Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Hit and Run Accident Prosecutions

Now that the foals are starting to appear on the open forest, with more due to drop throughout May, we felt we should publicise the now available announcements from the Official Verderer at the March 2016 Court.



The Court is appalled by the increase in Hit and Run drivers after hitting a legally grazing animal. May I remind everyone that the stock is grazing the New Forest by right, and you are driving the roads by privilege.

If a Hit & Run driver is identified, the Verderers will push for the police to prosecute for animal cruelty, possibly leading to a jail sentence. I would like to remind the Court of a past prosecution whereby a driver from Hyde was convicted in Southampton Magistrates Court of failing to stop and report an accident and causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. On the charge of 'causing unnecessary suffering to an animal' he was sentenced 28 days detention.

The Court will urge the relevant authorities to prosecute for cruelty wherever such a case arises. The rules on simply reporting a motor accident are quite separate from those governing cruelty. It may be sufficient to report damage to a garden fence within 24 hours. Cruelty results from leaving an animal suffering for any length of time that can be avoided. The police should always be telephoned within minutes. If you have no mobile phone signal, knock on the nearest house and ask to use the landline!'

Here’s the Verderers response to Richard Deacon’s excellent presentment from February, which, with his kind permission we were able to share previously.


'Thank you’ to Richard Deacon for making his presentment about speeding though Linwood. The Verderers support you in your desire to slow down the traffic, and also your wish to remove much of the traffic by discouraging the use of this road as a rat run to avoid the A31. I therefore wrote in mid-February to Hampshire County Council to request that the speed limit through Linwood Village be reduced from 40mph to 30mph as it is in most other New Forest Villages.

In my letter, I have also chased up for Hampshire County Council's long-awaited proposal to make the road across Broomy Plain a single track with passing places. If a single track road with passing places were implemented here, traffic would be slowed by the inconvenience, and use as an A31 bypass would diminish considerably.

And I have requested that Hampshire County Council erects a sign the entrance to the open Forest at Moyles Court.

I have not yet received a reply from Hampshire County Council, and when I do, I will update the Court further.

Meanwhile, we have requested that Hampshire Constabulary consider the area as a site for our Verderers-funded Speed Camera Van.'

We'd further note that at the April Verderers court, the Official Verderer was displeased by Hampshire County Council's inadequate response to this issue. Details as they become available... (Court proceedings are currently only published after minutes of both the private in camera meetings of the Verderers and the sitting of the open court have been approved at the following month's session).