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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have received a NIP on M25, I am unsure whether

Customer Question

I have received a NIP for speeding on M25, I am unsure whether my partner or myself was driving at the time and have sent letters explaining this. Received photos which did not help determine the driver and now have received a duplicate of the form to say who was driving, called the Police who said that I have to put down a name or I will get £200 fine and 6 points and it will also still go to Court - what should i do now?
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.
Can you really not say?
Obviously you won't know off hand but the law requires you to investigate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I'm not sure as we were on a long drive back from the north seeing my partners children
What other information do you need from me?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
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.

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