The same provision applies if someone causes or permits another person to use a vehicle. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “I introduced police powers to seize and destroy uninsured vehicles as a road safety minister back in 2004. Police can be very opinionated when it comes to insurance, frequently determining whether in their view insurance is valid or not. Section 165 at the same Act provides that a person driving a vehicle on the road must produce a certificate of insurance when required to do so by a police constable. On the 29th of May 2020 the High Court decided that North Wales Police were wrong to dispose of someone’s motorhome by auction after deciding an insurance certificate wasn’t valid. Police stopped it and asked for evidence of insurance. Under Section 165 Road Traffic Act 1988 there are several powers the police may use to seize vehicles. These aren't the only circumstances where vehicles can be seized. A policy which is void is one which has never been of any effect. Once the vehicle has been seized the owner can recover it provided he/she acts within the time specified in the seizure notice (which has to be at least seven days), provides proof of ownership and pays the police's costs of both impounding the vehicle and then storing it. Under section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (PRA), police community support officers (PCSOs) may be designated with the search powers set out in schedule 4 of the Act. Her vehicle had been dismantled. New Breath Test Devices Will Likely Convict More Motorists, Speed limits could rise to 60mph when less activity is taking place on motorway roadworks, Keep the right side of the law when driving in the snow, Police Powers of Vehicle Seizure and Disposal. In simple terms, if you are not insured for the vehicle then the police have the power to seize the vehicle, remove it to a compound and either fine you before it is returned, or is empowered to have the vehicle crushed. They were heavily criticised for doing this because when they did so the case was already before a High Court judge. There is no charge if the owner didn't permit and couldn't have prevented the use of the vehicle. One which is voidable is of effect until such time as an insurer decides it is of no effect and tells the insured. Speed Detection Devices Not Necessarily Conclusive. Police Reform Act 2002 powers to search for and seize alcohol and tobacco. The following day she attended Caernarfon police station with an insurance certificate and driving licence. In order to legally seize your vehicle, a police officer needs to be in uniform and additionally needs to have reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle has in effect been used in a manner that amounts to undue care and attention or inconsiderate driving. Vehicles can be seized for various reasons: In the case of careless driving prosecutions, often a first warning is issued initially. The officer took the keys and gave Mrs Linse a seizure notice which set out the steps that she would have to take to get the vehicle back. The word “invalid” as used by the officer had no application. Seizing vehicles is covered by Section 59 of the road traffic act. No comments so far - why not be the first? When Mrs Linse produced her NFU Mutual certificate of insurance it was of effect until such time as NFU Mutual decided it wasn’t. Regrettably, North Wales police had by the date of the final hearing in late May 2020 disposed of her vehicle by auction, and she learned of this when she saw spare parts advertised for sale on the internet. Celebrity acquittals give the wrong message. If the vehicle isn't claimed the police can dispose of it. Mrs Linse had produced both but the officer decided that the convictions apparently recorded against her name rendered the policy, as he put it, “invalid”. Wooden Shutters Henlow at Impact Interiors. Under these circumstances, an officer has the legal power to; There are a few caveats however. Then there is the charge for release of the vehicle. This additional element may lead the courts to conclude that this is a measure that is aimed at the prevention of offensive or anti-social behaviour, rather than the punishment of those guilty of offences. While preventing joyriding and the countryside being torn up by vehicles driven off-road may be a legitimate purpose, it is seriously open to question whether there are sufficient safeguards against the abuse of these powers and whether charging for the return of vehicles, particularly where no offence has been committed, is proportionate. It had been seen by police officers who followed it because they had been told it was uninsured. Mrs Linse acted quickly. Does this lack of due process amount to a breach of the article 6 right to a fair trial and has there ever been a legal challenge to the provisions? If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a RT6 seizure notice. Community support officers (CSOs) also have this power although unlike police officers they can't enter private premises to seize the vehicle (unless accompanying a police officer.). Do you have a civil liberties or human rights question for the Liberty lawyers? Additionally, police can also seize uninsured vehicles which can then be crushed. If you take a chance by driving without car insurance, this can be the result. Provided that he/she is in uniform a police officer has the right to seize a motor vehicle if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle is being (or has been) driven carelessly or illegally off-road and that this is causing, or is likely to cause, alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public. I have a question about the power to seize vehicles under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which can be exercised by both police officers and PCSOs. There are also powers under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 to immobilise, seize and dispose of vehicles that appear to be untaxed. Under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, police have the power to seize any vehicle where there is reasonable belief that the vehicle is being used without third party insurance cover or a driving licence for that class of vehicle.