Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A bench of Kents

From Kent Online:

A stunned van driver was slapped with a hefty £200 fine – for not displaying a No Smoking sticker in his vehicle.

Trevor Emery was fined four times more than if he had actually been caught puffing at the wheel when he was booked by a city council warden in Watling Street, Canterbury.

The washing machine repairer, who does not smoke, was left bewildered by the little known law, which makes it compulsory to display a No Smoking sticker in a work van...

Head of safer neighbourhoods Doug Rattray said:


"It is an offence to not display a No Smoking sign in a vehicle that is used for commercial purposes. This is the case regardless of whether someone is self-employed, the only person to use the vehicle or if nobody smokes in it. We enforce this but the level of fine is set nationally in law. Mr Emery received a fine, which he paid, for this offence. He was advised on the legislation and given the correct sign.”

Council spokesman Rob Davies confirmed that around 50 fines have been issued since the law came into force.


Does anybody know, does the 'work van' rule apply to salesmen's cars too? And if so, what about cars which people use for normal commuting?

10 comments:

PJH said...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/765/part/3/made 11 1 (b):

"in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person (even if those persons use the vehicle at different times, or only intermittently)."

So salesman, during the day to go from place to play I'd say yes. To commute to/from work before/after actually working, I'd say no.

pen seive said...

PJH, If the driver of a car is able to claim mileage allowance, then the vehicle is being used for paid activities,even if a family car most of the time and has to display the sign. A colleague of mine was fined for a similar 'offence' but then discovered the number of Councillors who claimed mileage allowance. He successfully argued his case. As you can imagine, none of them were fined but given a period of time to display the no smoking sign, but he couldn't get a refund of his fine.

pen seive said...

PJH, If the driver of a car is able to claim mileage allowance, then the vehicle is being used for paid activities,even if a family car most of the time and has to display the sign. A colleague of mine was fined for a similar 'offence' but then discovered the number of Councillors who claimed mileage allowance. He successfully argued his case. As you can imagine, none of them were fined but given a period of time to display the no smoking sign, but he couldn't get a refund of his fine.

PJH said...

"PJH, If the driver of a car is able to claim mileage allowance, then the vehicle is being used for paid activities,even if a family car most of the time and has to display the sign."


https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/business-mileage-fuel-costs

"You can’t claim for travelling to where you work, unless it’s a temporary place of work."

So, I'm a programmer, and I work in one location. If I use my car to occasionally drive to another office, (that is not my usual office,) and can claim mileage allowance, it needs a No Smoking sign?

I don't think so...

pen seive said...

There are quite a few professions, or activities where mileage allowance can be claimed, usually local or central government, senior positions in Police or other emergency services where they are considered to be 'essential vehicle users' (even though their cars spend most of the day in the car parks).
Off topic, I have no idea why my inputs are being repeated. Possibly that's why I'm not an essential car user.

A K Haart said...

What about racing cars, do they count?

Bayard said...

PJH, that extract that you quote says that it only applies if the vehicle was used by more than one person. If Trevor Emery was the only user of his van, he should have been able to tell the warden where to stick his fine.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PJH, ta for research. But in that case, if a salesman has his own car he doesn't need the stupid sticker?

PS, food anecdotal!

PJH, you are jumbling tax rules and employer rules. It is perfectly acceptable for an employer to pay mileage allowance for normal home to work travel (and for employees to claim it) but it counts as taxable pay, in other words you can't claim the expense for tax purposes.

If you do claim for non-routine mileage AND somebody else uses your car in the course of work, then you need a sticker, else not.

AKH, good question. Lola ought to know, he does hobby racing.

B, that is the point - the van was used by him and his son both in the course of work, so clearly caught by the rule.

PJH said...

"But in that case, if a salesman has his own car he doesn't need the stupid sticker? "

If he's using it as *part* of his work during the working, my interpretation he does, if it's just to get to the office to start work and at the end of work to get home, no.

"It is perfectly acceptable for an employer to pay mileage allowance for normal home to work travel (and for employees to claim it) but it counts as taxable pay"

My understanding is that applies only if it's to a regular place of employment. If it's to visit somewhere that isn't that regular place, and one's own car is used, then mileage allowance is made and it's not taxable.

For example if my car is used to drive me to the airport to take a plane abroad for work purposes, I am - and have previously been - entitled to that mileage, in much the same way as I'd be reimbursed public transport had I used that instead.

Bayard said...

"B, that is the point - the van was used by him and his son both in the course of work, so clearly caught by the rule."

That must have involved some pretty heavy-duty snooping on the part of the bansturbators.