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Not Being in Proper Control of a Motor Vehicle

Not being in proper control of a motor vehicle is an offence, which many may not be aware of. It is not a new offence although given the recent legislation changes for using a mobile phone whilst driving, the offence is now likely to be used more frequently by police when stopping drivers.

The actual offence is committed in cases where a motor vehicle is being driven “in a position which does not give proper control or a full view of the road and traffic ahead”.

What would amount to not being in proper control?


  • Drinking something whilst at the wheel. Maybe a soft drink, coffee, tea etc.
  • Eating at the wheel. Maybe sweets, crisps or a banana etc.
  • Putting on that last minute makeup you didn’t have time to do at home before you left.
  • Map reading – this could be from a paper map or on an electronic satellite navigation system.
  • Using a mobile phone other than for making or receiving calls. Maybe looking at the satellite navigation system or choosing your favourite music to play whilst driving.

There will be many other instances, which could amount to not being in proper control as there is no legal definition of what it actually amounts to.

If faced with the offence you will receive 3 penalty points and a £100 fine if dealt with by way of a fixed penalty. If the case is referred to the Magistrates Court, whether this is by your choice because you deny the offence or whether you already had too many penalty points on your driving licence, you could face a significant increase in the fine and in some cases even a disqualification from driving!

Gray & Co has dedicated and experienced motoring solicitors who can always assist in some way to get the best available outcome particular to your circumstances. Give one of our experts a call on 01244 344299 to discuss your case and see what your options are.

We can prepare and defend your innocence or mitigate on your behalf to avoid that disqualification. Don’t simply accept the penalty; see how Gray & Co can help you.

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