AVOIDING TROUBLE WITH THE POLICE.
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A Series of Suggestions to Employers on Matters to Which the Police Pay Particular Attention.
CONSIDERABLE. service has been rendered to member S of the Commercial Motor Users Association of 50, Pall Mall, London, S.W. 1, by the preparation, on the instructions of the National
Council-of that Associateon, of a set of suggestions for avoiding trouble with the police,.
The police are active against certain infractions of the laws and of the regulations governing the use of motor vehicles on the highway, and rightly so, and it ... is to these particular points calling for pollee attention that the document is devoted. With full acknowledgments, therefore, to the Commercial Motor Users .AsSociation, we reproduce the suggestiOnS hereunder :—
. Brakes on Trailers..
The..conneetion between the motor vehicle and trailer requires attention in order that the brakes on the .trailer may be applied by the driver. The attention of the' police it often attracted by the connection rods or wires being joined by string, or otherwise coupled in such. a .way that the connection is likely to give ' way 'when the brakes are applied. If the brakes of the trailer cannot be applied by the driver of the motor vehicle, or his mate on the motor Vehicle, an additional person must be carried on the trailer' for the purpose of applying the brakes. The• offence of not. .having proper brakes on a trailer is regarded by magistrates a,a serious one. In eases Where the police consider that the vehicle and trailer have been sent out in an improper condition, proceedings are also taken against the owners for aiding and abetting the
Employers are recommended to note up in a. diary the dates when their drivers' licences should be renewed. The renewal can be made within one month before the date on which the renewal is to take effect. A licence-eannot be renewed after it has expired, and the driver must in such 'a case apply for anew licence. If a driver's licence is not renewed, the employer is liable to be sunimoned for eMploying an unlicensed driver.
The regulations require that each of the identification -plates, shall be " easily distinguishable."
Identification plates are commonly obscured in any One or more of the following ways:—
(1) By mud. (2) By au overhanging load or tarpaulin. (3) By being in a dilapidated condition. (4) By the starting handle. (5) By the rear lamp being placed too near the plate. (6) By being placed too far, underneath the body Of the motor vehicle.
In cases where the identification plate is placed too low, for example on the aide, the police have adopted the course of summoningthe owners for aiding and. abetting the driver for 'comniitting an offence. Many owners have been fined for this offence.
It is recoinmerided that all identification plates, should be placed as high as possible, and should not necessarily be left.in tOe position in which they are placed by the makers.
Every motor vehicle must carry at the front two lamps, one on the extreme near side and the other on the 'extreme off side and a lamp showing a red light at the rear_ In practice the one rear lamp is
generally used for illuminating the rear identification plate.
Drivers should net be Sent out without lamps in the belief that they•Wili return before dark. rue fact that they have been 'unexpectedly 'delayed is rarely . accepted as an excuseby the .magistrates.-:
Care should be taken to place the rear lamp in such a position that it does in fact illuminate the identification plate, if it IS a dual-purpose lamp.
The regulations require, in effect, that every motor vehicle shall have an effective silencer: Apart frontthe use of an actual cut:out, an offence is committed
if a silencer is not effective., if it is not "suitable • and Sufficient for reducing as far a,s may reasonably be practicable the noise which would otherwise be caused by the escape of the exhaust gages." This may result from several causes,' such :IS the expansion chamber having small holes in it as a result of wear, and tear or an imperfect joint. The expansion chamber should therefore be overhauled from time lo time ; a back-fire may cause a rent., on any journey. Vehicles which are bought second-hand should be carefully examined in order to see that thesilencer is effective. This applies particularly to vehicles which are bought from the Government and which have been used by the R.A.F. ancLfor other -war purposes. If a, motor vehicle is allowed out without an effective silencer the owner may be summoned as' well as the driver.
The attention of the City of London Police has .recently been drawn to this offence.
Change of Colours, etc.
The owner of a motor vehicle 'must notify the Council with which the vehicle is registered if any of the following events ,hap.peri:—
. (a) If the colour of the vehicle is changed. 0-)) If the type of body is altered.
(c) If the owner's address is altered.
(d) If alterations are made to the vehicle which make a difference to the unladen weight. , (e) If a vehicle which has been registered as being intended for private, use is used for trade purposes, or for use as a public conveyance and vice versa.
(1) If the. diameter of the wheels of a heavy motorcar is altered.
'Attention is drawn to the fact that the driver of motor vehicle may be convicted of driving in a manner dangerous to the public if .he drives on the wrong side, of a street refuge, even though no actual danger is caused to anyone using the road .at-the time.
'Whenever a, motor vehicle is bought,. whether new or second-hand, it must be registered with the council of a. county or county borough.– If the vehicle is second-hand and has identification plates beating a registered number, application must be made by the purchaser to the council which registered it to transfer the -registration into the name of the purchaser. Unless the consent of the seller is obtained, a fresh registration number must be applied for. An identification plate must not be taken off one vehicle and used on another without the permission.
of the council which registered it. •