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Hi All, 

I would appreciate a bit of advice re a speeding offence. 

 

I lease a vehicle and the leasing company received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) dated  7/1/21  relating to an alleged offence speeding offence (fixed camera) on 12/12/20.   As soon as I heard from the police, I wrote back and informed them that the notice was well over the 14 days set out by the Road Traffic Act. and sent them a copy of the notice issued to the leasing company dated 7/1/21.

 

The police persisted in simply replying and advising me that the it was issued within 14 days! After four letters from me, asking them to explain how this could possibly be within 14 days, they eventually put a bit more meat on the bone and said that an NIP was sent out on the 15/12/20, which would, of course, be within the statutory time. 

 

I then contacted the leasing company again,  and they have confirmed that the only NIP that they received was on 7/1/21, otherwise, they would have contacted me earlier!  

 

The NIP dated 7/1/21 presents as an original notice, not a reminder; not sure if that is relevant. 

 

Any suggestions as to how to deal with this one?  

 

Many thanks.

 

 

 

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Presumably you have received your own NIP/s172 request after the lease company identified you as the person the car is leased to?

 

First thing to say is that, regardless of any questions over the date of the first NIP, you must still reply to your own NIP/s172 within the time limit given otherwise you are committing an entirely separate and more serious offence than any speeding infringement.  If you were the driver you should nominate yourself.

 

You need to be careful arguing that the first NIP was not sent out in time.  Note that it is only the first NIP that is subject to the 14 day limit, and that NIP needs to go to the Registered Keeper.  There is no time limit on subsequent NIPs.

 

So are you 100% certain that your lease company is the registered keeper and do you know that for a fact?  Please note that the registered keeper of lease vehicles is often not the lease company, but a finance company.

 

If the police are saying that the first NIP was sent to the RK within the time limit, you can be 99.99999% certain that they will have evidence proving that fact.  Assuming it was sent out first-class, there is a legal presumption that it was delivered two working days after posting, unless the addressee can prove it was never received.  So if the police are saying the first NIP was sent out within 12 days, the RK would have to prove it was never received within 14 days to provide a defence.  As you might imagine, that is very difficult to prove otherwise everybody would claim it.  Unfortunately, "reminder" NIPs are usually not marked as such and may be indistinguishable from the original.

 

So you need to confirm (preferably by sight of a copy of the actual V5C document as staff of lease companies do not always know) who the Registered Keeper is, and when they recived the first NIP.  If it was received after 14 days can they prove that fact (eg by a date received stamp and an appropriate system for dealing with mail received) and can they prove that they didn't receive an earlier NIP?

 

Hope that makes sense!  If it doesn't another poster called Man in the Middle will clarify what I 've not explained well or got wrong.

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Just looking at the date of the offence 12 December.  Possible was delayed in the post at that time as it was taking me up to 2 weeks to get a first class letter, then the New Year Shut down so to get it early January while the Xmas backlog was cleared seems about right to be honest.  Not that I am telling the police that. 

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Not much to say as Manxman has near enough covered all the angles.

 

Just a couple of points of clarification:

 

The requirement to serve the first NIP within 14 days is actually contained in the Road Traffic Offenders' Act, not the Road Traffic Act. In fact the first NIP is the only one required by law. Subsequent NIPs are usually provided along with the S172 Request for Driver's Details notice because they are both produced by the same system and are usually printed on the same piece of paper.

 

If you do decide to challenge the speeding allegation on the basis that the first NIP was served beyond 14 days the burden to prove that it was rests with you, not the recipient of that NIP. They have no basis (or need) to challenge it as the person prosecuted for speeding will be you, not them. As mentioned, once the police produce evidence to show that it was sent in time to be served within 14 days you will have to show to the court's satisfaction that it was not served. 

 

You need to be very sure of your ground before embarking on this course of action. You need to find out who the RK is and when they received their NIP. There have been one or two notable successes with this strategy. Here's one:

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45668735

 

The RK of the car Mr Beckham was driving - Bentley Motors - had a good system of recording when post was received and the court was satisfied the NIP was received late.

 

You don't say what the speed alleged and the limit is but if it was within the course or Fixed Penalty limits it will cost you around £100. If you are convicted following a trial it will cost you an income related fine, a "victim surcharge" of 10% of the fine (minimum £34) and prosecution costs which have a starting point of £620.

 

EDIT: In response to your latest post, when you got your NIP is irrelevant. It's when the Registered Keeper got theirs which counts. If they received it after Boxing Day you have the makings of a defence.

 

 

Edited by Man in the middle
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2 hours ago, Impossible2021 said:

Just looking at the date of the offence 12 December.  Possible was delayed in the post at that time as it was taking me up to 2 weeks to get a first class letter, then the New Year Shut down so to get it early January while the Xmas backlog was cleared seems about right to be honest.  Not that I am telling the police that. 

 

This is confusing.  Are you using a different username than the one you started with?

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Thanks for your comments which are much appreciated.

 

I did receive my own NIP and have notified the Police, in one of my letters, that I was the driver of the vehicle. 

 

You raise an interesting and valid point about the Registered Keeper perhaps not being the leasing company; I had missed that. I think that my next course of action is to ascertain who is the RK and ask when they received their NIP.

 

The Police say that an NIP was sent out on 15/12/20 , a few days after the alleged incident. So, based on what you have intimated, they are probably not bluffing and, if so, I am stuffed. I am now tempted, as one final roll of the dice, to ask them to send me a copy of the original NIP along with proof of postage. 

 

Its annoying as I was only doing 36 in a 30 mile area. However, at he end  of the day, it's not critical as I have clean licence with no other points.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

 

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I am now tempted, as one final roll of the dice, to ask them to send me a copy of the original NIP along with proof of postage. 

 

They will almost certainly not do that. In asking for a copy of the NIP and proof of postage you are effectively asking them to prove that aspect of their case against you and they are not usually prepared to do that. 

 

For the speed alleged (36 in a 30 limit) you will be offered a Speed Awareness Course (provided you have not done one in the last three years and the offence was not in Scotland). This will cost you about £90 and will be undertaken online. If you don't fancy that a Fixed Penalty (£100 and 3 points) is the alternative. The police offer these out of court disposals on the basis that you accept the offence as it stands without any evidence (of all aspects of the matter, including the first NIP) being provided. If you want to see any evidence or dispute any of it the only place you can do so is in court. At that stage the course and fixed penalty offers (which are by far and away the best offers you will get) will have long sailed into the sunset.

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Thanks. Sound advice again. I will tread carefully. 

 

I have checked the first correspondence that they sent to me and there is no sign of an offer of a speed awareness course, I do remember being offered one a good few years ago but did not take that up at the time. That may be the reason for it not being offered again.  

 

Looks like my only option now is to shut up and pay up. 

 

Thanks for your input which is much appreciated.

 

 

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They won't have offered you a course when they sent the NIP because they don't know who was driving until you tell them.

 

If you are eligible for a course they will almost certainly offer it - irrespective of whether you've refused one in the past.  If they do offer you a course, I think you'd be daft not to accept it.  (I understand many drivers refuse because they think they'll be treated like naughty schoolkids, but apparently it's not like that and most people find them very useful and learn something new.)

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