Road Traffic Act 1961

Fine in lieu of damages and imprisonment in addition to damages.

57

57. (1) Where—

( a) the court, on a conviction for an offence under the immediately preceding section, is satisfied that injury was caused to person or property by the negligent use on the occasion on which the offence was committed of the vehicle in relation to which the offence was committed and

( b) the court is of opinion that some person then present or represented would be entitled to recover in a civil action against the convicted person damages in respect of the injury,

the court may, if it thinks fit and the person present or represented consents, inflict on the convicted person, in addition to any other punishment, a fine not exceeding the damages which in the opinion of the court the person present or represented would be entitled to recover against the convicted person.

(2) Where a fine is imposed under subsection (1) of this section on a convicted person—

( a) the court imposing the fine may sentence the convicted person to any term of imprisonment, not exceeding six months, in default of payment of the fine within such time, not being less than fourteen days, as the court appoints,

( b) the amount of the fine shall be paid to the person on account of whose right to recover damages the fine was imposed and, if there is more than one such person, in such proportions as the court directs,

( c) the payment of the fine by the convicted person shall be a good defence to any civil action brought by any person to whom the fine or any part thereof was so paid in respect of the injury on account of which the fine was inflicted,

( d) without prejudice to any right of appeal by any other person, the person or any of the persons to whom the fine is made payable shall have a right of appeal (limited to one or more of the following matters, that is to say, the amount of the fine and the person to whom and the proportions in which it is payable) to the Judge of the Circuit Court within whose circuit is situate the district or any part of the district of the Justice by whom the fine was inflicted, and the decision of the Judge on the appeal shall be final.

(3) Where damages are recovered in a civil action against a person who was convicted of an offence under the immediately preceding section in respect of injury to person or property caused by the negligent use on the occasion on which the offence was committed of the mechanically propelled vehicle in relation to which the offence was committed, the court before whom the damages are recovered may if the damages are not paid within fourteen days or such longer period as the court may determine order that the person against whom the damages were recovered be forthwith taken into custody and be imprisoned for whichever of the following periods is the shorter, that is to say, until the expiration of six months from the taking into custody or until he pays the amount of the damages to the person by whom they were recovered and lodges in court, by way of security for the payment of the costs recovered by that person in the action, such sum (if any) as the court fixes.

(4) This section applies only to injury against liability with respect to which an approved policy of insurance or an approved guarantee is required by this Act to be effected.