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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hello I have recently recieved a letter from the courts asking

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I have recently recieved a letter from the courts asking me to attend court on the 1st of April. Stating I have to respond to 2 allegations

1) Failing to provide driver information for a speeding offence from June 2012.
2) For driving in excess of 30miles an hour on a road with aspeed limit of 30mph also from June 2012. Both offences are from the same date and same incident.

I recieved these letters a month ago.

I have made 2 statutory declarations on the above matter in June 2013 and Nov 2013.
As both times court summons were sent to the wrong address and I was never aware of these 'offences' having taken place.

My question is should I be asked to attend court now or shouldn't I be respond to the original letter as my stat declaration invalidates a court summons.

Also is it upto me to prove that I Was not driving the car and not the said driver. OR is it upto the police/prosectution to prove that I was the driver?

The photographs picture the rear of the car.

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

Do the DVLA have the correct address for you please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

do u mean for the car or for the licence? I think the answer is no. AS I move a lot.


On your specific points

1 Yes, they are free to summons you. The stat dec doesn't invalidate the summons. It just sets aside the ruling.

They can bring the prosecution again.

2 Its up to you to name the driver under S172.

if you cannot do that then there is a reverse burden of proof upon you to show that you exercised reasonable diligence in your efforts to identify the driver.

The fact that the photographs are of the rear of the car is immaterial.

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?

Jo C. and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi so what reasonable diligence should I be showing? Can you kindly give me an example?

It turns on the facts of the case but usually retracing steps, checking diaries, interrogating any insured person.

You need to produce evidence before the court of what you actually did at the time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Am I expected to remember what I did 2 years ago?? Like I said this offence was in June 2012. How am I expected to remember mattes from so long ago?

The issue isn't whether you can remember. In fact, it doesn't matter if you name the driver now.

The issue is what you did then and, yes, you are expected to remember that.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So I Am no longer expected to name the driver? Also what is the punishment for not naming the driver and for driving in excess of 30mph?


I note that I had given my car for repair in June 2012 in Nuneaton, where the offence has happened. Would showing a bill from this repair prove that this was not me or would they say perhaps it was me on my way to or from the garage?

Would it be used against me that my licence was not changed to my correct address?

1 No. 6 points and a fine in the middle hundreds. Usually the total amount with costs is around £500-£1200 depending on when you plead.

2 Not really. The issue is not who was driving now.

3 Not in relation to the substantive offences. That might have been a reason to refuse the statutory declaration but that didn't happen here. The fact that the licence was at the incorrect address doesn't go to whether or not you used reasonable diligence to find the driver.

There is an offence in failing to tell the DVLA where a vehicle is kept but they won't prosecute it.