(3) The regulations may provide that a person guilty of an offence for which provision is made under sub-paragraph (2) is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or both.

Disputes

6 The regulations may make provision about the proceedings to be followed where a dispute occurs as a result of the regulations, and may in particular make provision—

(a) for an application to be made to a magistrates' court or (in Scotland) to the sheriff, or

(b) for a court to order a sum to be paid by the Secretary of State.

Authorised persons

7 As regards anything falling to be done under the regulations (such as receiving payment of a charge or other sum) the regulations may provide that it may be done—

(a) by an authorised person, or

(b) by an authorised person or a person acting under his direction.

Application of Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c. 53)

8 The regulations may make provision for the application of any or all of sections 1, 6, 11 and 12(1) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c.53) to an offence for which provision is made by the regulations.

Interpretation

9 References in this Schedule to a vehicle include references to any trailer drawn by the vehicle.

10 (1) This paragraph makes provision about the meaning of “authorised person” for the purposes of this Schedule.

(2) Where the driving of the vehicle has been prohibited under section 99A(1) of the Transport Act 1968 (c. 73), section 1(2) of the Road Traffic (Foreign Vehicles) Act 1972 (c. 27) or section 69 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52), “authorised person” means—

(a) an examiner appointed by the Secretary of State under section 66A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52), or

(b) a constable authorised by or on behalf of a chief officer of police to act for the purposes of the provision under which the driving of the vehicle has been prohibited.

(3) Where the driving of the vehicle has been prohibited under section 1(3) of the Road Traffic (Foreign Vehicles) Act 1972 (c. 27), “authorised person” means a person authorised to exercise the powers of section 78 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) with respect to the weighing of motor vehicles and trailers.

(4) Where the driving of the vehicle has been prohibited under section 70 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52), “authorised person” means a person mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) or a person authorised with the consent of the Secretary of State to act for the purposes of subsection (1) of that section by—

(a) a highway authority other than the Secretary of State, or

(b) a local roads authority in Scotland.

(5) Where the driving of the vehicle has been prohibited under section 90D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52), “authorised person” means—

(a) an examiner appointed by the Secretary of State under section 66A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52), or

(b) a constable.

11 In this Schedule—

(a) references to an immobilisation device are to a device or appliance which is an immobilisation device for the purposes of section 104 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27) (immobilisation of vehicles illegally parked), and

(b) references to an immobilisation notice are to a notice fixed to a vehicle in accordance with the regulations.

12 In this Schedule “prescribed” means prescribed by the regulations.

13 (1) The regulations may make provision as to the meaning for the purposes of the regulations of “owner” as regards a vehicle.

(2) In particular, the regulations may provide that for the purposes of the regulations the owner of a vehicle is taken to be the person in whose name it is then registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c.22).

Supplementary provisions about regulations

14 (1) The power to make regulations under this Schedule is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this Schedule is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.'.—[Dr. Ladyman.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Question proposed, That the Chairman do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Minister of State, Department for Transport

Sir Nicholas, I offer my thanks to you and Mrs. Anderson for the skilful and patient way in which you have steered us through this Committee. It has been a testosterone-packed performance from yourself, Sir Nicholas, and, according to the hon. Member for North Shropshire, from Mrs. Anderson, too.

The Committee has been very enjoyable. That has been made possible by all members of the Committee from all parties. We have had an enjoyable exchange of views. I have very much enjoyed the comments from all parties, the support of my hon. Friends and the constructive criticism of Opposition Members. The right hon. Member for East Yorkshire has valiantly stood up for those who have vintage Bentleys and other very nice cars, and other Conservative and Liberal Democrat Front Benchers have sought to put their views skilfully and constructively.

I thank also the Clerks and Hansard for all their work, my officials for all the support that they have given me, and my Parliamentary Private Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush (Mr. Slaughter), for the support that he has offered me. I have very much enjoyed the experience.

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton Conservative, Macclesfield

I gather that there will be a Division shortly. If the concluding ceremonies, which I always enjoy, are kept brief, we will conclude in time for Members to go downstairs to vote.

Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I am delighted to see that whatever is coursing through your veins, Sir Nicholas, is still working. I will be brief and robust.

Thank you, Sir Nicholas, for the manner in which you chaired the Committee. I would be grateful if you could pass on the Opposition’s thanks to Mrs. Anderson as  well. I thank the Minister for the way in which he answered most of our questions. We have further work to do on Report and look forward to revisiting some of the issues and perhaps making further progress.

I thank my own team for their backing and hard work over recent weeks. I particularly want to thank the Clerks who were presented with a kaleidoscopic variety of ideas that we picked up in the course of the Bill’s progress. I thank them for the manner in which they interpreted them and turned them into workable new clauses and amendments.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

On behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Paul Rowen) and myself may I echo the points made about your chairmanship, Sir Nicholas, and that of Mrs. Anderson? I also thank the Clerks, the officials who have supported us and the Hansard staff. I agree with the hon. Member for North Shropshire and the Minister that the Committee has been exceptionally good natured. I am delighted that we managed to cover all our business with some 54 minutes to spare. It is a good advert for self-regulation.

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton Conservative, Macclesfield

From the Chair, I thank those who have spoken for their generous comments about me and my co-Chairman, Janet Anderson. It has been a pleasure to chair this Committee. I congratulate all those involved on the constructive and orderly way in which the Bill has been debated. I, too, thank the police, the Hansard reporters and the Doorkeepers for their contribution to our orderly proceedings. Picking up the remark of the hon. Gentleman, it shows that with constructive programming, where genuine consultation has taken place, there can be full debate on all important matters. I can only congratulate all involved. It has been a pleasure and I will pass on your good wishes to Mrs. Anderson.

Finally, I thank the Clerk, who is so essential and who, on a couple of occasions, pulled me back when I was rushing forward in an aggressive, testosterone-charged way. I am grateful to the Clerk’s Department for the support it gives not only to the Committee, but to the Chairman.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at eight minutes past Three o’clock.