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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69262
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution ,

Resolved Question:

I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding, dated 26/11/2014, on 10/12/2014.
My wife and I are retired and spend a lot of time driving around and share the driving. I asked Police to check photo to see if male or female driver. They sent photo taken on sunny day so sun visors are down and it is impossible to identify the driver. I wrote back pointing this out and said they could treat me as the driver, as long as they would not take action against me if they subsequently provided other evidence or better photographs, which showed that my wife was driving. I did not want to lay myself open to a charge of perverting the course of justice as in the Vicky Pryce / Chris Hune case!
They have now sent Conditional offer of fixed penalty for offence of " fail to give information relating to identification of driver of a vehicle when required"!
As I offered to take the blame should I go to Court and let Judge decide.
Regards Nick
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
You don't normally get a conditional penalty for failing to identify. I'm not sure how they think they can do that.
However, you have failed to identify. There is no way around it. If they did summons you then you would be convicted.
There isn't really a choice over who goes to court though. They will just summons the registered keeper of the vehicle. They can actually summons anybody to whom the S172 request was sent.
If you are asking whether this is a defence, then 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.
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.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo

Rather than accept 6 penalty points and £200 fine would I be better going to Court. Should I have a lawyer and can you recommend a good one in the area of the Court that is likely to be used for speeding on the Dartford Bridge.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, you wouldn't be better going to court. You would only get 6 points but the financial penalty would be higher.
You won't get legal aid for this so you would have to pay privately for representation and unless you are going to argue reasonable diligence applies there isn't very much point.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69262
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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