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Speeding: Not Sure Who Was Driving

Following a speeding offence, you may receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), as well as Section 172 notice, if you are the registered keeper of the vehicle caught speeding. These documents will be sent by the police, requiring you return (within 28 days) the Section 172, informing the police of who was driving the vehicle.

At times, you may be involved in cases where you were issued with a speeding ticket but don’t know who was driving. This “speeding ticket not sure who was driving” scenario needs proper consideration.

If you’re not sure how best to approach the situation, find and involve a reliable speeding solicitor who can offer the right legal assistance.

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UK's Leading Motoring Solicitors
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How can we help with your speeding ticket unknown driver situation?

Caddick Davies Solicitors is a team of motoring solicitors who specialise exclusively in motoring law. We possess a high level of expertise and have gained a lot of experience in assisting clients throughout England and Wales, some of whom have found themselves in the “speeding ticket but don’t know who was driving” situation. Receiving the Section 172 notice and the requirement to return it back is not always a simple task.

You are advised to be aware of exactly what you are doing, with relevant legislation interpreted by higher courts occasionally. You need to understand the legal options you are considering and, often, being in a situation where you do not know who was driving the vehicle registered under your name does not necessarily make the situation any easier. This is certainly why speeding solicitors are of great help at this point.

Ensure you get qualified and experienced legal experts. It is important, first of all, to understand what the Section 172 notice constitutes. Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is an obligation to the registered keeper to provide information about the driver on their vehicle. You could be charged with a “Section 172 offence” by failing to provide the required information, so you should get guidance on how to best deal with these notices and summons.

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What are the mitigating circumstances around driver identity and speeding?

There are a number of things that could lead to a scenario where you receive a speeding ticket and are not sure who was driving.  If you receive a Section 172 notice yet you are not sure who was driving, you may possibly be in a case where mistakes were made. There have been cases where the police have acquired the wrong registration number for speeding, consequently, mistakenly sending a Section 172 notice to the wrong person.

You may also be unaware that cloned vehicle plates exist in the UK and that your number plate may be among the ones cloned. Should the other vehicle with the cloned registration get flashed for speeding, it would be you who receives a Section 172 notice requiring you to inform the police who the driver was in the car caught offending. If you are confident that your vehicle was not involved in any speeding or other driving offence, contact our legal team at Caddick Davies.

Caddick Davies will assist you to address this issue and look to stop such a case before it develops into a summons. There are times, when in fact your vehicle was involved in a speeding offence, and getting a speeding ticket where you don’t know who was driving situation may actually involve someone who was driving your vehicle. You are warned not to simply guess, since naming the wrong person while returning a Section 172 notice could make the issue more serious.

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Our legal team always advise you to request from the police any available photographs, which are of course very helpful in identifying the driver. Since any interactions with the police can be considered evidence, you should be aware of this when dealing with them. As you pursue this issue the police, ensure you have a speeding solicitor advising and/or representing you.

You should not be guilty of an offence [under s.172(2)(a)] if you prove you could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who was driving the vehicle of which you are the registered keeper. There may be summons that follow, so you will need a speeding solicitor with the expertise and experience to handle such a case.

You should contact Caddick Davies Solicitors for such a legal service. We can offer the ideal legal guidance and have represented many clients in such speeding charge situations. Call us on 0151 280 3346, or use our website to request a callback or email us, and we’ll provide an initial no-obligation consultation free of charge and give an honest appraisal after looking through your case, offering helpful advice on how to approach your Section 172 notice.

When a registered keeper of a car receives a NIP they will be asked to provide the details of the person who was driving so that the penalty notice can be issued to the correct person. If you receive a NIP but cannot provide the driver information then you need to be able to prove that you have genuinely attempted to identify the driver. This might include:

  • Asking the police for photos from the alleged incident
  • Going over schedules or diaries if the possible drivers are within your household
  • Contacting anyone who has your permission to drive the car and asking if they can identify the driver

If you have taken all reasonable steps to identify the driver and are still uncertain, make sure you have documentation to prove you have done what you can and then contact a motor defence lawyer, as you will likely need to appear before the court.

You will need to send a letter to the police (contact details will be on the NIP) stating that although you have made a concerted effort to identify the driver, you do not know who it was.

If you have received a NIP and ignore it, fail to respond, or give a vague or unclear response then you will most likely be charged with failing to provide driver information and could be fined up to £1,000 and receive six penalty points on your licence.  This is used to deter people from avoiding fines but can cause a lot of stress if you genuinely don’t know who the driver of the vehicle was.

Unfortunately, you are required to name the driver of the car, not the possible driver. You will need to provide the identity of the individual driving or claim that you do not know who it was.

You will be given 28 days to respond to your NIP. In this time you will need to collect any evidence possible and do as much as you can to identify the driver. At the end of the 28 days you might receive a reminder, but you could also receive a summons to appear in court for failing to identify the driver.

If your car is stolen it is important that you report it immediately. The police will issue a case number and you will need to use this in your response to the NIP. Once you have proven that your car was stolen and reported, the charge against you will be dropped. If you failed to report your car as stolen you will need to speak to a lawyer who will advise you on how to proceed.

If, after due diligence, you are still unsure who the driver was, you will need to appear in court. Judges rarely look favourably on cases of failing to provide driver information because it is seen as a way of avoiding a fine. But if the court believes you have made a genuine attempt to identify the driver then it may be satisfied and drop any charges against you. A motor defence lawyer will be able to advise you on how to prepare a successful defence and plead your case.

It is always good to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later if you are uncertain.  If you find yourself with a NIP and no knowledge of the driver, please contact us on 03334 432 366 for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

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