Law Enforcement
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Graduated Fixed Penalty Deposit

Introduction
The Financial Penalty Deposit Scheme (as it's known) has three legal frameworks governing it, namely;

A constable in uniform or vehicle examiner (on production of his authority) may impose a financial penalty deposit requirement on a person on any occasion if he has reason to believe that:-

Payments may be made by cash, debit or credit card. The 'appropriate amount' is equal to the sum payable of the fixed penalty notice or the minimum fine normally imposed by the Courts for other offences. The amounts may be fixed or graduated according to the number or severity of the offence(s) and mirror the penalties contained in the Fixed Penalty Order 2000.

NB. It must be noted here that any reportable offences will affect the vehicle Operator's OCRS (Operator Compliance Risk Score).

GB License holders who are able to prove UK residency
Fixed Penalties, or Conditional Offers as they are called in Scotland, are issued to any driver found committing offences who has a UK verifiable address where a summons can be served, up to a maximum of three offences per Examiner per encounter. Any more than three offences per Examiner per encounter or more than one endorsable offence per driver will result in a report for prosecution.

Drivers have 28 days to pay the penalty amount or request a court hearing. Failure to either pay or request a court hearing within the time limit will result in the amount(s) being increased by 50% and being registered as a court fine at the offender's nearest court. Failure to pay a Conditional Offer or request a court hearing in the 28 days period does not increase the penalty by 50% but will result in a report to the Procurator Fiscal who will then decide what action to take.

In cases where some of the offences found are to be the reported for prosecution but there are others which could be dealt with by Fixed Penalty notices then all the offences found will be reported for prosecution and no Fixed Penalty notices will be issued.

For those drivers who are stopped at a check-point and whose vehicle is found to have a defect and who are able to prove UK residency and who hold a valid GB drivers license see Flowchart 1 (below). The information here will apply (in all cases) and will give an overview of the procedure involved and how it will work.

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If, however, a driver stopped in a roadside check-point and whose vehicle is found to have a defect is unable to prove UK residency or does not hold a valid GB drivers license see Flowchart 2.

GB License holders who can't prove UK residency and Foreign Drivers
If more than 3 routine offences are found fixed penalty notices will be issued for the 3 most serious offences. Prosecution will only be pursued in the most serious of circumstances for example: cases of interference with the recording equipment, e.g. magnets, wires etc and cases of false information e.g. false name.

In cases where a Fixed Penalty Notice is to be issued or where the seriousness of the offence(s) warrants a court hearing and the driver is unable to provide a verifiable UK address then a deposit is required immediately from the offender as a summons cannot be not served. The deposit is will either be equal to the fixed penalty amount or a set figure of £300 per offence (up to a maximum of £900).

The court deposit is taken to offset any possible court imposed fine. Regardless of whether a deposit has been secured or not, the rights of appeal would be the same and a deposit would be refunded should the driver be found not guilty.

If the driver cannot or refuses to pay the deposit, the vehicle will be prohibited for non payment and will not able to continue on its journey. It may also be immobilised until payment has been received or the case has been disposed of by the court.

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For those drivers who are stopped at a check-point and whose vehicle is found to have a defect and who are unable to prove UK residency, or do not hold a valid GB license> (Foreign Drivers) see Flowchart 2 (below). This will apply in all cases and gives an overview of the procedure involved and how it will work.

Further Reading
To further endorse the information above and to find out more, please visit the links below.

Guide to Graduated Fixed Penalties - Vosa PDF logo
Enforcement Policy - Vosa PDF logo

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