Today, Scottish Conservative MP Alister Jack has introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill to Parliament, that aims to reduce the administrative burdens faced by courts when processing road traffic offences.
Before the paper counterpart to the driving licence was abolished in 2015, people convicted of a road traffic offence or who received a Fixed Penalty Notice were required to submit their paper licence so that the offence could be recorded on it. The system has since been digitised, and no physical records are produced. Despite this, motorists must still submit their driving licence to the courts before they can accept a Fixed Penalty Notice or attend a court hearing for a traffic offence. No action is taken with the licence when it is submitted, and it is returned to the motorist.
Mr Jack’s Bill aims to fix this irregularity by removing the requirement to submit a driving licence. It will also remove the current offence of failing to provide the licence to the court prior to a hearing. The police, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) have been calling for more flexibility when dealing with road traffic offences. This Bill would streamline processes, allow for more transactions to be completed online, and could also provide a saving of around £2 million to the Government.
Commenting, Alister Jack MP said:
“It’s long past time that this irregularity in the law was cleared up. It wastes time and money and adds a considerable, yet unnecessary, administrative burden on our court system.
“It was quite an understandable requirement when the paper licence still existed. However, I see no reason to continue wasting time with this pointless exercise.
“My proposed change to legislation will provide an opportunity to Government to make efficiency savings, maximise digital services and save administrative time by removing redundant processes.
“In addition to the benefits to the police and courts, it will assist drivers and employers such as those working in haulage as they will be able to retain their licences while the penalty process continues.”