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I work for a company that employs more than 1000 Trade plate drivers;

we travel all over the UK delivering and collecting vehicles for many different customers.

 

Many of the places we go to are quite remote, airfields and large compounds etc, there is not usually public transport to many of these places.

 

The only way we can complete our work is to work with other drivers, sometimes this is arranged by the company and sometimes we arrange this between ourselves.

 

When there is public transport it can often take a long time to travel between jobs, and quite expensive. Therefore, working with other drivers is normal.

 

I received the notice from Metropolitan police was about seven weeks after the incident asking me to identify the driver of the car at the incident time.

 

On average we will complete about three jobs a day, on that basis I would have driven about one hundred vehicles in average of three to four cars a day.

How many drivers I would have worked with is not possible to work out.

 

Under those circumstances I do not know anyone who could remember the details of a specific car or who they were working with at a specific time of the day seven weeks previously.

 

The company do not keep records of who works with who at any time, the only thing they are interested in is that all of the assigned work is completed on time.

 

I have asked many drivers if they can remember working with me on that day, none can.

I have looked at any written notes I keep; this has not helped.

 

I have checked my mobile phone to see who I spoke to around that day, nothing I have done has enabled me to identify who would have been driving at the time of the alleged incident.

 

Also the photographs sent to me earlier by the Police wasn’t clear enough to identify who was driving the vehicle at incident time.

 

I understand that the Police will ask for any information that will lead to the identity of whoever was driving, and in most cases it can be provided.

 

I have however read what the law says in this situation.

It clearly says that a driver/keeper cannot be guilty of failing to identify who was driving if they did not know with reasonable diligence.

 

It seems common sense to me that the law was written that way because of exactly this kind of situation. The law also says I am not required to keep records.

 

I accept that this is a very unsatisfactory situation, I remain willing to do anything I can to identify the driver concerned but I cannot see what else I can do.

 

Metropolitan Police write to me again saying that I have a legal responsibility to identify the , further action in this matter has been suspended for 14 days.

 

I do not know what I have to do with this,

 

Thanks

Edited by dx100uk
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Well your account here seems to be very detailed and very structured.

 

I think it is important to be totally upfront and if you explain yourself to the police in the way you have here then I don't see that they can do very much.

 

I think that you should write them a letter explaining the situation in the way you have here and also include photocopies of your notes for the relevant periods. Say to them that as much as you would like, you are unable to help them and that you believe that you have exercise more than reasonable diligence and that if the police are not satisfied with what you say then they should refer it to the CPS and if a decision is taken that it should go to court, that you will present precisely the same position and the same evidence in court.

 

End up with an apology that you are not able to help them any further

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In Law your s172 offence is complete after 28 days of Service of s172. Police have notified you that you had 14 days to provide driver details.

Photo's are not meant to identify driver, only the vehicle Contravention. expect Police/CPS to reject Bankfodder's approach.

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You can read Section 172 here:

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/172

 

But I’ll try to save you a bit of trouble. Firstly this:

 

“Metropolitan Police write to me again saying that I have a legal responsibility to identify the [presumably, driver].

 

No you don’t. Under S172, unless you were the “person keeping the vehicle” at the time of the alleged offence (which seems unlikely from your description), your obligations fall under Section 2(b) of the Act and it says this:

 

2 (b) any other person shall if required as stated above give any information which it is in his power to give and may lead to identification of the driver.

 

The information which is in your power is very limited. You have no idea who was driving the car (whether it was you or not) and cannot help identify the driver. The defence of using “reasonable diligence” does not apply to those who are not keepers of the vehicle but only to those that are. You do not have to exercise any diligence but are simply obliged to provide whatever information “is in your power to give”.

 

It might be interesting to find out from the people you work for (who presumably received an earlier Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)) how they decided that you were driving at the time (especially since they keep no records). Further than that I should reply to the request by saying that you do not know who was driving and you have no information in your power to give which may lead to identification of the driver.

 

The result, unless the police do a little homework (which is unlikely) will almost certainly be a prosecution under S172. The prosecution will have to show that either (a) you were the “person keeping the vehicle” (and so have obligations under part 2 (a) of the Act (which says “the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police”) or that, even though you were not the person keeping the vehicle, that you had information in your power to give. From what you say, either of those might prove to be a little difficult.

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If your running a company or a transport logistics manager its your job to know who is driving what car at what time. That's your responsibility to work within the framework of the law. I would expect the company secretary to have the points and fine applied to them, and it will be a substantially larger fine and 6 points. That is one of the responsibility's of a company sec.

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That's quite correct and a "body corporate" has to show that if no records were kept then the failure to do so was reasonable (Section 172 (6)). However, where the Registered Keeper is a company no points can be imposed on individuals within that company unless the prosecution can prove that the failure to identify the driver was a result of negligence or connivance on the part of a named individual. Normally failure to keep records does not go far enough to prove this point.

 

This, of course, does not help the OP very much. He potentially faces a S172 allegation because whoever runs the company he works for has seemingly nominated him as the driver by plucking his name from thin air. (I say this because if no records were kept and they deal with a large number of vehicle movements it seems inconceivable that somebody happened to remember who was driving the vehicle on this particular occasion).

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Not keeping proper records puts the company sec at risk with points.

A company I used to work for ran 21 7.5 tonne vehicles and around 8 transit style vehicles.

One of the transits was caught by a gatso. Because proper records of drivers using transitsvwere not kept she as company sec received 6 points and the company fined £1000

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From re reading your post are you a manager or a driver?

If your a driver just deny you were the driver. Its then a prove it game. If the company has named you as the driver and you deny it then the company must provide evidence that you drove at time of infraction.

You state that they dont keep records so your innocent until proven guilty. Let it go to court

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Obviously my info is out of date!

 

Not quite, if the court decide that s.172, (5) applies, then the officers of the company etc. can also be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

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It's certainly true that S172 (5) provides for the prosecution of individuals where the RK is a body corporate. I have been observing these matters for a number of years and in that time I have only seen one individual convicted in such circumstances. In that instance it was clear that the company knew perfectly well who was driving their vehicle at the relevant time and had connived with the driver to avoid the imposition of points (evidence was produced to support that contention). Normally a simple "failure to keep records" (the usual reason for S172 offences by companies) is insufficient.

 

However, none of this helps the OP. He will almost certainly face a S172 charge which he will have to defend.

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  • 8 months later...

Thanks for letting us know the outcome.

 

do you have any idea how I can reduce the six points?

 

You can't. The offence carries a statutory minimum of six points. It's a bit late now (unless you intend to appeal to the Crown Court against your conviction) but did you ever establish how the company came to identify you as the driver (since they don't keep records)? You really had the makings of a strong defence under the circumstances you described. Did you plead Not Guilty? If so, it would be interesting to learn what you did in response to the request for driver's details and how the prosecution proved their case.

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I plead Guilty. waiting for the Court paperwork to appeal againt the six point if possible.

 

Do not bother appealing. It will end in failure and will cost you a lot of money. As I said, the offence carries a minimum of six points. This is a statutory minimum, meaning it is enshrined in law. No court can award fewer than six points. (Before anyone suggests it I won't go down the road of "Special Reasons" not to endorse as they do not apply here). Having entered a guilty plea you have accepted the prosecution's case and so have no grounds for appeal against your conviction.

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