Beware Section 59! What a BS application of law

Riding down the M23 Sunday morning at 830 am, got pulled over for speeding. The cop basically said that they knew I was speeding but had no proof of it and gave me a warning under Section 59 explaining that the next time I commit even the tiniest infraction, my bike will be confiscated and crushed! I couldnt believe it but its true, mostly. You get your warning and the next time, they will confiscate your bike and you have to pay to release it and if you dont, within 28 days, its crushed. So basically a law that permits no proof and no right to contest or defend yourself in any way. Absolute BS! I dont mind going through the points system because that is fair for everyone but using a law that was designed to stop hoons terrorising estates does not seem right that its applied in this case!

Outrageous, Ive always heard that Sussex and Kent police are the biggest bastards, now I have seen it first hand.

Watch out for this, and Ill advise if I learn anything new.

Going to write to the IPCC to see if they have any comment on the matter

Section 59 can only be used where the police officer has reasonable grounds for presuming your behaviour is a nuisance to the general public. Difficult to see how this is the case on a motorway unless you were causing other vehicle to take avoiding action etc. Complain to the relevant Chief Constable, the Police Complaints Authority, and your MP.

Apply for judical review?

This surprises me, how did the conversation go at the side of the road ?

Sounds like a potentially hollow threat – Other than the speed was there another aspect of you’re riding that might amount to careless and inconsiderate driving?

S59 applies when the rider contravenes section 3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (careless and inconsiderate driving and prohibition of off-road driving)

S3 amounts too…

A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above what would be expected of a careful and competent driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.

A person is to be regarded as driving without reasonable consideration for other persons only if those persons are inconvenienced by his driving.

Speeding could be considered to amount to S3, but I personally think it’s a little doubtful…

Before you complain I would suggest that you submit a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the force in question, this will require the force to disclose what information it holds on you. This would cover any reference to a S59 Warning…

Logically if they witnessed you driving in a manner that amounted to a S3 offence they should have done you for it… using S59 to punitive effect in relation to a speeding offence that they suspected but couldn’t substantiate sounds like an abuse of process.

Always remember that the bill are on your side…
Meaning, you are their employer, so chronic threats, are just unfounded… I’d say you may have read a bit much into a guy who’d had a hard day, and you crossed him, when he felt like bein a plum.

A real officer will always give you due warning. Lawyers make their lives too tediously wasteful if they don’t follow appropriate and civil response to whatever you are doing… hardcore threats only really come when you make them feel uncomfortable… which is fair enough

Do some research, find out what 59 is, relax, don’t **** em off again… EASY! :slight_smile:

a friend of mine was given a section 59… then got pulled a month later for speeding, got 3 points on his licence… not car taken as threatened, nor crushed, or impounded. :slight_smile:

So you were speeding right? :smiley:

Its usually the people that are doing something ‘wrong’ that have that BS i hate the police lol


It is kinda true. I’d do it too but not to their face. I’d be like “yes sir, no sir…”:smiley:

I’ve had two bikes impounded through section 59,

The first one, I received the s59 from a community officer, who delivered it to my parents address. Apparently I’d over taken him in a way that he didn’t like and issued a s59, and just dropped it round! Now I believe they last for 12 months, 4 days before the 12 months was up I got pulled over on the a4 just before it turns into m4, at 3am with my younger brother on the back, they said I was speeding but couldn’t prove it, then just as the guy that was speaking to me was about to slap my wrists and let me off ( I wasn’t riding stupidly, just a bit faster than the limit as the roads where completely empty) the other guy got out of the car and said about my section 59!! Bosh about half hour later my gixxer was being strapped into a van and taken across London to an impound!!

Got it back the same day! Can’t remember what the cost was!

The second was on my second stunt bike, a few of us were at an industrial estate and a special constable drove round the corner whilst I was doing highchair dohnuts, he didn’t like it and he was an absolute chod! Long story short he wanted to crush my bike and hang me, traffic police turned up an where absolutely sound, could see I wasn’t causing trouble and that I had all sorts of protection on myself and the bike and that I had my van with me to transport bike about so not using it on public highway, the traffic officer took over from the other penarse and said that the cheapest option is to issue a s59 and impound it, rather than points etc

I got it back the next day:)

as you know, I dont hate the police :slight_smile: I just hate that this law is being misapplied, I dont mind being done under the same points system as every other speeder.

update: I went to do Bikesafe today and they checked my records and indeed, there was a section 59 against my name. And apparently they have changed the law so you dont just get your vehicle back after confiscation, you have to go to magistrates to apply to have your vehicle released and apparently, they are not exactly happy to do this :S So wotchit if you get one of these bad boys.

BB, delayed response but the conversation on the side of the road was along the lines of we saw you speeding, we have no proof of it and therefore we are giving you a Section 59. They explained what it was and I tried to defend myself and say that its like 8am on a Sunday morning and there is no way Im causing a nuisance, there is no one else around, the only person Im endangering is myself. No wash as I learnt today :frowning:

I’ve only just seen this, and you’re quite right it is outrageous.Another example of the perversion of the legal system by those who make the law, and, how only otherwise law abiding people really feel the weight of the law.Can you imagine how this would pan out in other more serious offences? “We know you broke into that house but can’t prove it, the next time it happens we’ll take your pikey van from you.” (Not a bad idea.)The defence would have a field day!Now be honest, did you for one second consider the response - “I know you’re a [email protected] but I can’t prove it”?

Here is something people don’t realise. If you exercise your “right” to silence, the adage ‘innocent until proven guilty’ no longer applies.

So the idea that Ducati Pete has put forward of the police saying, ‘I know you broke into that house, but I can’t prove it’ should they arrest and caution you and you say nothing, you can be found guilty without the prosecution proving that you actually broke into the house.

The prosecution need only show a prima facie case against you, which means “on the face of it”, so just on the face of the evidence, a mere suggestion that you might be guilty, and then your silence can be used to convict you.

Great our legal system isn’t it.

But the law has to be “reasonable”. So its purely subjective based on the “judge”, no? Oh and if your both members of the same “private gentlemens club” you’ll be let off anyway… :doze:

I am not sure what you mean by reasonable? If you rely on legal advice you have to be genuine and reasonable in that belief, but it is for the jury to decide, not the judge.

If you talking human rights, the infringement of rights must be proportionate to the ‘legitimate aim’ to be achieved, which is a European way of saying ‘reasonable’.

If you just mean generally speaking, no there is no overriding guideline that suggests that the law must be reasonable, there is the Human Rights Act which forces all the courts, as public bodies, to act in a way which is in accordance with European Convention on Human Rights, but as above, as long as the infringement is considered proportionate, it is fine and dandy.

That isn’t right is it? As someone said later, it has to be a contravention of s3 or s34, bearing in mind that s34 regards driving off road. Only s3 really applies.

You should ONLY be issued a s59 if there was an offence committed for which you could be prosecuted, and only if that offence falls under s3 of the RTA, which is driving without due care and attention.

ONLY if the Police Officer could have arrested you for that offence and prosecuted you for that offence can they issue a s59, bearing in mind that this does not affect their decision to prosecute.

As someone said earlier, write a letter to the commander of Kent police and ask what offence it is you committed to be issued with a s59, if it is merely the suspicion of speeding, that shouldn’t be enough to lead to a prosecution for driving without due care, and therefore should not warrant a s59 notice.

You should then ask for the s59 notice to be removed as it was issued incorrectly.

The judge instructs the jury to be “reasonable”. Which to me means they do not need to be overwhelmingly convinced … I wouldnt do the job you want to do …

And are you planning on becoming a barrister? I don’t know you, but sounds like it would be interesting to see you in a dinner at one of the Inns :smiley:

How would one “defend” against Section 59 being thrown at us by some un-reasonable occifer?

Yeah I am aiming to be a Barrister, but it’s a very exclusive club, made more so by the extraordinary expense involved in simply gaining the qualifications necessary. Most people leave Uni with about £30k of debt, before I do a single day of work as a Barrister, will be looking at about £55k of debt.

I have had long chats with Barristers while on mini-pupillages and most of them are pretty down to earth people, maybe that is because most of those I spoke to were criminal Barristers.

As for a s59, you have to establish what offence the officer believes you have committed, so ask the officer who wishes to issue the notice what offence it is that he believes you have committed, if he says speeding, then point out that this doesn’t come within s3 or s34 except in exceptional circumstances and that therefore it may be that the s59 notice would be invalid.

If he persists, point out, while remaining calm and polite at all times, that you will be contending the ticket by writing a letter to the Area Commander and requesting all the documents in relation the issuance of the notice as you feel that it may have been issued incorrectly, as you do not feel that there are reasonable grounds for a belief that an offence under s3 RTA has been committed and therefore the s59 should not be issued.

This may be enough to deter any officer who doesn’t want to be tied up in paperwork or have his superiors examine his work too closely when he knows that the s59 was issued incorrectly.

Of course if you guilty, shut up and eat the s59 as it’s probably better than being prosecuted for driving without due care.

If the s59 is issued, then do as above, write to the Area Commander and ask for details of why the s59 was issued. If you really want to get rid of it or really feel that it was unfairly issued, then the best bet is to contact a solicitor who may be able to gain disclosure from the police service in regard to the s59 notice and that would of course give you far more information.

:smiley: Thanks.

Always useful to know the avenues of due-process.