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waldridgekaiser
Hi folks,
please help!

Firstly, I will copy and scan the NiP tomorrow at work.

Secondly, I can say as an absolute fact that I was not the driver on the day in question.

An NiP arrived at work today. I am the acting headteacher, my predecessor retired at Easter. We have four minibuses. I instructed our former school business manager in May to update at the V5s into my name. She retired at the end of term in July.

Three of the four were updated, but not in my name, into the school name. I found this odd, I thought a person had to be the keeper, but clearly I was wrong. Everyday is a school day!

The fourth wasn't updated and this is the vehicle in question.

The NiP relating to that vehicle arrived today (17/10/17) in the name of the previous Head, from a date in July 2017. I thought this would be a cut and dry matter- timed out. However, another business will hold the V5 until December 2017, so that explains why the V5 has been so delayed and the police force will no doubt argue that it was a reasonable time-frame. Am I right in thinking this?

The date in question was outside of term time. The buses are quite often borrowed by other community organisations or groups, or my staff members, especially during the Summer months.

We have no record of who used the bus on the day in question- I feel that it would therefore be reasonable to request a photograph in order to try and identify the driver. Would the police see it this way also? I'd hope so as I genuinely want to resolve this.

If it is a member of my staff team caught by Truvelo, it will be dead easy.

If it is a member of another agency, I will ask around my staff and hopefully ID the correct driver.

What if it is a Gatso photo of the back of the minibus? How will police respond if we can't name the driver?

I was head teacher at the time of the offence, but the previous head is named on the V5.
Do I investigate and ask him to sign it?
Do I write back and ask for a new NiP in my name?
If we can't name the driver, will we (me or the ex-head) be held liable?


Any advice is warmly accepted.
Jlc
Even if the NIP had 'timed out' (this is 6 months from the date of the offence), the obligation to name the driver remains. (I presume you're talking about the 14 days requirement though?) It's not quite clear about the v5 scenario and the 'other business' but it's not the priority at the moment.

Yes, requesting a photo is 'reasonable' but they rarely actually assist in identifying the driver - nor are they intended to. They are to identify the vehicle and the offence only - there's no magic get out if it's the rear of the vehicle. They may supply one but it does not stop the 28 day clock to respond.

Is the address of the NIP in the 'company' address? (Company as being the school? - 'body corporate')
waldridgekaiser
Hi Jlc,
thank you for the feedback- it is most welcome, not that I fully understand it all. I was talking about the 14 day requirement, clearly I have not understood that previously.

The address of the NiP is indeed the school address- the school is named in the address. I hope that if a photo is provided that it identifies somebody readily and we can all move on quickly. As an Acting Head I could really do without any distractions like this.
cabbyman
I have previously asked for photos 'to help identify the driver' and my mug has been very clear. Certainly it's a request you should make. You should also ask every one/organisation for a note of when they were driving the vehicle. Hopefully, the answer will come from that. I believe there is a defence available where you can prove that you have gone above and beyond what is reasonable to identify the driver but still failed.
andy_foster
Having the V5C for a pool vehicle registered in your own name is generally a bad idea - if you can't name the driver, you personally face getting the 6 points.
AIUI, the registered keeper must be a person, but not necessarily a 'natural person' - in other words it must be either what normal people would call a person (flesh and blood), or a legal person (a company).

As it stands, the previous head has had a requirement under s. 172 RTA 1988 served at his last known address. He has an obligation to provide certain information, or face 6 points and a large fine. As he was not the person keeping the vehicle, his obligation is to provide any information that is in his power to give and that might lead to the identification of the driver.

What is the status of the school? Is it a legal entity?

@JLC, if the NIP is addressed to the previous head by name, I struggle to see how the 'body corporate' issue arises (unless the school is a company and is nominated as current keeper in response to this NIP, in which case the address on this NIP is irrelevant).

Subject to certain statutory exceptions (which do not appear to be relevant to this case), the driver cannot be convicted unless a NIP was served on the driver or RK within 14 days of the date of the offence. If some other company is named on the V5C, they will be the RK. If a NIP was served on them within the 14 days, that requirement has been satisfied. There is no requirement to serve subsequent NIPs, and consequently no requirement to do so within any given timescale. As a matter of administrative convenience, NIPs almost invariably incorporate s. 172 requirements, and the same combined notice is used for every link in the chain.
waldridgekaiser
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:15) *
Having the V5C for a pool vehicle registered in your own name is generally a bad idea - if you can't name the driver, you personally face getting the 6 points. I'll avoid that then!
AIUI, the registered keeper must be a person, but not necessarily a 'natural person' - in other words it must be either what normal people would call a person (flesh and blood), or a legal person (a company).

As it stands, the previous head has had a requirement under s. 172 RTA 1988 served at his last known address. He has an obligation to provide certain information, or face 6 points and a large fine. As he was not the person keeping the vehicle, his obligation is to provide any information that is in his power to give and that might lead to the identification of the driver. Is this the case even though he had retired at the time of the offence?

What is the status of the school? Is it a legal entity? The school is a legal entity as far as I am aware- it is part of a local authority maintained learning trust.

@JLC, if the NIP is addressed to the previous head by name, I struggle to see how the 'body corporate' issue arises (unless the school is a company and is nominated as current keeper in response to this NIP, in which case the address on this NIP is irrelevant). The paperwork is addressed to him, but I do not know if he is actually named on the V5...


Thank you!

QUOTE (cabbyman @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:13) *
I have previously asked for photos 'to help identify the driver' and my mug has been very clear. Certainly it's a request you should make. You should also ask every one/organisation for a note of when they were driving the vehicle. Hopefully, the answer will come from that. I believe there is a defence available where you can prove that you have gone above and beyond what is reasonable to identify the driver but still failed.


Thanks, I'd prefer to ID the driver, pass their details on and end the episode. It looks like I have a fair bit of work to do though...
Jlc
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:21) *
@JLC, if the NIP is addressed to the previous head by name, I struggle to see how the 'body corporate' issue arises (unless the school is a company and is nominated as current keeper in response to this NIP, in which case the address on this NIP is irrelevant).

Just trying to establish the chain of nomination... Is the address obviously a school? e.g. Joe Bloggs / Barney's Grammar School / Sometown.

It appears that a system of recording the driver (a 'log') would be sensible.
waldridgekaiser
QUOTE (Jlc @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:33) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:21) *
@JLC, if the NIP is addressed to the previous head by name, I struggle to see how the 'body corporate' issue arises (unless the school is a company and is nominated as current keeper in response to this NIP, in which case the address on this NIP is irrelevant).

Just trying to establish the chain of nomination... Is the address obviously a school? e.g. Joe Bloggs / Barney's Grammar School / Sometown.

It appears that a system of recording the driver (a 'log') would be sensible.


We have a log, which is strongly enforced, certainly during term time. Nobody was employed in the office on the day in question and we have no requests recorded in last academic year's diary for that day.
There should be an entry. But there is not.
NeverMind
QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 19:05) *
Three of the four were updated, but not in my name, into the school name. I found this odd, I thought a person had to be the keeper, but clearly I was wrong.


As an aside, make sure they are still taxed, as a change of keeper will usually cancel the VED.

QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 19:05) *
Everyday is a school day!


No. Everyday is an adjective. Every day is a school day. What sort of teacher are you? wink.gif
waldridgekaiser
QUOTE (NeverMind @ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 - 12:29) *
QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 19:05) *
Three of the four were updated, but not in my name, into the school name. I found this odd, I thought a person had to be the keeper, but clearly I was wrong.


As an aside, make sure they are still taxed, as a change of keeper will usually cancel the VED.

QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 19:05) *
Everyday is a school day!


No. Everyday is an adjective. Every day is a school day. What sort of teacher are you? wink.gif


A bad one, which is why I'm now acting head!

To conclude the thread, our school operational and strategic manager contacted the force in question, they were willing to provide images and the images quite clearly identified a member of our staff team.

I spoke to that colleague today and he was open enough to accept responsibility for the NiP.

Common sense all round, I hope he gets the option of a speed awareness course, but that is now beyond my control.

Thank you to everyone for their advice and guidance. I have gained a lot from this.
The Rookie
If the speed alleged is within +10%+9mph of the limit, an awareness course is likely to be offered, but offers are usually only made up to 4 months after the date of the alleged offence so it may be worth everyone getting a wriggle on.
TheDisapprovingBrit
QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:26) *
Thanks, I'd prefer to ID the driver, pass their details on and end the episode. It looks like I have a fair bit of work to do though...


Right now, there is no request in your name, so your only options are to give the s.172 to the previous head, or to return it uncompleted with a cover letter providing the details of the previous head. You could include a note in your cover letter that the School is responsible for providing this information rather than the individual named on the request, but you can't complete it for him.

If you're trying to protect the previous head, you should also carry out your due diligence to try and identify the driver yourself. The police will be well aware that they only have 6 months from the date of the original offence to lay papers for the speeding offence, and if they feel they're getting the run around they're not going to want many more nominations. Nominations from the old head, to the school, to the possible community group that borrowed the van, to the actual driver will likely result in the old head being prosecuted for failure to furnish/speeding. If you can track the driver down with a couple of phone calls so the old head can nominate them directly, that will ease the process for everybody. You should also document all your enquiries in case you can't identify the driver and need to assist the old head with defending a Failure to Furnish charge.

Also, as others have pointed out, if you're personally named you're also at risk of being on the hook for the 6 points, so you want to avoid that - the old head should nominate the school rather than you if you can't find the actual driver in the time allowed.
Jlc
QUOTE (TheDisapprovingBrit @ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 10:19) *
QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:26) *
Thanks, I'd prefer to ID the driver, pass their details on and end the episode. It looks like I have a fair bit of work to do though...


Right now...

Do keep up at the back: wink.gif

QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 00:01) *
To conclude the thread, our school operational and strategic manager contacted the force in question, they were willing to provide images and the images quite clearly identified a member of our staff team.

I spoke to that colleague today and he was open enough to accept responsibility for the NiP.

waldridgekaiser
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 08:56) *
If the speed alleged is within +10%+9mph of the limit, an awareness course is likely to be offered, but offers are usually only made up to 4 months after the date of the alleged offence so it may be worth everyone getting a wriggle on.


We have turned around the initial approach to us in four days. The colleague who was identified is a genuine person I hope he gets the chance.

QUOTE (TheDisapprovingBrit @ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 10:19) *
QUOTE (waldridgekaiser @ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 - 20:26) *
Thanks, I'd prefer to ID the driver, pass their details on and end the episode. It looks like I have a fair bit of work to do though...


Right now, there is no request in your name, so your only options are to give the s.172 to the previous head, or to return it uncompleted with a cover letter providing the details of the previous head. You could include a note in your cover letter that the School is responsible for providing this information rather than the individual named on the request, but you can't complete it for him.

If you're trying to protect the previous head, you should also carry out your due diligence to try and identify the driver yourself. The police will be well aware that they only have 6 months from the date of the original offence to lay papers for the speeding offence, and if they feel they're getting the run around they're not going to want many more nominations. Nominations from the old head, to the school, to the possible community group that borrowed the van, to the actual driver will likely result in the old head being prosecuted for failure to furnish/speeding. If you can track the driver down with a couple of phone calls so the old head can nominate them directly, that will ease the process for everybody. You should also document all your enquiries in case you can't identify the driver and need to assist the old head with defending a Failure to Furnish charge.

Also, as others have pointed out, if you're personally named you're also at risk of being on the hook for the 6 points, so you want to avoid that - the old head should nominate the school rather than you if you can't find the actual driver in the time allowed.


Thank you for such a cohesive and informative post. I knew the previous head wasn't responsible I knew he was in Germany at the time of the offence, so protecting him was never an issue. Our due diligence has identified a member of our team- which simplifies things hugely.
What I have learned is that having my name on the V5s for the four buses exposes me to an unfair risk of points that I'm not willing to take.

JP1978
If not already in place, it shows that you need a robust method of recording who is driving the vehicle at all times, or at least whom is signing the vehicle out on each day and they are then responsible for recording any change of driver while in their care - in and out of term time.

Speak to the local authority and see if they have any procedures in place that you could duplicate

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