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jamie_fixit
Moved this from Judicial Process as just realised I posted in wrong place. Sorry!

Hi there,

Could dearly use some advice.

Car is registered in my name. Either me or my wife (possibly either of our sisters also) got 2 tickets in the same place from a camera on 8th and 9th Nov 2004. No-one was aware of being flashed at the time. Had just moved house and took while for NIP's dated 15th & 17th Nov 04 to get to us. Finally by the 5th Dec or thereabouts.

Confused by forms, so put my name in driver box but did not sign as I thought this would make it legal. THere isn't a box for 'I'm not sure' and they say they won't enter into correspondence.

They wrote back saying these are evidence and offering the tickets, which I really wish I'd taken now as it would have been a lot easier than the worry of this.

I wrote back to them with the following:

>>>>
18th Dec 2004

Dear Sir/Madam,

With reference to the two attached fixed penalty notices I am uncertain how to proceed as I am not sure whether it was my wife or myself who was driving in both cases, it could have been either as we take it in turns depending on how the mood takes us.

I did not get the notices until recently because we have moved and I had not been collecting mail from the old address regularly. My change of address details to the DVLA must have crossed in the post with the penalty notices, so the notices went to the old address.

The result is that we were not aware of the tickets until just now when I returned the forms to you. Neither of us can remember who was driving on the particular days in question and neither of us can remember the ‘flash’ going off behind us.

I put my driver details in the box because there is not an option for the above circumstances and the letter says I have to put something. I did not sign the forms because I was worried that this would then make it legal and a lie, plus there is a thing on the letter saying you will not correspond at that stage but that I have to answer.

I’m not sure what to do, whether I should put my name on the new forms or not. Please could you advise what the best course of action is.

Thanks and sorry for the confusion,
<<<

- 20th January got 2 letters saying details have been passed to Traffic Prosecutions Unit.

- Today 7th May 05 got 2 summons Dated 05/04/05 summoning me on 9th June to answer on failing to give name and the speeding tickets for both.

- In addition there is a reply form asking if I could accept or refuse the witness statements which must be returned in 7 days. I'm not sure about this as one of them says that I was the driver, which we have not ascertained.

Obviously I'm more than a little worried about this. Can anyone help me with what the next thing is I should do?



Thanks, Jamie.
jamie_fixit
Oops,

One other thing I haveforgotten to mention is that I requested photos' shortly after the first letter and offered further explanation about how confusing the period of time aroudn the alleged offenses was, but I never got anything back.

I was going to write again to see if they would release the photos to me today, but I thought I'd check in case anyone says no...

Cheers, Jamie
Lance
Your letter, especially if you did it without advice, is excellent and will be a very strong defence. It is strange that you did not get a reply to it. The police were a long way from the 6 month limits to lay papers for prosecution.

The good news is that the unsigned form is NOT evidence that you were the driver. So the speeding charge should fail. They may be proposing to do some sort of plea bargain e.g. accept the speeding and we will drop the S172. But I think you have a good chance of getting neither.

The good news from S172 is that there is a statutory defence of not knowing who the driver was after using "reasonable diligence" to find out. This can include checking credit card receipts, checking diaries, revisiting the scene, taking photos of the scene to jog memories, asking for cctv footage etc. If you can bring any evidence e.g. photos to court to show this, so much the better. And you letter requesting the photos. Have a look at the "unsure of the driver" thread in the "read this first" forum.

It seems to me that you have acted honestly and straightforwardly, and if you tell your story in the same vein you should not be convicted.
jamie_fixit
Thanks for that, it's comforting to know that I have not done anything stupid... With that in mind I enclose the letter I'm about to send, but again any advice on it would be helpful. I'll be sending it tomorrow unless I hear alarm or protest here first!

>>>
Dear Sir/Madam,

With reference to the two above case numbers we are still at a loss to resolve the issues as we still have not had any response over the request for photo’s in my letter to Dorset Magistrates Court on 2nd January. Since then I have waited to no avail and because I have heard nothing for four months and the infringements were quite close to the legal limits I assumed that the matters had been dropped, otherwise I would have pursued the photo’s more vigorously.

Now that I have received the summons’ we have been over it all again here and I’m writing again in the hope that you might be able to provide us with access to them as it is the only thing that we have left that I believe might help us identify who was driving in each case.

To reiterate, the frequency of our journeys along that stretch of the Wessex Way was huge around that time, often several times a day and either my wife or myself could have been driving the Peugeot, the same way that either of us could have been driving our truck, possibly even close behind one or the other on our way to different destinations. In addition, both of our sisters were visiting to help with the renovations around that time and they also used the car for errands to the various DIY etc places on our behalf. We were doing very long days, 7 days a week with lots of tradesmen on site needing supplies and we were running around frantically getting supplies.

We have been through it with a fine tooth comb and looked through whatever paperwork we have but we were using cash almost exclusively to purchase things to keep an eye on spending and I had no reason to keep receipts. We have talked with our sisters and asked them whether they have remembered any flashes or who was driving what on the dates and times in question, but nothing helpful has come up in the interim.

Our last resort really is the photographic evidence. We have done everything in our power to help identify who the driver was at the time of each alleged offence as I’m aware I must do under Section 172 or the Road Traffic Act, with the exception of seeing the photo’s which is not possible unless we are given access to them, so without them it is not possible to enter an honest plea to any of the charges.

If you would be kind enough to assist me in this matter by acknowledging the request and letting me know what if anything you are able to do, I would much appreciate it and we will do our utmost to assist in resolving the issue.

Yours sincerely,
<<<

Cheers, Jamie.
Lance
In my opinion, now that you have reached the summons stage, the time for this kind of letter is past. This is likely only to harm your defence, if anything.
monoi
I feel like I am reading my own case.

I agree with Lance that your last letter is of not much use.

What else did you send apart from the 1st letter ? Was it after the 20th january correspondence ?

Your 1st letter clearly states that it was either you or your wife. I am surprised they did not send an NIP to her, or anything else to you.

Maybe you should have stated clearly the names and addresses of the possible drivers (ie you and your wife), but you are not a lawyer and you did your best at the time.

In any case, you clearly do not remember who was driving for several good reasons: NIP arrived late, hectic time.

Again, exactly like me.

If I were you, I would not do anything more. You asked for pictures, you clearly stated who the possible drivers were, you have good reasons not to remember. The police did not do its job.

You will probably have your day in court, they will probably offer to drop the charges against one of you in exchange for the other to plead guilty, and once you refuse, you and your wife will be up for s172 failing to furnish, and the speeding will be dropped.

You will probably be cross examined, and if you stick to your story and tell the truth, you should be fine. The prosecution will have to prove that you exercised reasonable diligence, not you.

Stick to your guns, dont give in.

Monoi
jamie_fixit
Hiya,

looking back and looking at cases up here I am suspicious that my second letter (sent 2nd January) was either deliberately ignored or didn't get there as I heard nothing back until the 20th Jan when they sent the intent to refer to CPS letters. My second letter did explain the circumstances a little more fully.

I would still like to see the photo's as it may be resolved this way, does that make sense or do you think I should leave it until the day.

Also, I'm assuming I need to fill out the forms stating I'm innocent and return them anyway and not object to any of the witness statements.

Also, Also a small technicality. In the witness statement for one of the NIP's they have missed out the flat number in the statement saying that it was sent to Flat <no flat number shown> 6 Blah Bah Rd, etc. etc. The other one does have the flat number.

Cheers for all the help so far.


J.
jamie_fixit
I do want to illustrate and ensure that I am doing my utmost to comply with the S172 so I wondered if the following might help in case the other letter did end up behind the radiator or something. Or would there be any harm sending it again?

This is the unanswered one of the 2nd Jan.

>>>
Dear Sir/Madam,

With further reference to the two above fixed penalty notices we wondered if seeing the photographic evidence from the alleged offenses might help identify who was driving in each case.

We are requesting this because after much discussion and investigation around the dates in question we cannot ascertain who was driving at the time because of the somewhat manic schedule we were keeping. So the matter is complicated not only by the time it has taken to get the notices but also because during that period we were traveling on the Wessex Way several times a day to get to various DIY shops due to us working intensively at renovating 3 flats against a hard deadline when tenants were due to move in, 14 hour plus days, 7 days a week.

During that period both my wife’s and my own sisters visited and helped us with the work and on occasion used the car to get supplies for us also. This also muddies the waters somewhat so I’m hoping the photographic evidence might help.
<<<

So I was thinking of a letter like so...

>>>
Dear Sir/Madam,

With reference to the two above case numbers we are still at a loss to resolve the issues of drivers because of all the reasons mentioned previously. Also as previously mentioned, the only thing which we believe might help indicate who was driving is the photographic evidence. I have still had no response on my request for photographic evidence on the 2nd January. If this could be provided we might be able to make a more accurate and informed plea based on it’s contents.
<<<

Any thoughts on these?

CHeers, J.
monoi
Do you mean that you did not send the 2nd letter registered or with a proof of posting ?
jamie_fixit
Naive perhaps, but it didn't occur to me to. The next thing I heard from them was the notice of referal to CPS so I thought that was their response. On reflection and subsequently looking at this forum however...

Ultimately I have never recieved a specific reply to the 2nd letter and request for photo's. Again any advice regarding the next action on my part would be welcome.

Thanks, Jamie.
jamie_fixit
I'm up this thursday at the Magistrates Court any words of advice given the above?

THe only thing I am uncertain of is that I put my driver number in the original NIP's but did not sign or date them, as a result of my confusion over the details. I was wondering if there is any technicality that makes me vulnerable on that front that I need to be prepared for?

Thanks, J.
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