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Thread: S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Driver

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  1. #1
    gped123's Avatar

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    Default S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Driver

    Hi All,

    I received a speeding ticket back in May and could not identify the driver definitively as I was completing the Three Peaks challenge with two friends and therefore we were swapping drivers regularly and none of us are certain who it was driving at the time of the offence but on the balance of probability having reviewed the timeline, we’re 75% sure of who it probably was.

    We have fully accepted that we are responsible for the speeding ticket and the individual who we think it might be is happy to take the points/fine but I understood the law was that you should only state the driver if you’re 100% certain of who was responsible. I’ve explained this to the police and they advised me to put this in writing, which I have.

    I’ve subsequently been served a Single Justice Procedure Notice that I’ve received for a S172 offence and I have 21 days to respond. I was really hoping that someone with some legal knowledge would be able to give some answers on the following points:

    1. We had hired a car in my name, but my two friends were both named drivers as well. Will they also receive ‘SJPN’ or as the hirer, am I solely responsible and therefore it is only me that will end up getting fined/penalty points?

    2. I’m not sure whether to plead guilty or not guilty, as I’m confident that it was not me driving the car and I’ve tried to be totally transparent with the police so I’ve not willingly withheld the driver’s identity – I just honestly can’t be 100% certain who it was even if I have a good inclination.

    3. I don’t want to get points on my licence and/or pay a huge fine so on the balance of probabilities, if my friend is most likely to be responsible and willing to accept it, can I ask the court to accept him as the responsible party? If so, how would I go about taking this action please?

    4. My friend who we think is most likely responsible is prepared to plead guilty and accept the consequences however he is currently living in New Zealand and therefore returning to the UK for a court case is not an easy option. Is there any chance that he will be called to court?

    5. At this stage, is there any way to avoid this going to court now or is my only option to appear in court and explain the situation and hope that they sympathise with the circumstances and/or accept that on the balance of probabilities, my friend is the most likely driver?

    6. If I’m called to court and the offence took place in Cumbria then will I likely be called to a court near there or will the case be scheduled near my place of residence which is in London?

    I’m really concerned about this and not sure what to do so I would really appreciate any guidance that anyone can offer. Thank you in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    des8's Avatar

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    Unhappy Re: S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Dr

    I would think it is worthwhile pleading not guilty.
    Para (4) of sec 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states :"A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver was."
    Affidavits from the other possible drivers might help.

    Here's a link to peeps who were in a similar predicament http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=310

    Case will be in Cumbria





  3. #3
    gped123's Avatar

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    Default Re: S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Dr

    Thank you Des8. Would there be any way that I could request the case to be heard nearer London as otherwise it's a 6-7 hour journey for me either way? I appreciate the courts are not always flexible to these sort of issues but is there anything that could be done? Failing that, is there any way that I could settle out of court. For example, could I say that we have studied all of the available evidence and on the balance of probabilities, we think the most likely offender was 'x' and therefore can the speeding ticket be attributed to him and the 'failure to provide information' be dropped?

    In addition; if I reply 'Not Guilty' then is there any possibility that they will not take this to court or will it definitely proceed please?

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    I would think it is worthwhile pleading not guilty.
    Para (4) of sec 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states :"A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver was."
    Affidavits from the other possible drivers might help.

    Here's a link to peeps who were in a similar predicament http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=310

    Case will be in Cumbria





  4. #4
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Dr

    If you intend to contest the matter I do not think you can have the case transferred.

    If you write as proposed the case against you for not identifying the driver is strengthened, and if it is proceeded with your not guilty plea is over.

    You received a NTK for speeding and failed to identify the driver.
    Now you are about to be prosecuted for that failure you suddenly realise a New Zealand resident was the guilty party and name him.

    Hmm.. I can't see the powers that be accepting that story, and I would anticipate they would continue with the case.


    A more pragmatic approach might be to consider pleading guilty.
    THis will remove the necessity of going to Cumbria, and thus avoiding those travel costs.
    A guilty plea automatically reduces the fine by one third.
    Prosecution costs for a guilty plea are far lower than a lost not guilty plea.
    With your guilty plea you could include (1) a letter of mitigation setting out the circumstances which have persuaded you to plead guilty and (2) support letters from the other occupants of the car.
    This may or may not reduce the fine further, although of course you will land up with points on your licence, which may affect your future insurance premiums!

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    Default Re: S172 Single Justice Procedure Notice - Speeding Ticket and Failure to Identify Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    If you intend to contest the matter I do not think you can have the case transferred.

    If you write as proposed the case against you for not identifying the driver is strengthened, and if it is proceeded with your not guilty plea is over.

    You received a NTK for speeding and failed to identify the driver.
    Now you are about to be prosecuted for that failure you suddenly realise a New Zealand resident was the guilty party and name him.

    Hmm.. I can't see the powers that be accepting that story, and I would anticipate they would continue with the case.


    A more pragmatic approach might be to consider pleading guilty.
    THis will remove the necessity of going to Cumbria, and thus avoiding those travel costs.
    A guilty plea automatically reduces the fine by one third.
    Prosecution costs for a guilty plea are far lower than a lost not guilty plea.
    With your guilty plea you could include (1) a letter of mitigation setting out the circumstances which have persuaded you to plead guilty and (2) support letters from the other occupants of the car.
    This may or may not reduce the fine further, although of course you will land up with points on your licence, which may affect your future insurance premiums!
    Wise words of advice The driver in New Zealand a non starter either name a driver who could be summonsed or plead your self Guilty would be better regards penalty not guilty means a court appearance at the Court they say.

    Need some thinking about

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