The respondent company was acquitted after its vehicle, exceeding the maximum weight, was driven on a restricted street in contravention of the regulations. No unrestricted street allowed access to the destination. The delivery was on the company’s business, but the driver was self employed. The district judge had held that it was sufficient of the lorry was being used ‘ for the purposes of the Respondent company’s business’, but that the company had discharged the burden of showing it was not itself using the vehicle. The prosecutor appealed.
Held: The offence in question is one of strict or absolute liability. This is best not seen as a case of vicarious liability, but rather of a special use of the word ‘use’ in road traffic law. The test was ‘Is the owner reasonably capable of giving instructions and exercising control over the driver to ensure compliance with Article 3?’ In this case the district judge had applied the wrong test, and the appeal was allowed.
The Honourable Mr Justice Hooper
 EWHC Admin 1077
Greater London (Restriction of Goods Vehicles) Traffic Order 1995 Art 3, Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 8(1)
England and Wales
Cited – Mayor and Burgesses of London Borough of Richmond v Jon Morton (T/a Morts Trucking Co) Admn 20-Jul-1999
Cited – Hallett Silbermand Limited v Cheshire County Council 1993
Cited – JG Williams (T/A Wiltrans International) v Harboard for the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames QBD 20-Feb-1996
The court considered the liability of an employer for a road traffic offence committed by his employee: ‘I am of the view that it is not appropriate to think in terms simply of basing this conviction on vicarious liability. That is a concept which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Road Traffic, Crime
Updated: 23 December 2021; Ref: scu.167364