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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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, I have received a NIP to stop/ report an

Customer Question

Hi,
I have received a NIP for failing to stop/ report an accident and careless driving. I was unaware of any accident at the time and only became aware when the NIP arrived in the post. It arrived 17 days after the alleged accident. Can I still be prosecuted as this is outside the 14 days normally associated with accidents of which the driver is unaware? Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Yes, you can I'm afraid.
If you didn't stop and report then they will argue that the reason the NIP is late is that they were making reasonable efforts to identify the driver and that will be accepted.
However, that would only go to careless driving anyway.
They don't need a NIP to prosecute for failing to stop and report so even if you succeeded upon that argument the more serious charge of failing to stop and report would still remain.
Given that people often try to plead to careless driving in exchange for dropping the failing to stop and report its not generally a good idea to raise this argument.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. This is in relation to a car park bump that someone alleges was me. Unaware of accident at the time and it was my understanding that Bentley vs Dickinson QBD 1983 established that an NIP was needed within 14 days if a driver was unaware of any accident. Under these circumstances how likely are the Polic to prosecute?
It was so minor that there is no damage that I can see on my car.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They wouldn't have pursued this if you had reported to a police station within 24 hours.
If you didn't though they could I'm afraid.
I'm afraid that your reading of the case law is incorrect. A NIP has to be sent out for certain offences within 14 days save for certain exceptions. One is where they cannot find the driver.
Moreover, there is no need for a NIP for failing to stop and report.
It is nothing to do with a driver being aware of the accident.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. One more question if I may. I was unaware I had touched another car in the car park ( I still maintain this didn't happen). How is it I can be held responsible for not reporting something I had no knowledge of at the time?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If there wasn't an accident then that gives you a defence.
If there was though it is not a defence to say that you didn't know if the reasonably observant motorist would have known. The test is whether the motorist ought to have known.