(Sec. 172 of the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988)
If you have been caught speeding by a road side camera the police must serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution with a Request for driver information to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This has to be issued and served on the person within 14 days. The Notice is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle asking them to give details of the driver at the time of the alleged offence. You will have 28 days within which to respond to the Notice starting with the day on which the notice is served.
The notice will have three sections and you must complete one of the sections, either to show that you were the driver, to name another driver who was driving at the time or if you had sold the vehicle and you no longer are the registered owner to provide the new owner’s details.
If you have nominated yourself as the driver, if your speed was relatively low the police may send you a ‘Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty’. If this is a first offence you may be offered a ‘speed awareness course’, provided you satisfy the strict criteria to be offered the course. If your speed was very high or in cases where you already have points on your licence and adding more points will make you a ‘totter’ (accruing 12 points within a 3-year period will result in a driving ban) your case may be referred to the Magistrates Court.
Please be aware that the identification of the driver is the responsibility of the person to whom the Notice has been addressed. If driver details are not received within 28 days or the police cannot trace the driver whose details you have given, you can be charged for the offence of ‘failing to provide the details of the driver’. This carries 6 points and up to £1000.00 fine if convicted. This may also lead to you being disqualified from driving.
If you have nominated another person as the driver at the time of the alleged offence, he will receive a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’ from the police and he will be subjected to the same procedure.
Attempts to delay the process (e.g.: by requesting further clearer photographic evidence with the driver) are unlikely to help. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the document is returned within the 28-day period.
According to Section 172 RTA 1988 A person shall not be guilty of an offence if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was. If you as the ‘registered keeper’ have taken all the necessary and reasonable steps to find out who the driver was at the time of the alleged offence, it may be a defence in proceedings brought against you for failing to provide details.
If you wish to speak to a traffic solicitor or you need help in dealing with the Notice, please contact us on 0208 577 5491.