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[NIP Wizard] Speeding - both sides not getting letters!
post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 11:07
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NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - October 2013
Date of the NIP: - 11 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 139 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A23 Broomeed Lance overbridge
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - In the middle of February i get a NIP (dated 24/02/14) saying that a car in my name had been caught exceeding 70mph on a dual carriage way. Offence date was early October.

I write back saying that the letter is months late and that it is not valid. They reply saying I have to reply or I will get a summons. I reply reiterating that the NIP is late, and that I cannot remember who was driving the car in october (it is a shared car, my wife and I both use it). I ask them for a photo. I get the photo. The picture is not clear, but i suspect from the size of the hand that it is my wife. I reply to them saying that i think my wife was driving, but that this only a belief.

Next thing i know I'm getting a summons. I write to them again, resending the last letter, asking why they are prosecuting. They say, the courts will deal with it and that they did not get my last letter.

NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - No
Was there a valid reason for the NIP's late arrival? - Unsure
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - No
Were you driving? - Unsure
Do you know who was driving? - Unsure who was driving

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • As you are not the person keeping the vehicle you are required to provide such information as is in your power to give, especially the name and addresses of the person who was the person keeping the vehicle at the time of the offence (if you know it). You should also tell them the names and addresses of the possible drivers if you know them. You should ask the police to supply a photo.

    Although the reasonable diligence test doesn't apply to you, because you are the Registered Keeper and have a real connection with the vehicle, the police are likely to take a tougher line so you should send a covering letter explaining the circumstances in more detail. You should reply within the 28 day period.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:07:45 +0000
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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 11:07
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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 13:20
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QUOTE (NeverMind @ Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:14) *
QUOTE (scareddriver1101 @ Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 13:50) *
I enclose a covering letter that explains how i came to my conclusion, saying something along the lines of "i'm in my 60's, never had a conviction before. i'm more likely than not sure that it was my wife driving, so i have put her details down."

This is not acceptable as a S172 reply, so you probably would have ended up with a summons whether they received it or not.

huh.gif Thank you for this - although its clearly not what I wanted to hear! I truly thought that I was being "honest" by including an explaining covering letter. I didn't want to be accused of lying.

Is there any form of remiadial action you could think of now, or should i just take it on the chin?
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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:05
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A friend of mine got £400/6 points because he thought he was being honest

The OP seems to have gone out of his way to snatch defeat from out of the jaws of victory
There might be a way out of this however if they say they didn't receive the form at all as distinct from an ambiguous reply

The OP is Not Guilty of the speeding because his wife was driving

I can see a defence to the S172 if he states that he did return the form naming his wife and it wasn't received
It would be helpful if he kept a copy and has evidence that he posted it

He had nothing to gain by failing to return it

If the form had been received, they would have sent an S172 request to his wife
By the time her deadline to reply had passed, the offence would have timed out

As the real penalty of an S172 is the insurance costs, not the fine, he has very little to lose and everything to gain from a Not Guilty plea

This post has been edited by Gan: Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:07
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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:40
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If they received it and took his reply as equivocal they probably wouldn't have sent an S172 to the wife.

He could try and defend it on the basis of returning the form naming his wife if he 'failed to mention' the covering letter, unless they can mind read I doubt they would ask the question. He could avil himself of the reasonable practicable defence in that he couldn't know they didn't get it.

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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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:47
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So the offence is alleged in October and the OP gets a NIP dated late February - approx 3 or so months later. The OP responds saying that he is not sure who was driving 3 months back. The Police (as is so usual) take a tough line and prosecute for speeding and failure to furnish.

What a bunch of fecking morons.

1- there is no evidence that the OP was driving so the speeding charge is a non starter - "unless the OP wishes to convince the bench otherwise"
2- failure to furnish. IMHO this one is worth defending and with good reason.

If I asked someone who was driving a vehicle in their keeping yesterday then I would expect them to remember.
If I asked someone who was driving a vehicle in their keeping last week then I would expect them to remember something.
If I asked someone who was driving a vehicle in their keeping last month then I would expect them to remember important incidents ( eg. "no idea, except Fred crashed the van on Tuesday")
If I asked someone who was driving a vehicle in their keeping 3 months ago then I would expect them to struggle to remember.
If I asked someone who was driving a vehicle in their keeping last year then I would expect them not to remember.

The point being that while things can (or should) be remembered from the immediate past, as time goes on it is not so easy to remember. Some have worse memories that others. Some have no memory at all. Some have diagnosed medical conditions that prevent memory working correctly. And some have the same problem but undiagnosed. At what point is one able to say, "are you joking? That was ages ago..."

I think the response given by the OP, 3 months after the alleged offence is perfectly reasonable. If the police can't make timely inquiries then that is their problem and should be seen as such. It is IMHO unfair to make the OP directly responsible for the untimely inquiries of the executive.

As has been written above - it is a pity the OP did not fully understand the implications of the s.172 request and was sidetracked by the NIP being delivered after 14 days. Was any earlier NIP sent out to the OP (and not received) or to others? It is strange the police should wish to contact the OP after so long - especially without trying others.

So OP, on the facts given, I tempted to advise to go plead not guilty to the lot, and ignore the nay sayers. I accept that the bench is often predisposed to conviction but in this case I believe there is a very reasonable argument for the defence. Of course, "my belief" has little weight in the court's considerations but M'Lord Lokki would most certainly defend such a charge and if convicted, ask for the case to be stated for an appeal to the High Court. The situation described has many similarities to the successful "test drive" s.172 appeal. That was allowed on a similar "how am I supposed the remember after some months" argument. While not exactly the same situation - there is the beginnings of a "too long ago" defence there.

When your life finally flashes in front of you - let's hope there's something worth watching.
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post Tue, 5 Aug 2014 - 14:52
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The OP's biggest problem defending will be the time line.
The prosecution will say a 1st NIP/172 was sent and ignored. They then sent a reminder to which the OP replied saying it was out of time and didn't name the driver, they then stated he must reply or be summonsed, the OP again replied it was out of time and that he didn't know who the driver was and asked for a photo. They send a photo and never hear anything else.
The question a bench will ask themselves is does this sound like someone who was cooperating and who did reply and it got lost, or does it sound more like someone trying every dodge to avoid getting points.
Objectively the latter looks more realistic than the former and that is the OP's problem.
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post Wed, 6 Aug 2014 - 13:17
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Thank you very much everyone for all your help. I think i might flip the guilty/not guilty coin and see what come out..... ohmy.gif
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post Wed, 6 Aug 2014 - 13:46
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I think your chances of 'winning' are less than 50/50. But you never know...

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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post Wed, 6 Aug 2014 - 14:08
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Plead NG, let the trial start, and half way through ask for a quiet word with the Mags. Offer them a few hundered quid to drop all charges and let you go free character intact. Any problems, give Bernie a call. biggrin.gif

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post Thu, 7 Aug 2014 - 13:15
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Reading between the lines of what little the OP has told us (not always the best way to address court proceedings), it seems that he is probably shot himself in the foot, but might only lose a couple of toes.

The law regarding s. 172 requirements is fairly simple, but does not seem to have been explained properly so far in this thread.

(As has already been explained) the '14 day rule' only strictly applies to the substantive motoring offence (speeding in this case). If it could be proven that the police sent an s. 172 requirement knowing full well that there could be no conviction for the substantive offence, it might be argued that any prosecution for failing to comply with the requirement would be an abuse of process, but if a NIP was sent in good time the 14 day rule will not help you.

This is where you have probably shot yourself in the foot - if you are unable to name the driver within the 28 days beginning with the date of service of the notice, if so required by or on behalf of the Chief Officer of Police you must provide such information that is in your power to give and might lead to the identification of the driver (Flegg), unless you can show that it was not reasonably practicable to provide that information within the 28 days and that you provided it as soon as was reasonably practicable afterwards. That would not be the end of the matter - you would still need to be able to show that you did not know who was driving and could not with reasonable diligence determine who was driving, but if you had not provided the information that was in your power to give... then you would seem to be sunk unless the prosecution case has some fatal flaw or you do a deal.

You have not shown us the s. 172 requirement, or told us exactly what it says, but if it contained an alternative requirement, and if you did provide the details of the possible drivers within the 28 days, subject to flaws and deals it would seem that you have no defence.

You say that they claim not to have received your letter. What exactly does the witness statement say about communications sent and received?

What is/are the date(s) of offence for the s. 172(3) charge?

Dual charging often enables the accused to do a deal with the prosecutor to plead guilty to the speeding in return for dropping the s. 172. If you know that you were not driving, that would arguably constitute perverting the course of justice. If you believe that you may have been driving (or even are certain that you were, but you'd rather not tell anyone) then it would not. Ideally, you would have a quiet word with the prosecutor outside of the courtroom, or with the bench absent (your first point of contact would invariably be the usher outside of the courtroom), but when the court are steamrollering through a large number of pleas that might not be possible - in which case it might be prudent to ask the usher to pass a note to the prosecutor asking if he would be willing to drop the s. 172 if you plead guilty to the speeding.


If you're going to try to contradict me, please at least try to get your facts straight.
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