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jimmy the jock
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - August 2011
Date of the NIP: - 6 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 18 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A40 Ganarew road Ross (LC) EC 32 GANAREW
Was the NIP addressed to you? - No
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - Not known
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? - I am a company director of J and J commercials ltd
How many current points do you have? - 3
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 - After relieving the NIP we sent a letter stating the vehicle is a courtesy vehicle and had no record of the vehicle being out on that particular day .
The police sent us a photo of the back of the car which didn't help with identifying who the driver was. We sent a letter back stating we could not identify the driver and enquired what we could do next. We received a letter stating the matter had now been sent to the magistrates court and we would be summoned to court under section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988
We generally have very good systems and run a fleet of 50 odd vehicles and 5 courtesy vehicles .We get parking tickets and speeding fines regularly which are dealt with routinely . I have been unable to trace the driver on this occasion and am not sure what will happen next .
Will the responsibility ultimately fall on one of the directors to take the responsibility. The NIP came in the LTD company name.
I am not sure of the date we received the initial NIP.


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)? - No
Is the NIP addressed to you personally? - No

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • Do nothing!

    The police are not requesting the information from you, they are requesting it from the person the NIP is addressed to.
    Wait until you receive a NIP addressed to you personally, then come back here.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 10:42:51 +0000
Aretnap
If the NIP was addressed to a limited company it will be the company which is prosecuted under s172, and is liable for any fine. As the company doesn't have a driving licence, nobody gets any points. The maximum fine is £1000. There is provision for directors, managers etc to be personally liable as well, but only if the failure to name the driver was caused by their consent, connivance or neglect.

There's a defence if the company was unable, with reasonable diligence, to identify the driver; however by virtue of subsection 6, to use this defence you also have to show that the failure to keep a record of the driver was reasonable. I think an argument can be made that if you have a system of logging the driver which normally works well, but that it inadvertently failed on this occasion, then that may have been reasonable - after all, no system is perfect. Others may have more direct experience than me.
jimmy the jock
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Fri, 7 Oct 2011 - 12:06) *
If the NIP was addressed to a limited company it will be the company which is prosecuted under s172, and is liable for any fine. As the company doesn't have a driving licence, nobody gets any points. The maximum fine is £1000. There is provision for directors, managers etc to be personally liable as well, but only if the failure to name the driver was caused by their consent, connivance or neglect.

There's a defence if the company was unable, with reasonable diligence, to identify the driver; however by virtue of subsection 6, to use this defence you also have to show that the failure to keep a record of the driver was reasonable. I think an argument can be made that if you have a system of logging the driver which normally works well, but that it inadvertently failed on this occasion, then that may have been reasonable - after all, no system is perfect. Others may have more direct experience than me.


Thanks for that .Does anyone else have any advice or experience regarding this type of ticket to a limited company?
jobo
QUOTE (jimmy the jock @ Mon, 10 Oct 2011 - 10:05) *
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Fri, 7 Oct 2011 - 12:06) *
If the NIP was addressed to a limited company it will be the company which is prosecuted under s172, and is liable for any fine. As the company doesn't have a driving licence, nobody gets any points. The maximum fine is £1000. There is provision for directors, managers etc to be personally liable as well, but only if the failure to name the driver was caused by their consent, connivance or neglect.

There's a defence if the company was unable, with reasonable diligence, to identify the driver; however by virtue of subsection 6, to use this defence you also have to show that the failure to keep a record of the driver was reasonable. I think an argument can be made that if you have a system of logging the driver which normally works well, but that it inadvertently failed on this occasion, then that may have been reasonable - after all, no system is perfect. Others may have more direct experience than me.


Thanks for that .Does anyone else have any advice or experience regarding this type of ticket to a limited company?


what aretrap has said above is exactly true, what points do you want clarification or expansion of ?
martinbiz
Sometimes the wizard can be a bit ambigous in these cases. Do you know if this was the first NIP. Just to clarify your responses to the wizard, the car I assume is a courtesy car operated by your company. You say the nip was not addressed personally to you or the car being registered to you personally, but is it registered directly (not via a lease co) to your company? ie is your company name on the V5?

If so you may have had an argument for a late NIP (after 14 days) unfortunately this would not remove your obligation to name a driver within the 28 days
jimmy the jock
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Fri, 7 Oct 2011 - 11:06) *
If the NIP was addressed to a limited company it will be the company which is prosecuted under s172, and is liable for any fine. As the company doesn't have a driving licence, nobody gets any points. The maximum fine is £1000. There is provision for directors, managers etc to be personally liable as well, but only if the failure to name the driver was caused by their consent, connivance or neglect.

There's a defence if the company was unable, with reasonable diligence, to identify the driver; however by virtue of subsection 6, to use this defence you also have to show that the failure to keep a record of the driver was reasonable. I think an argument can be made that if you have a system of logging the driver which normally works well, but that it inadvertently failed on this occasion, then that may have been reasonable - after all, no system is perfect. Others may have more direct experience than me.


The summons to court has arrived today . We are generally quite stringent on keeping track of our courtesy cars but as you stated on this occasion I am unable to identify the driver .Should I plead guilty, explaining the full circumstances and send a copy of the usual form we use for courtesy cars, plus copies of a dozen or so previous filled forms?
The Rookie
Have you considered pleadning not guilty, if you have a syetm for recording users and someone has somehow bypassed it, then it sounds like you have a viable defence if the 'failure' was deemed reasonable.

Simon
CuriousOrange
There'd need to be an explanation of how the failure may have occurred before it could even be considered whether it was reasonable or not though?

Just saying "nothing's perfect, it must've been one of those things" ought not to get very far, otherwise it could be used in any situation where company records have a convenient (from the prosecution point of view) gap.

AFCNEAL
The main consideration may be to make sure all communication from 'you' is in fact 'for and on behalf of' the company so there's not a subsequent wrangle over the private individual (you) vs the body corporate (the company)? This I suggest needs to be very clear - if you're not the MD or Company Secretary maybe even get one of those two to put their name to any correspondance?

Without giving too much away, do you believe you have a credible rationale for the recording system failing? It will look odd if the only time it's failed is in respect of a speeding ticket?
Pulpstar
Doesn't the company secretary have to respond on behalf of the company ?
AFCNEAL
QUOTE (Pulpstar @ Fri, 10 Feb 2012 - 13:58) *
Doesn't the company secretary have to respond on behalf of the company ?


No - the response would ordinarily come from an 'authorised person' which could be an MD or Company Secretary but in a larger company might 'only' be a fleet manager for example. The suggestion here is simply to keep the person separate from the company.
desktop_demon
As the company representative will probably be asked in court as to what happened on the day with the vehicle in question - it might be worth saying what did happen on the day. How did the vehicle get to be where it was and how was it taken - with permission? Was the company carrying out any business in the area of the alleged offence at the time? In such a way it may be possible to narrow down the drivers identity to a range of options. Was the vehicle fitted with tracking device? Is the company premises covered by CCTV and if so can the recordings be used to identify? Are there any other cameras that might help with identification in the vicinity? A bit late now.... but one never knows.

If it really was a case of "the company has no idea who was driving and the driver log was not filled in" then the court will be minded to convict and fine. For a company not to know where its vehicles are and who was driving is now regarded as VERY bad commercial practice. If a guilty plea is being considered then it might help mitigate the situation if evidence is brought to court that the company is treating this "oversight" seriously and has implemented measures to avoid the situation in the future.

If a not guilty plea is being considered then the company might like to consider using a solicitor - unless the company has someone who can speak eloquently and think logically under pressure. The basis of the defence is:

"he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was."
and
"alleged offender shows that no record was kept of the persons who drove the vehicle and that the failure to keep a record was reasonable."

So apart from not being able to identify the driver, the defendant must be able to show it would not have been possible to do so using reasonable diligence and that it was reasonable not ot have kept a record of that particular vehicle user.

A tough cookie - but who knows there may be a reasonable explanation - although it hasn't been revealed yet. Good luck.
jimmy the jock

Thanks for all the advice. The only defence we have is someone didnt fill out the loan form(Which I accept isn't really a defence). We have changed the way that vehicles are loaned out now and whoever hands the keys over must fill out a loan form or they will be disciplined.
Whatever the court decides there is little I can say that will help our case . I did consider checking the cctv but it only had a 5 day memory,this has now been replaced with a more modern system and there was no tracker fitted.
We have around 400 potential customers that it could have been and I did consider writing to them all .
As the main Director it is ultimately my responsibility for these matters are they likely to prosecute me ?
It is a limited company.
Hotel Oscar 87
If the location is close to your operational base is it feasible that the vehicle was being used by a member of staff picking up a part or road testing it as opposed to a customer?
Logician
They are unlikely to prosecute you individually unless they suspect this was done with your connivence. In any event no one will get points. To minimise the fine (maximum £1000, less discount of up to 33% for G plea) the court should be told in person or by letter that there was a system, which had previously been effective but failed on this occasion so has since been tightened. The assumption will be that the company can pay any fine imposed, so if finances are tight take along the most recent accounts.
jimmy the jock
well I filled in all the forms ,explained we have lots of courtesy vehicles and hire vehicles and it was the first time we couldn't produce a driver .I explained the systems have been improved and a new camera system fitted that records for a month so we were taking our responsibilities seriuosly.

I dont think the judge was very sympathetic ,we had a £720 fine.

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