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Car Transporter Case "Of ational Importance"

21st July 1961, Page 37
21st July 1961
Page 37
Page 37, 21st July 1961 — Car Transporter Case "Of ational Importance"
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

AASE of considerable importance to perators of car transporters was hearJ at Melton Mowbray last week wheO charges against James Douglas Robson and Geoffrey Vipond were dismissed after the prosecuting solicitor had described the case as a matter of national importance."

The police indicated that they would require the magistrates to state a case with a view to the matter going for consideration to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court.

Mr. H. V. Jackson, prosecuting, told the magistrates that the overall length permitted for an articulated vehicle under section 30 of the Act was 35 feet. Last May, two police officers stopped a vehicle, belonging to Robson and driven by Vipond, loaded with five cars—three on the top deck and two on the lower.

When the lifting device of the vehicle was locked tight up against the rear of the vehicle it did not exceed 35 feet; but on the top deck had been added a small extension on which the rear wheels of the last of the three cars were resting.

Because of this, the lifting device could not be locked tight against the rear, but instead was out at an angle, making the overall length 39 ft.

The only case to which the police could refer was that of Andrews v. H. E. Kershaw, Ltd., heard in the Divisional Court in 1951, but the facts were distinguishable from the present case in that they referred to a furniture van with furniture on the tailboard, and concerned the overhang permitted on the vehicle.

In the case before them, the addition of the extension on the top deck meant. he maintained, that there had been a reconstruction of the vehicle.

Cross-examined by Mr. I. Robey. for the defendants, one of the police witnesses said that it was the load that stopped the vehicle coming within the 35 ft.

Mr. Robey told the Bench that he would call no evidence. The facts were not in dispute. It was purely a question of the law. It was the load which prevented the loading device from being fully up. The reconstructionitself did not offend, because it still allowed the loading device to come right up. Therefore it was the imposition of the load which occasioned the offence.