Ignorance of the law - b3gon
A simple question.
Can any lawyer type person out there explain why ignorance of the law is no defence?
How can any normal person be expected to know every motoring law that has ever been passed?
Ignorance of the law - prelude
If you are a driver you are expected to take the trouble to to know the law peratining to driving! Stop driving and don't worry.

When did you last read the highway code?? Probably not since you passed your test - its changed a lot over the years.

Sorry no sympathy here.
Ignorance of the law - Vin {P}
"Ignorance of the law excuses no man: not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse that every man will plead . ." -John Selden in the 17th century.

What would happen if a murderer denied knowledge of the law against murder - how could you PROVE that he knew the law?

Ignorance of the law - madf
There is , however, an argument to the effect that we get so many new laws passed very year, no-one can know them all. Most are not criminal in nature, relating to tax .. or admin.. but we are genuinely getting to thge stage where amny are unenforceable - cos there are 2 many..
Ignorance of the law - GrumpyOldGit
Anti-governemnet rant coming - take cover!

This lot keep passing new laws but fail to enforce the ones we already have. They fail to enforce the new ones as well. It seems they believe that we are so stupid as to believe that because they are passing new laws they must be a good government. They ain't!
Ignorance of the law - Nsar
b3gon, sensing the mods' finger near the delete key, which law is it you've broken exactly?
Ignorance of the law - Sooty Tailpipes
I sort of agree...
Since the present administration came to power, over 100,000 new pieces of legislation have been passed, most of it does nothing to protect the liberties of the majority of us, in fact I think the opposite is true. Every aspect of our lives are legislated for and ordinary people seem to be criminalised every time a new law gets passed.

Much of this is dictated by the EU,

There are 56 words in the Lord's prayer,
297 in the Ten Commandments,
29,911 in the EEC directive on the export of duck eggs.

MEPs just sit there pressing YES or NO on a small hand held remote, they vote on this legislation without even reading it, as the rate of this legislation is completely and utterly overwhelming.
Ignorance of the law - frostbite
How dare you criticise the EU!

Why, only last week they passed vital legislature on the minimum height of rocking horses. (transport link?)
Ignorance of the law - b3gon
Which law?
Err...I don't know, probably driving with 99% concentration, but society is to blame anyway!!

That was a good reply vin, I did not know that John Selden said that, however I just wondered if it is a law that ignorance is no defence or has anyone succeeded in pleading their case.

The Highway Code probably doen't even cover 1% of all the offences you could commit.

I read on a website that the police keep a lot of these laws to themselves, like if you get stopped for speeding by a police car and the said police car has not been checked that day then they have to let you off.
There's more but you have to buy the book!!
Ignorance of the law - martint123
I think "that book" is a bit out of date and very optimistic.
Ignorance of the law - Flat in Fifth
A comment from a relative who is a retired senior traffic officer.

Obviously in his job he had to keep up with all the current legislation. Only a few years after retirement he wanted to check up the then current position on a particular issue. (it's changed again since then! big sigh!!!)

The comment which arose was that he really didn't know how drivers were expected to keep up with legislation, ie the amount of it and the detail, plus he questioned the methods for disseminating that information in a digestible form to the motoring public.

Consider that this is coming from someone who knew more about motoring law and at point of retirement was more up date than most of us on here, DVD and PU excepted of course. Yet less than a handful of years later suddenly saw the light from the other side of the fence.

FiF Comment re:Highway Code.

This never attempts to be more than a summary and a good starting point. Of course if you follow the links provided in the Highway Code to the legislation itself then there is an argument that you have been provided with the means to educate yourself. Increasing amount of legislation on line certainly helps in that respect. [1]

The sad part is that fewer than 0.01% [2] of drivers are interested enough.

[1] About time they sorted out certain old bits that are either

a) not available on-line or
b) have been so fragmentised with various amendments over the years (plus interference from EU) that they have become a rat's nest. One example is the Motor Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations to keep it motoring. (and stop dummies being thrown out of prams)

[2] completely made up statistic but probably not that far off in my opinion
Ignorance of the law - Mark (RLBS)
Keep this on motoring please, or lose the thread.

Thank you.
Ignorance of the law - No Do$h
Just to qualify Mark's remark; NO POLITICS and that includes rants about the EU and its structure unless the point is relevant and appropriate to motoring.

For those not familiar with the "small print"

Ignorance of the law - Dwight Van Driver
I have to agree with Fif in his post.

I would like to think that when I retired some 15 years ago I had an above average knowledge of Road Traffic Law as the Traffic Branch was always an area that I liked to serve on and managed nearly 22 years out of my 30 years.

Now I am finding it hard to keep abreast with the sheer weight of legislation being churned out. Whilst I still retain a good knowledge of where to find was is being brought onto the Statute Books, a helluvalot is starting to be mostly incomprehensive.

An example was the question of the law on Daytime Running Lights.
I managed to find the base EEC Reg 76/756/EEC which has been amended that many times I lost track and interest.

It is not surprising that Joe Public does not have the knowledge of finer points of the law, but thankfully there is that much about that neither does the average Plod, which trends to equal things out.

My own advice would be to equip oneself with the Highway Code and the Ten Commandments from the Holy Bible. Coupled with a dose of common sense then one shouldn't go far wrong.


Ignorance of the law - matt35 {P}

My own advice would be to equip oneself with the Highway Code and the Ten Commandments from the Holy Bible.

"In the beginning, there was Plod?"

Ignorance of the law - Fullchat
I never ceased to be amazed at DVDs knowledge and interpretation of the law. As an 'Officer with Road Policing Skills' I am now now pushing 20 years in that area with 5 to go. The most important thing is to thoroughly know and keep up to date with the basics and the powers that go with them, that way you can get through. Then you have a vague knowledge of the existence of legislation but the important part is knowing where to look and then interpreting it - this is DVDs particular skill. There is no way that anyone could thoroughly know it all! Some people take an interest and specialise in particular areas eg tachographs and drivers hours. Doesn't light my fire but I can get by.

As regards the public again an operator specialising in the movement of chemicals is expected to have a good knowledge of the relevent legislation likewise an operator who moves large loads. Remember a haulage operator must have an employee who is suitably qualified before they can hold an Operators Licence.

The legitimate transport industry is now a fairly switched on organisation - and so it should be. A professional HGV driver could run circles round most bobbies when it comes to legislation because they only have to know one particular area whereas your average bobby is expected to be a jack of all trades. I have learnt a lot from professional drivers and built up a rapport. The skill is knowing when you are getting the wool pulled.

Whilst we moan about the masses of legislation inflicted upon us some of it is actually there to protect us!

Ignorance of the law - Dwight Van Driver

That I like.

Ignorance of the law - helicopter
I think it very appropriate that Henry Ford said that 'the law sir, is an ass'

How on earth anyone can understand the current motoring laws generally when we see the amount of correspondence generated here on just the mobile issue.

We should be cutting back the amount of new regulation and increasing the enforcement of perfectly good existing laws.
Ignorance of the law - terryb
I think it very appropriate that Henry Ford said that 'the
law sir, is an ass'

I think you'll find that was Mr Micawber. Henry Ford's only memorable quotes were "Any colour you like provided it's black" and "History is Bunk".

Ignorance of the law - helicopter
Terry - of course you're correct but I do believe Ford also said it in court.

I obviously don't know what the Dickens I'm talking about.

All I remember of Micawber was the Annual Income / Annual expenditure etc. etc.
Ignorance of the law - helicopter
Just to be pedantic and get it correct, it was actually Mr Bumble the Beadle in Oliver Twist who said 'if the law supposes that, the law is a ass - a idiot.'
Ignorance of the law - No Do$h
Just to be pedantic and get it correct, it was actually
Mr Bumble the Beadle in Oliver Twist who said \'if the
law supposes that, the law is a ass - a idiot.\'

I\'m afraid I shall have to take issue with that. To be truly pedantic I must point out that Mr Bumble made no such remark as he was but a character of literary fiction, but a Mr C Dickens did write it.

Ignorance of the law - helicopter
I bow to your superior pedantry sir!
Ignorance of the law - No Do$h
I thank you.

Value my car