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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good morning, I am due to appear in court for a traffic

Customer Question

Good morning,

I am due to appear in court for a traffic offence. a company I did some cash in hand labouring for has a number of vehicles, one of which went through a speed camera at 57mph in a 50mph zone. the company owner said it was me driving and asked me to complete the form and return it to the police which I did. once the paperwork got to my address my partner noticed the offence took place on a Saturday when I had access to my daughter and that it couldn't have been me driving. there are many people who drove the company vehicles on a regular basis.
I emailed the police to ask if it was possible to see the picture from the speed camera so I could try and identify the driver, the picture only shows the rear of the vehicle and its not possible to see who was driving.
The court have sent me a summons telling me to appear in court and to bring my licence with me as the offence will carry point or even a ban.
I cant seem to make anyone understand that I was not me driving, the police and citizen's advice say because I responded to the letter and asked for a photo that the court will convict me anyway.
is this the case or will they understand that although I cant physicly prove it was not me driving, no one can prove that it was me?
the company owner is just trying to pass blame onto me as I didn't officially work for his company, I was just used as part time cash in hand labour.

Any help/advice would be very gratefully appreciated.

Thankyou,

L, Clarke
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What would you like to know?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good morning,


I am due to appear in court for a traffic offence. a company I did some cash in hand labouring for has a number of vehicles, one of which went through a speed camera at 57mph in a 50mph zone. the company owner said it was me driving and asked me to complete the form and return it to the police which I did. once the paperwork got to my address my partner noticed the offence took place on a Saturday when I had access to my daughter and that it couldn't have been me driving. there are many people who drove the company vehicles on a regular basis. I emailed the police to ask if it was possible to see the picture from the speed camera so I could try and identify the driver, the picture only shows the rear of the vehicle and its not possible to see who was driving. The court have sent me a summons telling me to appear in court and to bring my licence with me as the offence will carry point or even a ban. I cant seem to make anyone understand that I was not me driving, the police and citizen's advice say because I responded to the letter and asked for a photo that the court will convict me anyway. is this the case or will they understand that although I cant physicly prove it was not me driving, no one can prove that it was me? the company owner is just trying to pass blame onto me as I didn't officially work for his company, I was just used as part time cash in hand labour.


Any help/advice would be very gratefully appreciated.


Thankyou,


L, Clarke

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, sorry perhaps I can be clearer.

I understand the facts but what is your question about it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would like to know if it is possible for the court to convict me of the offence even though i was not me driving? The vehicle is not registered to me and it could have been any number of people driving. I understand that i asked for the camera photos but this was just to try and identify the driver.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Are you summonsed for failing to provide or speeding or both in the alternative?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Both, as i was unable to identify the driver from the photo. I did email to tell them i could not nominate a driver because i did not know who the driver was.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.
The issue is not whether or not you were driving but whether you identified the driver.
I am afraid that you misunderstand the law.
Section 172 of the Road traffic act reverses the onus onto you. It does not ask whether you know offhand who was driving. Of course you do not. It does, however, place an obligation upon you to investigate the issue using reasonable diligence and to identify the driver..
“Reasonable diligence" has been considered is by the higher courts and it means doing things like checking your diary, retracing the journey etc.
If you genuinely cannot do so then it is a defence to say that you had used reasonable diligence and cannot say. Sometimes haulage companies are in that position.
Generally speaking, “reasonable diligence" at the magistrates court means doing everything humanly possible. Any imperfection or failing will be used as an excuse to convict you.
Also, you should remember that the law reverses the burden of proof on to you to show, on the balance of probability, that you have used reasonable diligence.
The reversal of the burden of proof has been considered at Europe and has been held the within reasonable limits.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I did try to identify the driver but was unable to from the speed camera photo or from the company owner, the offence took place in november 2012 and noone knows who the driver was. Surley this come down to the company the vehicle belongs to?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, it comes down to whether or not they accept that you have exercised reasonable diligence

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