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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71155
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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, Yesterday I received a NIP from the police that

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Yesterday I received a NIP from the police that was for a traffic offence I committed on the 2nd Jan. It doesn't say what the offence was but asked me to identify the driver. This has been received 7 weeks after the offence. Can I still be prosecuted? I thought there was a 14 day rule?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Were you stopped at the scene?
Are you the registered keeper?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

I wasn't stopped at the scene and I am the registered keeper of the car. The incident that occurred was this - I overtook a car and car in the outside lane approached quicker than I thought. As I pulled across the lanes our cars lightly touched. I initially thought I had hit something on the road. I then looked behind me and saw a car right on my bumper. I then thought I may have clipped him. I slowed down expecting him to flag me to pull over and he didn't make any gestures at all. At the next 2 sets of lights he stopped behind me and didn't show any signs of wanting me to stop. So I thought maybe I didn't clip him after all. I got home and checked the side of my car and found no damage so I thought if we did touch he obviously realised it was very minor (which it was) and didn't want to stop. I then receive a NIP yesterday. Will this be for careless driving? failing to stop after an accident? I'm a bit bemused as to what it is for. If he had pulled over at the time I would have stopped but he didn't stop so neither did I.

I see.
It is probably for careless driving and failing to stop. Failing to stop doesn't require a NIP which is how they are getting around the time barring issue.
In any event, even if they do need a NIP and are out of time they are still entitled to demand from you the identity of the driver under S172.
What they will probably do is summons for both. You may have a challenge to driving without due care and attention on the basis that the NIP wasn't in time but the failing to stop and report still stands. It isn't particularly in your interests to bring that challenge though unless the Crown won't negotiate because they might well take a plea to driving without due care and drop the failing to stop and report. Failing to stop and report is the more serious of the two offences.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm a bit worried now Jo. Surely if I wasn't sure our cars had touched and he didn't indicate to stop I have a suitable defence? What would be a worst case scenario regarding points if found guilty on both matters?

No, you don't have a defence I'm afraid. On these facts you should have stopped or reported to a police station within 24 hours. There was no doubt that you knew there was a risk you had a collision of some kind. That should have been reported.
If you pulled across two lanes then that probably does amount to careless driving. It is difficult to say. It depends how the evidence comes out. A collision alone is not enough. They have to show some form of bad driving.
This is a damage only collision so probably it would just carry points and a fine. Failing to stop carries 5-10 points and driving without due care carries 3- 9. They are technically two distinct offences so the points would probably be added consecutively although often courts forget to do that. Overall they would probably add about 6 for both.
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