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NIP - Speeding Offence


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Ended up with a Notice of Intended Prosecution for doing 65 MPH on the M1. The NIP says the variable speed limit was 50 MPH.


Seems a bit unfair given the normal speed limited of 70 MPH on the motorway, but life is unfair.


I am 1 MPH over so I am not eligible for the speed awareness course.


NIP Details and Circumstances

What is the name of the Constabulary? - z9y4jVowuam4ebITTU7SR6IXx_hPvCK-h7-xa0Yd9DeVaVezYHWb_NvOe2kWtq4DC9.gif

Date of the offence: - December 2013

Date of the NIP: - 11 days after the offence

Date you received the NIP: - 12 days after the offence

Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - M1 Motorway, Northbound, Bedfordshire

Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes

Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - Not known

If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -

How many current points do you have? - 0

Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - NIP states I was going 65MPH and the variable speed limit was 50MPH.


NIP Wizard Responses

These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:

Have you received a NIP? - Yes

Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes

Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - Yes

Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - Yes

Were you driving? - Yes

Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

Edited by GuidoT

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I am going to defend using the vague locus argument and have drafted that below, does anyone have any helpful comments?




I am in receipt of the above Notice of Intended Prosecution (‘NIP’) and for ease of reference enclose a copy herewith.


As you should be aware, where the driver was not stopped at the time, Section 1(1) c) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 requires that in order for a NIP to be valid, the alleged offence locus must be given therein, viz:


c) within fourteen days of the commission of the offence a notice of the intended prosecution specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed, was—


(i) in the case of an offence under section 28 or 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (cycling offences), served on him,


(ii) in the case of any other offence, served on him or on the person, if any, registered as the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the commission of the offence.



The said NIP states ’50 MPH Variable Speed Limit, M1 Motorway, Northbound, Bedfordshire, UNITED KINGDOM’. I am unable to determine where exactly the location the NIP is referring to. As far as I can determine the said motorway section is about 15 miles long.


I rely on the Divisional Court judgement of Young v Day (1959) 123 J.P. 317. In this case, it was held that‘the Hothfield to Bethersden Road’, which was a minor road 4 miles long, was insufficiently specific, it therefore follows that 15 miles will be similarly insufficient.


Further, I would refer you to the following comments by Lord Parker (making the lead judgement) in the said case:


‘it is obvious that they could have been more specific because, even if they could not specify the place by reference to an intersection, a building, or a church, they could indicate that the alleged offence took place a quarter of a mile from Hothfield or half a mile from Bethersden, or wherever the place was.’.


The M1 motorway section mentioned in the NIP is not featureless; there are both junctions and overbridges to which the NIP could have referred. Bearing that in mind and Lord Parker's comments referring to the accuracy required, on an apparently featureless minor road, it is clear that the locus of the offence in the NIP is excessively vague to constitute a valid notice.


Accordingly the NIP is a nullity.


Notwithstanding and without prejudice and to avoid malicious prosecution under s.172 Road Traffic Act 1988, I provide below the details required by the NIP as follows:


Driver name:

Licence number:

Date of birth:

Issuing country: England

Licence issued by:

Address and contact details:


The above is provided under duress to avoid a criminal sanction solely to satisfy any potential duty under s.172 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

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Hi, I'm Not 100% Sure But I Believe Using Th"Vague Locus" Defence You Have To Show You Was Disadvantaged In Preparing Your Defence Via The Lack Of Specific Location.

You Seem To Just Have The Argument They Should Be More Specific Because They Could Have.

You Acknowledge You Was Speeding, So If You Have Clean License I'd Recommend Taking It On The Chin. Going To Court On Technicalities Can End Up Expensive If You Lose.

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they usually have variable speed limits down to 50mph in that area when they are doing roadworks,this is to protect the workforce,usually there are cameras in use,I would be very careful myself of contesting this as most courts would tend to throw the book at you

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all they will do is get the excat gps location of the camera which i presume will be behind the vairiable gantry speed limit sign and tell you, then your scuppered.

i would seriously consider taking the points n fine as a lesson learned to keep to the speed limit posted

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  • 1 month later...

Without wishing to tempt fate, looks like the vague locus argument worked as I have not heard anything else.


I see that they have now changed the description on NIPs to others to something more accurate, e.g. stating the actual junction number.

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  • 1 month later...


I hope you are right. Did you send your response recorded delivery and was it signed for? Even this is not definitive. Some SCPs max out and deal with the impending cases so it's brinkmanship all the way - NIPs sent 13 days after, cases laid 5 months 29 days etc. If they have lost a case or more on vague locus then you might be lucky. I wonder if the 1mph over SAC works in your favour: SAC is profit, Court is overhead to SCP. NIP wizard looks like pepipoo, some good expertise there.

Not that it helps at court, but the controlled study by Transport Research Laboratory report TRL595 now in public domain showed an increase in accidents with speed cameras used at roadworks. It's actually safer for the workmen *without* cameras. My view is people spend less time focussing on their speedo and more time looking at the road.

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  • 1 month later...

So having tempted fate above, I heard from them shortly after wherein they provided a further description of the location.


This provision of a further description to my mind amount to an admission that the first description was inadequate and the NIP invalid given that the information needs to be provided within 14 days of the offence.


It has been around 5 months since the offence, I have seen a very similar case where they have dropped it, let us see what the next month brings.

Edited by GuidoT

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  • 4 weeks later...

That is then end of this phoned them (knowing the 6 months passed) and they have decided not to prosecute.


I do not an advocate of speeding, but 65 MPH on the M1 does not really deserve a fine and points.

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