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Carpool Karaoke – Motoroffence Kamikaze!

November 26, 2018 by in category News with 0 and 0
Home > News > News > Carpool Karaoke – Motoroffence Kamikaze!

Most of us are familiar with the seemingly harmless fun activities of chat show host, singer extraordinaire, James Corden and his signature “interviews on the move” also known as “Carpool Karaoke.” However, every time I watch one of the entertaining clips of James driving the latest superstar around whilst effortlessly singing theirs and other legends’ hits, my motoring law head seems to get in the way of truly enjoying the experience.

I know James and his production team must have lawyers looking at their contracts and their usual legal issues but I can’t help thinking they have missed the importance of ensuring they are legally compliant with motoring laws.

Take the famous Paul McCartney episode for example. Now don’t get me wrong, I was spellbound by the sheer brilliance of this one (and shed a tear or two like the majority of the nation!) but I was also a tad concerned for Paul and James when I analysed what they got up to during their infamous journey around Liverpool.

Mobile Phone Use

Right at the start of the clip, in fact in many of James’ carpool episodes, he is seen using his mobile phone whilst sitting behind the wheel of the car. In the UK this is not the wisest thing to do as it is actually an offence to use any handheld interactive communication device (including sat nav) if your engine is running. That is even when you are stationary. Now, it isn’t clear if James has fallen foul of the law on this occasion as it looks like he is stationary and his engine may well be switched off. If not, however, he is at risk of 6 penalty points and a £200 fine.

Seatbelt Laws

Not the most serious of motoring offences but as you can see when Paul joins James in the car, James sets off without Paul having put on his seatbelt. Failure to apply your seatbelt currently carries a minimum penalty of £100 fixed penalty fine with no endorseable penalty points. If the case goes to court, this can increase to a maximum fine of £500. Paul would be the person who cops the fine in this example as he is an adult passenger and it’s up to him (not the driver) to make sure that he is using the seatbelt. Admittedly, he does get the belt on pretty quickly and you would hope no policeman would be that much of a jobsworth to issue a penalty for this but strictly speaking, he has committed the offence if you apply the letter of the law.

Not Being In Proper Control of a Vehicle

Throughout the clip James can be seen having the time of his life, whilst singing and dancing but with no hands on the steering wheel! This could certainly be classed as committing the offence of not being in proper control of a vehicle ( 3 points) possibly careless driving (3-9 penalty points) or even dangerous driving (12 month ban with extended retest)

So I would have to advise the production team to limit James’ dancing moves to when he is stationary with the engine switched off to avoid any of these charges being brought.

Causing or Permitting a driver to drive without insurance

This is where my speculation may be running wild but when Paul can be seen taking to the wheel, I can’t help but wonder, did the production team ensure he was insured to drive or did they just assume he would be covered as is often the case with our clients who allow family members or friends to drive their cars. In the UK, being fully comprehensively insured to drive a vehicle does NOT automatically allow you to let anyone drive your car. This one gets many drivers caught out when they innocently assume that the insurance applies to the vehicle and not to the driver or that being fully comp means anyone can drive with your permission. Every insurance policy is different, however, and you should always check the small-print as many policies are named driver only.

If Paul was driving uninsured then not only did he risk being done for driving without insurance (6-8 points and unlimited fine!) but James or his producers were also at risk of prosecution for causing or permitting Paul to drive without insurance also punishable by way of 6-8 points and an unlimited fine.

The fine is usually a fixed penalty of £300 but if you take the case to court and are convicted the Magistrates have power to impose an unlimited fine that is based on the offender’s income. Bearing in mind he was reported by the Sunday Times earlier this year as the richest musician in the U.K. and in 2017, Paul McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year, his fine could end up at around $1.5milion dollars (£1.17m at today’s exchange rate!)


Again, I don’t want to be a party pooper but I noticed Paul putting his foot down (1:05) when he whizzed through a fairly built up area I can only imagine has a speed limit of 30mph or even 20mph.  You can even hear James’ reaction to the super-fast acceleration. Speeding carries a penalty of 3-6 points of even a disqualification depending on how far over the speed limit you are.

Sounding your horn

As James’ excitement reaches a crescendo, (1:14) you can see and hear him beep his horn as though it is a percussion instrument! This may be great TV but not so great at complying with the law! The penalty for this offence is fine only  (£30-£1000) as drivers are not supposed to use their horn for any reason other than to warn another motorist of their presence when the car is moving. There are also restrictions on the times of day your horn can be sounded.

Drink driving

Possibly the best bit of this legendary interview was when James and Paul visit one of Paul’s old haunts and put on an incredible show for the punters at the Philharmonic pub! All innocent enough I’m sure but I couldn’t help but notice both James and Paul supping on a pint or two. We don’t see them leave the scene and I expect neither of them drove after the performance but if they did drive back to the studio, and if over the legal limit of alcohol, this is when the stakes get serious. Drink driving carries a minimum penalty of a 12 month ban and an unlimited fine, not to mention that it is a criminal record that could jeopardise James’ return to LA for his usual day job. US immigration laws are tough enough but with a conviction for drink driving, even A-listers can be turned away by border control!

So, there we have it. One carpool karaoke clip analysed and as many as 7 possible motoring offences identified…My advice? Carry on with the Karaoke by all means James but maybe you need to involve some CGI effects rather than driving round on real streets if you want to keep your licence clean!

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