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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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there I got advice from someone who was versed in traffic

Customer Question

I got advice from someone who was versed in traffic law in England that I did not need to fill in the Drivers form issued to me regarding speeding (38 MILES IN A 30 MILE ZONE) as long as I sent off information outlining the Drivers name (me) and the drivers address which I did.
A letter from the police has come back saying I need to fill out the details on the form as this is a legal document and I have now gone outside the 28 days given information.
My question is it an offence not to fill in the details on the actual form? I did however, provide the Driver's details as above within the given timeframe/ information under section 172 road traffic Act 1988?
Your advice would be much appreciated asap. Many Thanks
Francesca, UK
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Which detailed?
This is a S172 form?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Your answer makes no sense to me. Please explain what you mean.

Also do I have to write the drivers details on the police form? Or is it legal to give the drivers details under section 172 Road traffic Act 1988 via a letter to the police as long as the following information is given:Drivers name, drivers address, reference number and signature. Please advise asap if this is legal to do this.

I look forward to a speedy response (no pun intended) today.

Thank you


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I really need the information I asked I can answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What information? As previously outlined i do not understand what you are talking about below?

Which Detailed?


Please explain what you you are talking about...


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As previously outlined I do not know what you mean regarding 'which detailed?' and 'what is a S172?' Please explain so I can move on regarding my question.

Your response appears automated.

Look forward to hearing from you shortly to resolve the above matter.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did you complete the S172 form clearly naming the driver with no qualification?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i am not sure we are talking about the same thing? I have not filled in a form! I was asking if I need to fill in the Name and address of Driver letter sent to me by the Police regarding a speeding allegation (38 miles in a 30 mile zone).

I sent the information on a separate sheet of paper rather than on the police form. My letter included my name and address as I was the driver at the time. However, a letter from the police has come back highlighting that it needs to be on the police name and address of driver form. I am asking is this a legal requirement that it has to be written on the police form sent to me or is it ok as long as I have supplied the information requested to the police on a sheet of paper (my name, address, reference number and signed my letter). Please advise asap.

Look forward to hearing from you shortly.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So, in short, you didn't complete the S172 form?Or did you ? Did you write anything on the form?I am sorry to press you on this but it makes all the difference and I really just need a simple yes or no. It is important that we understand each other or the answer I give may be inaccurate.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I did not... I looked up this form online! However, i have given the drivers name and address on a sheet of paper see previous message regarding this.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
1 Why did you use a separate sheet? The S172 forms usually prompt the answer.
2 Did you staple the sheet to the S172 form or was it loose?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I used a a separate sheet as I was told by a person versed in traffic law that it was not a legal requirement to fill in the information on the police form as long as the name of the driver and the address was given.

The letter was loose as the s172 was not sent with the letter, but my reference number was on my letter.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It isn't a legal requirement to use their S172 forms. The forms are an invention of the police.
The law requires you to provide without qualification though. In truth, it would have been better if you had used their forms. There would have been no challenge then at all.
S172 demands that you tell them without qualification who was the driver. It does not demand that you use their forms. If you don't use their forms though you are always open to allegations of not having provided clearly enough.
There is caselaw called DPP v Jones in which a form that was stapled to the S172 form was accepted as part of the form because the act of stapling had caused it to be adopted by the form.
However, if you didn't do that then you will have to drop down upon arguing that the Crown were informed sufficiently clearly of the identity of the driver. It does give you a theoritical defence. It just would have been safer to use their forms unless there was good reason not to do so.
Can I clarify anything ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so it is fine (legal) not to use the S172 as long the name and address of the driver is given within the 28 days time frame. Police are insisting that it needs to be on S172 although information has already been given to them in writing.

What does it mean to tell them without qualification who the driver was? please clarify at your earliest opportunity.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, it needs to be clear and unqualified which will be what they are saying.
But you do not need to use their own issue forms to do that although you do risk a court saying it was not clear especially if it was loose leafed.
I am not sure how to express without qualification more clearly. It means naming the driver without equivocation.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Just another point...Do I need to include in my letter my D.o.b and driving licence number or just my name and address purposes. I have also enclosed a copy of the police letter so there is no ambiguity with my letter which includes on it the drivers name and address (me) and the police's reference number regarding the matter. Please advise asap if this meets the legal requirements regarding 'Requirement and address of Driver' (in the UK).

Please advise asap.

Many Thanks


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I would suggest giving them your name and date of birth.
But I would suggest using the S172 form. This is just a pointless dispute I'm afraid.