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Named driver: Getting done for not identifying

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I got a S.172 request in late Oct 2013 for a speeding incident 10 days earlier.

The location was given along a very long stretch of dual carriageway of 11 miles where there's loads of entry and exit roads.

The lack of clarity as to where exactly the incident occurred led to a correspondence trail of almost 2 months until they finally gave me precise details of where along this stretch the camera was located and removed any doubt as to my identity of being the driver.


I had been completely unable to confirm identity until this moment as I and my partner both use the road regularly.


I wrote asking for a precise camera location and was told I would be OK in not responding until I received that information. This can be proven.


Anyway, in the absence of positive location details and pressed for time (27th day) I didn't care to overstep the mark and made a declaration that it could have been either of us and named us both with the codicil that I can't make an honest single identification until they provided me with precise location details.


I got a response that they would hold the completed NIP until they sent out the required information and had a response to that.

It arrived shortly after by way of a map reference, description of location which would have removed any doubt had it been sent in the 1st place anyway and a photograph.


I was given 7 days from the date of their letter to respond, this being well after the 28 day initial S172 requirement by around 16 days.


I had already sent in the original S172 so was stuck in sending another and despite asking for one to be re-issued with the location details clearly shown I didn't receive one.

I had no alternative then other than to obtain a copy of a S172 from the internet and completed it with my name clearly given.


This was now on the last day of the allowed extra time so I did it the only way possible and sent it as a pdf by email. I had already corresponded by email so just added a response including the pdf and sent it off.


Yes you guessed it.

I got notification in February that I hadn't identified the driver following their release of location and photograph and that my file has been passed to the CPS for failure to identify.


This is despite the email showing in a trail of earlier emails with the final pdf naming myself.

I'm absolutely gutted. Can't understand what the hell's going on.


I've gone through the complete correspondence trail, both written and emails and have a copy of the completed S.172.


I can see that there is one potential point which may be my undoing.

I have forgotten to include my driver license number.

I couldn't find my license at the time and indeed haven't found it still.

Would this be the problem or is the name sufficient for identification purposes. I mean, the police know the driver license number of every driver in the UK against a name and a veh reg number through their computer systems . Surely this couldn't be the reason.


I've read the S.172 criteria and it does say that police need to know the name of the driver or any other information leading to his or her identification.

The actual letter from them says only that I have failed to identify the driver, not failing to give other information.

The drive license number isn't anything to do with that requirement I wouldn't have thought.

Anyway I couldn't include it as I couldn't find the license in the time.


Advice please.

I suppose the question is, What constitutes identity for legal purposes and having given it does this satisfy that requirement for a S.172.

Just a thought. I know if I do go to court I'll be asked my name and address. That satisfies a court so does failure to give a driver licence number become the reason for failure when it has nothing to do with any personal identification?

Edited by FractiousTart
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Hmmm... I suspect the fact that you didn't provide the information in writing is a bigger issue than the lack of a driver number. There's case law to say that providing the information by telephone doesn't meet the requirement (DPP v Broomfield) and that an unsigned response is insufficient (Francis v DPP), but also to say that there's no requirement to use the form provided so long as the substance of the requirement is met (Jones v DPP). The most important thing in deciding whether it meets the substance of the requirement, apart from whether it contains enough information to unambiguously identify the driver, is that it's in a form which can be admitted in court under Section 12 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act - "a statement in writing... purporting to be signed by the accused". I don't know if there's any ruling to say whether an electronic scan of a written and (presumably) signed response is adequate.

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Well I emailed them yesterday telling them I'm confused with their actions as I did supply the drivers identity.

They've responded by acknowledging their oversight and that they can see from my email that this is confirmed. So it appears that a pdf is sufficient proof of identity even if the license number isn't given.


I'm now being offered a SAC. If only I'd kept my mouth shut and gone to court ..........


This episode has told me something though.

They aren't at all used to handling email responses especially when it involves prior request for more info.


The system possibly depends on paper responses so an email can slip through the net. Something for others to maybe make use of. Just tread carefully though.

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I've just emailed them back with this to see what they say. I doubt it'll do any good though:


I'm grateful for that but any case like this has to be taken as a whole.

I do know that this incident was occasioned by my being on the outside lane of the road with a load of impatient drivers queueing up behind me at the 50mph limit.

I saw an opportunity to place myself between 2 lorries where there was a short space and had to increase speed to get into that spot. From that moment on I was once again within the speed limit.

A video of that incident would show that to be fact however a snapshot photo won't.

I do feel particularly aggrieved that my very momentary increase in speed to place myself in a situation where I could continue within the speed limit without disadvantaging other vehicles who were behind me and clearly wishing to get me out of their way is not at all what the safety camera's are about.


I suppose you will not accept mitigation but do know you have the authority to do so, so if you could consider this in that light please do so.

I have at the very least learned a lesson and have saved you some embarrassment in court when I would have provided evidence that you had been given my identity.

respectfully yours

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