In a bid to free up the time that police and prosecutors spend dealing with low level traffic offenses like speeding, the government has decided it's time to utilise the internet. The Ministry of Justice announced today that it will allow UK motorists who have been charged with a minor offence to submit their plea via its new "Make A Plea" website. The system, designed to "modernise the courts and other public services," goes live next week and will let defendants make a plea via their PC or mobile device 24 hours a day, reducing the need for postal responses and court appearances. Drivers can also see the details of their case and view the evidence collected against them.
Early evidence shows that it can work. The system was initially piloted in Manchester, where nearly a third of motorists used the online platform. It's hoped that it will reduce the costs and workload of the criminal justice system and motorists can also "receive maximum credit from the court" if they plead guilty to an offence as soon as possible. Today's announcement could also pave the way for more "online courts," as proposed by the Civil Justice Council (CJC) last week. Under the plans, a new HM Online Court (HMOC) would be set up to specifically deal with "low value" disputes, saving time and money for everyone involved.
[Image credit: Big-AshB, Flickr]