Our Voluntary Police Interview Specialists work with a dedicated legal team of experienced Road Traffic lawyers on hand to provide first-rate legal advice and assistance with motoring offences.
In our initial consultation, it may enable us to establish a potential line of defence that may be available to you. If you are guilty of a traffic offence, it may be possible that your lawyer can persuade the police to not prosecute to court. They can then instead issue a warning or a driver’s awareness course. This will then avoid penalty points and any potential for disqualification.
We have detailed below some common Road Traffic offences that we come across on a regular basis.
Section 172 Notice (NIP) – Failing to Provide Driver Details
In establishing who was driving a vehicle at the material times that a road traffic offence may have been committed, the registered owner is usually sent a notice whereby there is a legal obligation for them to nominate the driver.
The notice shall have effect as a requirement to give the information within the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice is served.
There are statutory defences available that your lawyer can discuss with you here in respect of ‘reasonable diligence’ and ‘not being practicable to name the driver.’ There can also be a separate argument in that ‘you gave the drivers information.’
An example can be that the registered owner has his motor vehicle up for sale online, and a potential buyer comes along for a test drive. During the test drive, the potential buyer breaches a speed camera before returning the vehicle to the owner.
A few weeks later, the owner gets a notice asking for details of the driver as it is suspected that they have committed a speeding offence. The owner responds by explaining that they had the vehicle up for sale and, due to this unfortunate set of circumstances, does not have the driver’s details. There could be an argument here to say that the owner could not, by reasonable diligence, have ascertained as to who the driver was.
The person on whom the notice is served shall not be guilty of an offence if they can show either that they gave the information as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the 28 day period or that it has not been reasonably practicable for them to give it.
The most common defence is that no such notice was received due to a postal error or the request was received late and responded to as soon as practicable.
Another example could be that so much time has lapsed since the original offence relating to why the notice was served that you have simply forgotten as to who the driver was at the material times due to a number of insured parties on the vehicle.
It is vitally important that you seek expert legal advice as deliberately misleading or providing false information could result in the police investigating you for a separate offence of perverting the course of justice. It is not uncommon for even first time offenders to get six months imprisonment. For example, say a wife agrees to state that she was driving and not the husband who is the registered keeper to save him getting points. In this scenario, both can get a prison sentence.
Following on from nominating the driver the police can then look at investigating/prosecuting the individual(s) concerned for the driving offence to which the serving of the s172 notice relates to. In this instance, the offence(s) in question can still be contested.
If guilty of an s172 offence, the penalty is 6 points and a fine.
Driving without Due Care and Attention
In a careless driving allegation, the defendants driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.
If guilty of careless driving, the penalty is from 5 penalty points to disqualification and a fine.
Failing to stop after a Road Traffic Accident & Failing to Report an Accident within a 24 Hour period
Section 170(2) RTA 1988 provides that the driver of the motor vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give their name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and the identification marks of the vehicle. The duty to stop means to stop sufficiently long enough to exchange the particulars above.
Section 710(3) places an obligation on the driver, if they do not give their name and address under subsection (2) above, to report the accident to a police constable or police station as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within 24 hours. The duty to report means ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’, it does not mean the driver has 24 hours within which to report the collision.
You can be prosecuted for both offences in the same incident. The failure to stop is usually viewed as the more serious of the two.
If guilty of failing to stop or report, the penalty is from 5 penalty points to disqualification and six months in prison.
In a dangerous driving allegation, it has to be proved that the defendants driving falls far below the standard expected of a careful driver, and it would be obvious that driving in that way would be considered dangerous.
If guilty of dangerous driving, the penalty is a disqualification for a minimum of 12 months, with a requirement to take a further extended driving test and up to 2 years in prison.
If charged to court or invited in for a voluntary/caution plus 3 police interview, we urge you to get in contact with us on 0800 2335822. We have a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers on hand to assist.