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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70209
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, I received speeding ticket and am honestly unsure who was

Resolved Question:

Hi, I received speeding ticket and am honestly unsure who was driving at the time, please advise what information I should provide to the police?
Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you really not know who was driving?

At least, perhaps I can be clearer, of course you don't know offhand but can you ascertain who was driving? Bearing in mind this is your car.

If, to use an extreme example, the allegation against this driver were that he were hanging around outside primary schools trying to abduct children would you still not be able to say who he was?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I can presume it was my self or one other good freind that regularly uses my car, in addition all images received are taken from the back of the car with no indication to whom was driving
What is the legal obligation for me as owner ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

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.

With personal vehicles that are usually fairly easy to do is because we can all say with reasonable efforts who was driving our own personal car on any particular day.

“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.

Moreover, if you really cannot identify the driver then you must not guess. That is potentially perverting the course of justice and people go to prison for that.

If you can't identify the driver then you need to use a particular response to bring yourself within the caselaw. You must staple the letter that you write to the nip. Do not use a paperclip. If you do they may seize on that and use it to convict you as they will differentiate it from the leading case. On that letter write the words

“The driver of this vehicle was either

A (name and address)

Or

B (name address)

Obviously, you can only name the 2 genuine candidates.

The case of DPP v Jones says that if you respond in this way it is for the police to investigate which of the 2 candidates are responsible and it gives you a defence to failing to identify.

This case is relatively little-known and if you respond in this way they could charge you with failing to identify. You may have to go to court and argue the point. They will send you some quite intimidating letters. Overall though, if you respond in this way you bring yourself within the caselaw and have a much stronger chance.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
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