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NIP for speeding but cant identify driver. Now SJPN
andytw
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 15:30
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Looking for any comments or advice please.

05/09/17 Mobile camera clocked my car at 36mph in a 30 limit. My vehicle was about to leave the limit. Camera was positioned on opposite side of road to face vehicles entering the limit. This is the position it is always in.

14/09/17 Received NIP. Didn't know who had been driving vehicle 9 days previous, as my wife and I both drive the vehicle and have both seen the camera on many occasions. Checked bank and credit card statements for clues. Returned the NIP asking for photo and enclosed a letter.

27/09/17 Rang the agency as I had not heard anything. They had the form but not the letter. They checked photos there and then and photos only show rear of vehicle. Driver not therefore identifiable. Told me to write and ask for a court hearing.

27/09/17 Wrote explanatory letter and asked for court hearing. Sent by signed for delivery.

04/10/17 I rang and asked if they had the letter. They confirmed they had it.

06/03/18 Received Single Justice Procedure Notice.
Charged with "Fail to give information relating to the identification of the driver of vehicle when required"
Charged with "Exceed 30 mph speed limit in contravention of a Local Traffic Order - manned equipment"

I am sure this is all in order. For sure one of us was driving, but we don't know who.
Really cannot see the point in going to court.
Just finding it a bit daunting TBH.

andytw
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post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 15:30
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BaggieBoy
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 16:00
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They can't realistically prosecute the speeding offence without a driver being named. However the speeding charge is there just in case you suddenly remember you were in fact the driver. It's too late for your wife owning up.

Defending the failing to give information charge is difficult but not impossible. If you want to do this you would need to plead not guilty to both charges and wait for a date. The speeding charge should automatically be dropped due to lack of evidence. You will then have to convince the bench that based on your actions it was not possible to identify the driver. It's 6 points, a large fine, costs around £620 and a surcharge of 10% of the fine if you are not successful.
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NewJudge
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 16:09
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The point of going to court is to defend one or both of the charges against you.

Your best bet at the moment is to respond to the SJPN by pleading Not Guilty to both charges. Your case will then be listed for a hearing in the normal Magistrates’ Court. Between now and then you should make every effort to determine which one of you was driving. Whilst it is an offence to deliberately name a person who was not driving it is OK to name the person most likely to have been driving.

If you establish that you were the most likely driver you should then attend your hearing and see the prosecutor before the court sits. You can offer to plead guilty to the speeding offence provided the “Fail to Identify the Driver”(FtF) charge is dropped. This “deal” is rarely refused.

The alternative is to maintain your NG plea to both charges. You cannot be convicted of speeding (they have no evidence of who was driving). But you will then have to defend the FtF charge. You have a statutory defence which says that if you did not know who was driving and could not, using reasonable diligence, find out, then you shall be Not Guilty. It is not an easy defence to run (courts are somewhat sceptical that two adults cannot establish who was driving a car a few days earlier). The cost of failure is a hefty fine, six points and insurance grief for a number of years.
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andytw
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 16:40
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Thanks. I will consider your replies. I really feel it should be Not Guilty to both charges.
I can't even say why it would be more likely to be myself or my wife.
I was expecting it to be a paper issue without attending court.

I haven't fully read where I can submit my defence but to clarify where I stand.

We live in a village about 4 miles from the site of the offence.
We often make trips, singularly or jointly to the town.
We'll make trips at least every other day into town.
We might make 2 trips in a day.
We share the vehicle 50/50.
We are both retired and do not work so going to work is not involved.
The camera is often parked there, we have both seen it and driven through it.
To remember back 9 days was not possible.

Was more than resigned from the outset for either of us to take the hit, just needed the photo from the police to clarify things.

This post has been edited by andytw: Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 18:31
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Logician
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 16:55
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You cannot conduct a not guilty defence without attending court. A problem with this offence is that insurance companies penalise you heavily for it because they wonder what other offence you have committed that is so bad you prefer to not identify the driver, so you will not only face 6 points and a large fine now, but increased premiums for the next 5 years.

If you attend court to defend this you may convince the court that you genuinely cannot remember or work out who was driving, but courts are reluctant to accept that, particularly as it would mean that no one is punished for the speeding when it is clear that one of you did. The CPs would prefer to get a speeding conviction so are always willing to do the deal.


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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 6 Mar 2018 - 18:48
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If you genuinely think it is 50/50 is there not one of you with a heavier right foot who is more likely to accelerate before the end of the limit? Bear in mind 36mph is roughly 38mph on your speedo because they over read.

You are looking for the most likely driver, not absolute certainty. If the most likely driver happens to be you then it enables the plea bargain described above.
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Redivi
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 08:56
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Yet another basically law-abiding citizen making the discovery that trying to give an honest reply turns £100, zero points and a half day course into £500, six points, a day in court and insurance problems for years

I think the OP has a chance of a successful defence

Two equally likely drivers
No reason to remember a particular journey made every day
Absolutely nothing to gain from the failure
The police behaviour

The driver might not have been identifiable to the safety camera team but, if the camera was on the opposite side of the road it would have shown part of him/her
Most retired couples would have had no difficulty spotting something - clothing, build, posture - to identify which of them it was

The Op still had another two weeks to provide the driver's name
Instead of sending the photo to assist him he was told to request the court hearing that he promptly did, unaware of the potential consequences
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Stoofa
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 10:23
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 08:56) *
Yet another basically law-abiding citizen


Well quite obviously one of them wasn't.
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notmeatloaf
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 10:45
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 08:56) *
Yet another basically law-abiding citizen making the discovery that trying to give an honest reply turns £100, zero points and a half day course into £500, six points, a day in court and insurance problems for years

If the OP did give an honest reply AND exercised reasonable diligence in trying to ascertain the driver then they have a defence and they will be found not guilty.

If the OP realises that he didn't exercise reasonable diligence and was the driver they still have the opportunity to take the bullet and still potentially get a similar fine and points to the original FPN.

If your argument is with the interpretation of "reasonable diligence", well there is now enough case law and resources online that people can "run" their defence first before even replying to the FPN.

To me the system works in it's own way. I don't think it is realistic for the police to simply reply to an equivocal S172 "Oh well, you tried, we'll forget about it this time". They are probably correct to refer the case to court albeit with the more onerous system that entails.
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mazzer
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 11:11
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If this was a question of ticking a "I don't know which of us was driving" box and that was taken on face value, I'm afraid the vast majority would tick that box.

If you honestly don't know who was driving, have your day in Court and convince them of that.
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Jlc
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 11:49
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QUOTE (mazzer @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 11:11) *
If you honestly don't know who was driving, have your day in Court and convince them of that.

And although it's anecdotally a high hurdle we do have recent cases on here where the bench has accepted it.

Trouble is the potential impact is far far higher than the underlying charge.


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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andytw
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25
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Thanks all, still following the advice.
Really was resigned to the police sending a picture and one of us saying 'its a fair cop'.
Quite surprised they just had the back of the vehicle.
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peterguk
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:40
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QUOTE (andytw @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25) *
Quite surprised they just had the back of the vehicle.


Why? I suspect at least 3/4 of all speed cameras take pictures from the rear. Remember, their purpose is to identify the vehicle, not the driver.


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andytw
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:20
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:40) *
QUOTE (andytw @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25) *
Quite surprised they just had the back of the vehicle.


Why? I suspect at least 3/4 of all speed cameras take pictures from the rear. Remember, their purpose is to identify the vehicle, not the driver.


Aha OK. Hadn't thought about it. It was this one that threw me as it parks up so the operator is on the side of and facing traffic coming into the limit.

This post has been edited by andytw: Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:22
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The Rookie
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:32
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But the camera rarely (if ever) points out the front of the van, it’s almost always out the side or rear....


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

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Logician
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:49
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QUOTE (andytw @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25) *
Thanks all, still following the advice.


Are you? The advice is to decide which one of you was more likely to have been speeding and proceed on that basis, not to try to defend being unable to identify the driver. If it was you that is more likely to have been the driver, then you have the chance to do the deal described and be sentenced just for the speeding.



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mazzer
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:56
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QUOTE (Logician @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:49) *
QUOTE (andytw @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25) *
Thanks all, still following the advice.


Are you? The advice is to decide which one of you was more likely to have been speeding and proceed on that basis, not to try to defend being unable to identify the driver. If it was you that is more likely to have been the driver, then you have the chance to do the deal described and be sentenced just for the speeding.


That's your advice, not the advice of everyone here.
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Fredd
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 15:34
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QUOTE (mazzer @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:56) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 14:49) *
QUOTE (andytw @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 13:25) *
Thanks all, still following the advice.


Are you? The advice is to decide which one of you was more likely to have been speeding and proceed on that basis, not to try to defend being unable to identify the driver. If it was you that is more likely to have been the driver, then you have the chance to do the deal described and be sentenced just for the speeding.


That's your advice, not the advice of everyone here.

Frankly I wish people would restrict themselves to advising what the options, consequences and chances of success are, rather than trying to persuade people to follow what they think would be the best course of action for them.


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southpaw82
post Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 19:09
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QUOTE (Fredd @ Wed, 7 Mar 2018 - 15:34) *
Frankly I wish people would restrict themselves to advising what the options, consequences and chances of success are, rather than trying to persuade people to follow what they think would be the best course of action for them.

+1


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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