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172 Notice of Intended Prosecution


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I'm after some advice before I fill in and return the section 172 "request for driver name and address".  I am the registered keeper of the vehicle stated .

 

The alleged offence (Exceeding variable Motorway speed limit 68mph in a 60mph zone) was committed on 29/07/2020, the NIP is dated 31/07/2020.  On Wednesday the 29th July 2020 a friend and I were driving for a much needed break from South Wales to spend a few days in Yorkshire, we shared the driving for the 4.5 hour journey at just over an hour at a time each. 

 

My problem is this, 1.I have no idea of the location or recollection of the place to which the police refer (M1 Northbound Duckmanton Derbyshire?) 

and 2. I cannot say with any accuracy which of us were the driver at that particular time.  I have a clean driving licence and am usually very speed aware using the cruise control at most times.

 

an offence for a mere 8mph on a motorway with everything that is going on at the moment seems extremely harsh IMO.  

 

I would much appreciate if anyone could offer help / advice at what I should do next?

Many thanks  🙁

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Posted (edited)

If you really don't know where that location is (I used to live in Derbyshire but don't know off the top of my head) I think I'd be inclined to telephone them and ask for a more precise location to help you to narrow down who the driver was. 

 

You can also ask them to provide a photograph to "help identify the driver", but note that any photos are primarily used to identify the vehicle not the driver, and they usually show the rear of the car with no indication of the driver.   If you ask for a photo make sure you do not use the word "evidence" - you aren't entitled to see any evidence at this stage and they won't send you anything if you mention "evidence".

 

Whatever response you get, you must reply to the s172 naming the driver within the applicable deadline.  (And asking for a photo does not stop the ticking clock.)  I can't remember the exact wording but as RK you are expected to use "all due diligence"(?) to identify who the driver was.  So was the location just before or just after a service station where you changed drivers?  Do credit card receipts help?  What about a record of mobile 'phone calls?  (Obviously if one of you was making a call at that precise time, that person couldn't be the driver, could they?).  Just saying "I can't remember" won't get you off the hook.

 

If your memory continues to fail you, I understand that it may be acceptable to make a pragmatic decision and to name whoever was most likely to be the driver.  So long as you make that decision honestly and sincerely, you'll probably be OK.

 

However, I'd advise you to see what others here say.

 

(I think enforcement starts at speed limit + 10% + 2mph so you can't really argue there's no margin for error.  I suspect that at the end of July the M1 was pretty much as busy as before lockdown - no get out there).

 

EDIT:  And for God's sake do not give an equivocal response!  So do not say "Well it might have been me or it might have been my mate, but it was one of the two of us".  That will get you six points and a conviction code that'll push your insurance premiums through the roof.

Edited by Manxman in exile
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10 hours ago, Manxman in exile said:

I can't remember the exact wording but as RK you are expected to use "all due diligence"(?) to identify who the driver was.

 

The term is "reasonable diligence". From S172:

 

"A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was."

 

So, there is a get-out clause. However, it is difficult to convince a Bench that two people cannot work out who was driving during a journey less than a week ago. If it was easy, of course, everybody would do it.

 

Have you looked on the map to see where Duckmanton is? It's at J29A and lies between Chesterfield and Bolsover.

I imagine the junction is signposted to those two places. 

 

As Manxman says, you can ask for photos, though they are unlikely to help identify the driver.

That speed will qualify for a speed awareness course - it is just fast enough to see action taken (Limit + 10% +2mph).

That  will cost the driver about £100 but no endorsement or penalty points will be involved.

 

I would suggest that the pragmatic way to deal with this is to have a look at the photos and if (as I suspect) they are inconclusive, simply decide which of the two of you is the more likely to have been driving.

You do not have to be 100% certain; so long as you do not name somebody you know was not the driver there will be no problem.

 

Many people worry when they see the warning "I understand that if I knowingly make a false statement...etc" that they will be prosecuted if they accidentally name the wrong person. But if you see the photos and you cannot determine who was driving then nobody else will be able to. 

 

The alternative is to say you cannot name the driver.

You will be charged under S172 and will have to prove to the court that, despite your best efforts, you cannot identify the driver.

 

This is a high hurdle to clear.

The cost of failure is high.

You will see little change out of £1,000 even if you are on modest earnings - the fine will be 1.5 times a week's income and the costs will be around £350.

 

You will also have six points imposed and as Manxman says, it is an endorsement code that will give you insurance grief for five years. Your call 🙂

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