Not in Proper Control of Vehicle Offence, Fines and Sentencing

Auriga Advocates specialise in all motoring offences you can call one of our legal team for free initial advice on any offence including not being in proper control.

If you are facing this offence you will be probably be wondering why, particularly if your driving was not affected by what you were doing.

This offence is, in fact, the first limb of the Mobile Phone Offence section. It relates to a driver not being in a position which does not give proper control and includes not having a full view of the road and traffic ahead. It also includes; causing or permitting a driver not to be in proper control.

S41D Road Traffic Act 1988

The penalty for this offence is;

  • Level 4 Fine £2,500 (if vehicle designed to carry more than 8 passengers ie mini buses etc)
  • Level 3 for all others £1,000 and 3 points with a discretionary disqualification.

What amounts to not being in proper control?

There is no definition of “proper control” and this is an area of much legal debate.

The more general view is that a driver could only be deemed to not be in a position to be in proper control if there is some evidence of poor driving such as swerving or weaving, but this has yet to tested in the higher courts as most drivers are fearful of the costs.

Examples of not being proper control are:-

  • Eating apples, bananas, sweets, chocolate, fish and chips
  • Putting makeup on
  • Reading maps/papers
  • Drinking coffee/tea/pop
  • Using a phone, other than for a call or texting


How would the prosecution prove you not in proper control?

The prosecution would have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you were not in a position to be in proper control of your vehicle or you did not have a full view of the road ahead.

The police will normally issue fixed penalties as they are usually not disputed. Clients have told us that the police have told them it is an offence to eat something whilst driving, this is not the case.   It is all a question of degree in each case. As there is no definition it is each case on its merits and success will depend on the quality of your representation, which is why you should instruct a specialist solicitor.

In our view the prosecution should show that you could not have been in proper control which is extremely difficult to prove unless there was evidence of weaving or swerving or near collision.

Police officers will often use this offence if they have stopped you for using a mobile phone when in fact they cannot prove that you were using the phone but can show you had it in your hand.

How will Auriga Advocates help me?

Fighting the charge would mean you have to have a trial in the Magistrates court. This can be extremely daunting but our specialist team of lawyers can support you by;

  • Reviewing the strength of the prosecution’s case against you
  • Finding the weaknesses in the prosecution case
  • Collating evidence in your defence
  • Attacking the prosecution case relentlessly on your behalf
  • Taking the pressure and anxiety off you
  • Being there to answer all your questions
  • Provide specialist representation in court

Unsure what your options are?

One of our legal team will be more than happy to have a chat about your options and your concerns FREE OF CHARGE

Between us we will reach the right option for you.  

  • We will not charge you a penny until you instruct us to act for you.
  • We are confident that we can offer you the best advice and support but you do not have to take our word for it see what our clients think of us

By all means browse our website, check out our services and fees you will find we offer our services at highly competitive rates. (link to fees pages) You do not have to pay extra for attention and support we give that naturally because we care about you and understand what a traumatic experience being charged with an offence is.

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  • Auriga Advocates have been extremely helpfully, very professional to the highest of standards. My case was dealt with quickly, efficiently and thoroughly. I was given all the relevant information to make an excellent and informed decision for the best possible outcome. Andrea has an extensive knowledge regarding drink drive offences and court in general. I would highly recommend her to anyone with confidence that she would be able to get the best possible outcome.

    Mr L Cheshire

  • Andrea had been assigned to me to help deal with a Road Traffic Incident.  I came across their service on line.

    I found Andrea to be very professional and helpful.  Explaining everything in full, so I was able to understand what was happening at all times.  Andrea worked fast and able to get a result for me very quickly.

    I would like to thank Andrea for helping make the ordeal less stressful and would highly recommend her and the company to all my friends who might be in the same situation I found myself in.

    Mr S, Cheshire.

    (In this case we persuaded the police not to issue proceedings at the outset).

  • Thank you for the professional way in which the Auriga Advocates team managed and handled my case. Every question I had at every stage was not only answered but explained so that I understood.I was looking at a long ban and community service but thanks to you and the manner that you dealt with the case especially on the day of the Court hearing, you were able to reduce this to a short ban and small fine.Thank you for achieving the best possible result for me.

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  • I have recently used the services of Auriga, and I can say that I was extremely happy with their professionalism, knowledge, and experience with driving offences.

  • The service I received was exemplary I couldn’t have received the result I got without her expertise! I was so impressed with the ultimate result and the friendly help and advice I recieved from Auriga I feel it was money well spent!

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