§ Baroness WOOTTON of ABINGER
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Between what dates a prison sentence was mandatory in cases of (a) driving without insurance and (b) driving whilst disqualified.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Harris of Greenwich)
These offences have at no time carried a mandatory penalty of imprisonment. My noble friend may have in mind Section 7(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1930 under which a person driving whilst disqualified was liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months unless the court thought that having regard to the special circumstances of the case a fine would be an adequate punishment for the offence. This provision was repealed by the Road Traffic Act 1962. Magistrates' courts had discretion to impose a sentence of imprisonment for the offence of driving without insurance between 1930 and 1974; and they still have that discretion in relation to the offence of driving whilst disqualified.