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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Is there any defence to a mobile camera van offence, if you have not received the initial

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Is there any defence to a mobile camera van offence, if you have not received the initial NIP? I was away from home and upon my return I had received a final reminder dated 12/08/15 for an offence on 16/07/15. I telephoned and they stated that the post isn't always reliable. Is the NIP considered served, if it is sent by normal post, but not received?
Many Thanks
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Not on that basis.
There is a defence to failing to identify the driver arising from not receiving the NIP although the burden of proof does pass to the driver to satisfy the court that did not.
The speeding offence though is still open to them to prosecute if they have sent out the NIP within fourteen days to the registered keeper. They used to use recorded post but now they just use first class post. They usually get a statement from the support worker who placed it in the post about the date and time and location at which it was posted.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I assume the best option open to me now is to complete the S172 notice and identify the driver and accept the £100 fine and 3 points. I suppose there would be nothing gained by explaining that I saw the van but did not slow down, because I genuinely believed the limit to be 50 mph, rather than 40. I was doing 49 mph when clocked and will not be eligible for a speed awareness course. I currently have a clean licence.

Why did you think the limit was 50 mph?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The road is a long dual carriageway with changing limits of 30, 40, 50 and 60 mph. I completely forgot where I was on the road. I thought it was 50 mph, so I didn't even brake when I saw the mobile van. It was inadvertence on my part. Clearly not concentrating properly.

Well, not necessarily actually.
It depends what you want to achieve. If the speed limit signs were inadequate then that is a defence. If you start raising points like that then it will be set down for trial. Might be a risk worth taking. It depends upon the location and the lack of signs.
If you want to use it to mitigate then you should be saying that you accept the signs were adequate but you were unaware of the limit.
But if you are still within the fixed penalty remit anyway there is not much point really as the penalties are fixed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice. I think if I took this to court, I would lose. The road signs are adequate and they are accustomed to dealing with these kinds of excuses. I was simply looking for a way to negate the offence, so that I wouldn't get points on my licence. I've been driving for 30 years with a clean licence! I will pay the fine and accept the points.

Thank you again.

No problem and all the best.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

For Jo C.

I hope I can ask a follow up question in relation to the above. I replied admitting the offence. I rang them and then sent the reply by recorded delivery. I was told I would hear something quickly and within 2 - 3 weeks. I had no further correspondence until this morning, when I received a Single Justice Procedure Notice inviting me to enter a plea! This comes just 5 days before the offence is 6 months old. Can I complete a statutory declaration to say that I have had no further correspondence or offer of a fixed penalty? Can they realistically send nothing for several months then send a court notice, with only 5 days to go?

What would your advice be?



Sorry for the delay.Were you speeding?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it was a speeding offence.



Yes, but were you speeding?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

For Jo C,

Yes, it was a mobile camera van, so I must have been.

I completed the form with my details and sent it back, and I have heard nothing until today.



If this recent notice says final reminder then they are probably saying there was an earlier notice. They only need to produce a statement to that effect for it to be accepted.
They cannot charge you with failing to identify as you did so the normal defences fall away.
You don't have a right to the fixed penalty I'm afraid. That is purely a matter of the police to relieve pressure on courts.