Online Motoring Offences Plea Service Launched
A service allowing motorists in England and Wales charged with summary motoring offences to enter a plea online is being launched by the government. People charged with a minor motoring offence such as speeding or not having insurance will be able to enter a plea 24-hours-a-day via a secure website.
The gradual roll-out of the “Make A Plea” scheme from March follows a successful pilot in Greater Manchester.
The government says it saves time and money for the criminal justice system. Last year saw 4.5m minor motoring offences processed through the courts.
The government is also considering whether the scheme could be used for other low-level offences. The service is an alternative to a postal plea or attending court and has been used by more than 1,200 people during the Manchester trial. It will allow defendants to see their case details, view evidence and make their plea remotely.
Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said that if the new system is successful then it could be adapted for other low-level offences involving a standard guilty plea. “This is bringing the courts and tribunal service to the modern technological era,” he added. “This is something that will mean there is going to be less paper around, less use of people, less use of office space, and a whole variety of things that will actually save real money, and that money can be used elsewhere.”