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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been sent a form charging me with allegedly: - driving

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I have been sent a form charging me with allegedly:
- driving without due care and attention
- failing to stop at a road traffic accident
- failing to report a road traffic accident

I have no recollection of any incident. It is possible that I touched someone's bumper while reversing but I have no memory of doing so...

I think the problem is that there is a lot of resentment in my town about a new residents permit scheme, which gives people like me - who live in the town centre - permission to park in outlying residential streets.

I have a couple of questions - I hope this is okay.
1. What is the worst that can happen to me? A fine? Points on my licence? A criminal record?
2. No damage has been claimed on the form... does that mean that no damage can be claimed... or might someone turn around and no claim that I did do some damage?
3. It's possible that I did lightly touch someone's bumper and just don't remember doing so... should I say this on the form or just say that I have no recollection of any incident.

Thank you so much for this - i have never had any traffic issues before (apart from 3 points for speeding eight years ago, no expired) and have 10+ years no claims bonus.


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

Is this a S172 form? A request for the identity of the driver?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI Jo,


yes, I think it is an S172... they mention 'Under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act, you are require to supply the information overleaf...' which is essentially who was driving, my insurance company etc




Thank you.

On your specific points

1 it's really difficult to tell what happened here. Presuming that the substantive incident amounts to no more than touching the bumper of another vehicle then you would probably get 3 to 6 points for the driving without due care and may be 5 to 10 points for failing to stop and report.

Driving without due care carries between 3 to 9 points or potential ban but if this is just a damage only collision then it would realistically only attract 3.

The failing to stop and report is more serious.That carries 5 to 10 points and a ban, an unlimited fine now and 6 months custody.

It is important to mention that I have only ever seen custody once on failing to stop and report and that case involved a driver who had struck a child pedestrian, driven off and the pedestrian later died of her injuries and the Crown were able to prove that if the driver had stopped and summoned help then the child probably would have survived.

If this is just a damage only collision then it might be that they would accept a plea to driving without due care in exchange for dropping the failing to stop and report.

2 no, it doesn't mean anything at all. This is just a section 172 demand for the identity of the driver. It doesn't mean that they are alleging damage or that damage cannot be alleged. It reveals nothing about the case at all.

3 absolutely not. There is never any points in making assertions in the course of a criminal investigation unless those are very carefully considered and they assist you. Obviously you cannot lie but silence is golden and unless volunteering information is to your benefit then silence is the right thing to do.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. This is a bit more serious than I had thought. Presumably it means that anyone can make these kinds of allegations and cause upset.


Before I came across your site, I wrote up my 'explanation' in which I mention the fact that there is a battle going on in my town about the residents parking permits and the resentment they are causing. Do you think it's worth mentioning this.

Well, anybody can make any allegation and cause upset and distress. Actually these kind of allegations are not generally made entirely falsely. The allegations that are cooked up completely in a person's head tend to be of a kind that cannot be disproven like sexual offences. This type of thing tends to involve half-truths.

No, there is at least no point in mentioning anything at all here. All that will be considered on your section 172 form is whether you have named the driver and all you are doing by commenting upon the allegation before actually you even know the details is giving the Crown ammunition to use against you.

If they charge you and send it courts then that is the time to be raising motivations for people to lie.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry - last question... do you think it likely I will be charged? And if so, do you think I need a solicitor? Or would this site give me enough support?

It depends on the evidence.

There isn't really any way of telling remotely. They might be time barred. Their allegation may be incredible or not in the public interest although one wonders why they have sent out this section 172 form if that were the case.

You don't need a solicitor but it would probably be a good idea although I wouldn't even think about doing it until you are actually summoned to court.
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