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Road Traffic Act 1988

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176 Power to seize articles in respect of which offences under sections 173 to 175 may have been committed.E+W+S

(1)If a constable has reasonable cause to believe that a document produced to him—

(a)in pursuance of section 137 of this Act, or

(b)in pursuance of any of the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act,

is a document in relation to which an offence has been committed under section 173, 174 or 175 of this Act or under section 115 of the M1Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, he may seize the document.

[F1(1A)Where a licence to drive or a counterpart of any such licence or of any [F2Northern Ireland licence or] Community licence may be seized by a constable under subsection (1) above, he may also seize the counterpart, the licnce to drive or the [F2Northern Ireland licence or]Community licence (as the case may be) produced with it.]

(2)When a document is seized under subsection (1) above, the person from whom it was taken shall, unless—

(a)the document has been previously returned to him, or

(b)he has been previously charged with an offence under any of those sections,

be summoned before a magistrates’ court or, in Scotland, the sheriff to account for his possession of the document.

(3)The court or sheriff must make such order respecting the disposal of the document and award such costs as the justice of the case may require.

[F3(3A)An order under subsection (3) above respecting the disposal of a licence to drive or a counterpart of [F4any such licence or [F5of a Northern Ireland licence or] community licence] may include an order respecting the disposal of any document seized under subsection (1A) above.]

(4)If a constable, [F6an examiner appointed under section 66A] of this Act has reasonable cause to believe that a document or plate carried on a motor vehicle or by the driver of the vehicle is a document or plate to which this subsection applies, he may seize it.

For the purposes of this subsection the power to seize includes power to detach from a vehicle.

(5)Subsection (4) above applies to a document or plate in relation to which an offence has been committed under sections 173, 174 or 175 of this Act in so far as they apply—

(a)to documents evidencing the appointment of examiners [F7under s. 66A] of this Act, or

(b)to goods vehicle test certificates, plating certificates, certificates of conformity or Minister’s approval certificates (within the meaning of Part II of this Act), or

(c)to plates containing plated particulars (within the meaning of that Part) or containing other particulars required to be marked on goods vehicles by sections 54 to 58 of this Act or regulations made under them, or

(d)to records required to be kept by virtue of section 74 of this Act, or

(e)to international road haulage permits.

(6)When a document or plate is seized under subsection (4) above, either the driver or owner of the vehicle shall, if the document or plate is still detained and neither of them has previously been charged with an offence in relation to the document or plate under section 173, 174 or 175 of this Act, be summoned before a magistrates’ court or, in Scotland, the sheriff to account for his possession of, or the presence on the vehicle of, the document or plate.

(7)The court or sheriff must make such order respecting the disposal of the document or plate and award such costs as the justice of the case may require.

[F8(8)In this section “counterpart”[F9, “Community licence” and “Northern Ireland licence”] have the same meanings as in Part III of this Act.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 176(1A) substituted (23.7.1996 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.1.1997) by s.I. 1996/1974, reg. 2, Sch. 1 para. 33(3)

F4Words in s. 176(3A) substituted (23.7.1996 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.1.1997) by S.I. 1996/1974, reg. 2, Sch. 1 para. 33(3)

F7Words in s. 176(5)(a) substituted (1.7.1992) by Road Traffic act 1991 (c. 40, SIF 107:1), s. 48, Sch. 4 para. 74(3); S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.

F8S. 176(8) substituted (23.7.1996 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.1.1997) by The Driving Licences (Community Driving Licence) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/1974, reg. 2, Sch. 1 para. 33(4)

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