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Nirurin
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - October 2011
Date of the NIP: - 2 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 5 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - Leisure Centre Car Park, Station Road
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
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? -
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 - When I finished work last week, and I was pulling out of my parking space, I did not realise the car parked in a space behind me (at right-angles to the space i was reversing out of) had its tow-hitch protruding behind me.
This meant that as I reversed, my bumper scraped the tow hitch, causing my bumper to be scraped.
I got out and checked, pushing my bumper back into position (it was slightly bent, but it is only a plastic bumper nothing soid.), but I could not see any damage to the other car, as it was only the tow hitch that was contacted. Or so I thought at the time. So I simply drove home.

However today I recieved a NIP through the post, my first one ever as I have never been involved in any incidents before. It states that proceedings are contemplated, for an alleged offence of careless/inconsiderate driving.

As I work at the place where the car park was, if the owners had noticed damage then I would have hoped they would simply contact me, as I would never have driven off had I noticed I had done any damage. I did not try to run away from responsibility, as I even mentioned at the time to someone I knew who was walking by that nothing seemed to be damaged, apart from my own scrape.

In hindsight I should have gone back inside to find the owners and explain, but having no experience in this before it did not occur to me that it would be necessary. Obviously I made a mistake in this, but now I am worried that I will get the book thrown at me over a minor incident.

I am also worried about other things I have read, like "failing to report" and "failing to stop". However the NIP only mentions "careless/inconsiderate driving".

I would appreciate any help or advice you can give... if I damage the other car then obviously I would expect my insurance pay out, I am more worried about serious criminal charges sad.gif




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? - Yes
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? - Yes
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 21:47:49 +0000
Logician
Is this a private car park or one open to members of the public?

It seems that very few of these parking scrapes ever actually come to much, anyway.
Nirurin
It is the car park for the leisure centre, so it is for customers... So I guess that means its public? Although only customers are supposed to park there.

I mean in hindsight, I should have stopped and apologised to the owner just in case there was damage I hadnt noticed.. But I dont want to end up with 9 points or losing my licence over a thing like this sad.gif
Logician
Chances are it will be left to the insurance companies to sort out. Do not overlook the possibility that the other owner sees this as an opportunity to get some damage to his car repaired, even though you did not cause it.
Nirurin
Couple questions :
Am I only being considered for the charges on the NIP? As in... it only says inconsiderate driving, and doesn't mention failing to report etc, so does that mean Im not being considered for those charges?

Also, what do you recommend I do now? Simply fill in the form accurately and hope for the best, or write my version of events on the back? Or possibly try and contact the owners of the car to apologise and exchange insurance information?

I literally have no idea what to do, as I have never claimed insurance nor have I had an insurance claim made against me before. Im very worried, I dont want to be dragged into court over something that could/should have been dealt with over the phone between the owner and myself.
BB Law
Nirurin

These situations occur very frequently. I have the following comments, which may assist you -

Fail to stop and Fail to report are usually mentioned on the s.172 notice, the fact they do not appear on yours is a good thing, however, this does not necessarily mean you can't be prosecuted for those offences.

Different police forces deal with these matters in different ways and indeed almost identical cases can be treated differently even if they are being investigated by the same force.

The first thing the police want to do is establish who was driving, which is why they have sent you the form requesting you identify the driver. The law requires you to comply with this request and failure to do so would put you at serious risk of 6 points and a large fine (you would also likely be summoned for the substantive offence/s as well).

Once they know who the driver was the police will usually either -

a) decide to take no further action (sometimes they can be persuaded to do this by the driver agreeing to pay for any damage caused and/or agreeing to complete a Driver Improvement Course)
b) invite you to be interviewed
c) invite a written explanation of what occurred (sometimes with a view to considering a Driver Improvement Course as an alternative to prosecution - you have to be careful if you get an invitation to give a written account)
d) issue a summons via the Magistrates' court

The first step is to identify the driver, thereafter, there is no single broad brush approach to be recommended here and in my experience it is more of an art rather than a science to deal with the situation in a way that achieves the best outcome. Often speaking politely with the police soon after the identity of the driver has been confirmed can achieve a result that all parties involved are happy with, however, you do need to be careful as to what you say because some (certainly not all) police officers will be keen to obtain sufficient evidence to prosecute.

If you do end up being invited for interview it is almost always in your interests to attend. Remember you are entitled to a solicitor (who’s firm holds a legal aid contract) to be present free of charge if the interview takes place at a police station.

Legal aid won’t cover you to employ a solicitor to deal with any preliminary discussions/representations to the police and so you have to decide whether it is worth paying a solicitor to handle that side of things in the hope they can conclude matters to your satisfaction without you needing to attend for interview.

I regularly act for people in your position and of the last 10 cases similar to yours that I have dealt with, only one resulted in prosecution (and that case was discontinued before trial), which gives you an idea of the likely outcome of this case, however, you need to be careful about how you deal with the situation.

BB Law
Nirurin
Thankyou for that BBLaw... I would hope that having a spotless criminal record would work in my favour at this stage!

So I should simply return this S172 with my details and sign it, and then wait for the police to request an interview? I am of course willing to pay for any damages caused, but Im not sure If I should note this on the back of the S172 or just wait to be contacted


edit: Also, do you have any advice on how i should "handle" this? As in... should i just say I stopped, saw no damage to their car, and left believing there to be no reason for further action? The damage to my car seems to have clearly been caused by their tow hitch protruding out, as it has left an obvious scrape line on my bumper.. I can not imagine that this has done any actual damage to their car.
Logician
QUOTE (BB Law @ Fri, 4 Nov 2011 - 22:49) *
..............who’s firm holds a legal aid contract.........

BB Law, I hope you will excuse this comment, but I have notice this quite often when you have posted; that should be "whose".
"who's" would be a short form of "who is"
Nirurin
Well today (saturday) is my first day at work since this happened, so hopefully I will be able to find out a bit more information, like why no-one decided to call me when the owner/witness was contacting the police.
My worry now is that the owner of the car is going to start saying "oh look at all this body damage, clearly thousands of pounds, kick up a fuss and see what I can get" and then im going to be screwed, as I literally have no money.

So yeh im not sure what to expect, all cos someone has a slightly scuffed tow bar. And they call this justice, after when I had a head on collision with a drunk driver a few years ago (and I got their licence number), the police did nothing and I had to pay out of my own pocket for the repairs to my car :/

edit: a picture of the damage to my car, the rear passenger side bumper. As you can see the towbar didnt touch my car until the bumper widened, and I stopped after the scrape got to the wheel arch, and pulled forwards again. (scrape goes from right to left and back to right).
I cant see where else I could have damaged their car, looking at the damage that is on mine. So im confused about why else they would bother calling the police, except for an insurance claim :/
Nirurin
I just had a thought... It says incident in car park at 3, but it only mentions careless driving.. What if this is from something as I was leaving the car park? Member of public seeing me do something? Although I have no memory of anything obvious :/
Can I ask for more details of the incident?

Edit: the envelope that they gave me to return the s172 has "accident" stamped in the front in the corner.. But I don't know if that actually means anything
AFCNEAL
QUOTE (Nirurin @ Sat, 5 Nov 2011 - 04:40) *
I just had a thought... It says incident in car park at 3, but it only mentions careless driving.. What if this is from something as I was leaving the car park? Member of public seeing me do something? Although I have no memory of anything obvious :/
Can I ask for more details of the incident?

Edit: the envelope that they gave me to return the s172 has "accident" stamped in the front in the corner.. But I don't know if that actually means anything



At the mo they are asking who was the keeper at the time - that's all they're after. If you search on here there's a lot of threads that are similar are what seems to follow is a request to attend an interview (think carefully before doing so) or no further action. It seems unlikely there was a second incident on the same day/place that you weren't aware of - or have you forgotten to tell us?

You've not been charged (yet) so there is no point asking for more details as you don't need any to tell 'em who was the keeper!
Aretnap
QUOTE (Nirurin @ Sat, 5 Nov 2011 - 04:40) *
I just had a thought... It says incident in car park at 3, but it only mentions careless driving.. What if this is from something as I was leaving the car park? Member of public seeing me do something? Although I have no memory of anything obvious :/

It's not impossible, but it seems unlikely - you'd have to have been having a very bad day to have committed two (alleged) acts of careless driving in the space of 5 minutes.

Failure to stop/report aren't offences for which a NIP is required, so the fact that they're not mentioned on the NIP doesn't necessarily mean that they can't or won't be pursued.
Nirurin
I just realised I didnt actually link the picture... so here it is:
http://i553.photobucket.com/albums/jj391/d...eludeScrape.jpg

And yeah I obviously was having a bad day... from what you say it seems like they could end up charging me with 3 offences and I'll get up to 9 points and a £5000 fine.. for a scrape that only affected my car, at least as far as I could tell. If I made a mistake, it was an honest one, as I clearly work at that place and had no intention of trying to "make a getaway". But the police dont listen to reason.

Although Im curious, why would it be better to *not* attend an interview? I would have thought that declining an interview would mean they would simply throw the book at me by default?

edit: Im off to work now, just curious, if it turns out that I am able to find out the owners of that car, is it worthwhile to contact them in order to apologise etc? Try to make right, all that kind of thing? Or at this point is that a waste of time
jobo
you seem to have managed to make yourself the victim in this, rather than the poor guy who parked his car up, and got it damaged through no fault of his own

it may be the damage to his car is quite minor but its still damage, and i must say id be peeved if i was him, im still annoyed 3 years later over a 5p sized ding in my door caused by someone who decided it wasnt worth the bother of coming back in to the hotel and leaving their details

as has been outlined above, its unlikely that it will get as far as court if you offer to pay, the police arnt general that interested in throwing the full weight of the law at car park scrapes, we get dozens of these and i can only think of two or three that got to court

the advice about not attending interview, is sometimes right, but in your instance would be fool hardy, particularity as they seem not to be following up the failure to stop element ,paying a solicitor to write to the police offering to make restitution to the other party wouldn't be a bad idea, as the police can they mark it down as '' solved ''if they are busy' An apology and passing of insurance details now is also a good idea, but dont get into any sort of argument about the extent of the damage, leave that to your insurance company, AND have you told the insurance, because you really need to
mrh3369
Agree with Jobo here, you are not the victim and must face the consequences if your own actions. You had certain requirements in law to stop and leave details yet you chose not to. You will if course get good advice here but I'm afraid this is a situation of your own making.
Nirurin
So I should call my insurance now and say that this has happened?

If I get to work and they have a record of the incident I'll call the owner, otherwise I have no way of doing this.

I can definately not afford to get a solicitor to write to the police, i imagine this is hundreds of pounds and I simply do not have it.

I am aware I am not the victim here, but I am also not a malicious party...it was an honest mistake, if I had seen any damage then I would of course have stopped, as it is my workplace and I wouldnt want any hassle there.
crashdetective
QUOTE (Nirurin @ Sat, 5 Nov 2011 - 14:30) *
So I should call my insurance now and say that this has happened?

If I get to work and they have a record of the incident I'll call the owner, otherwise I have no way of doing this.

I can definately not afford to get a solicitor to write to the police, i imagine this is hundreds of pounds and I simply do not have it.

I am aware I am not the victim here, but I am also not a malicious party...it was an honest mistake, if I had seen any damage then I would of course have stopped, as it is my workplace and I wouldnt want any hassle there.


Yes, you should contact your insurance company.
jobo
id think twice about getting someones details out of the accident book, in case you get in trouble with your employer over data protection

its not a case of being malicious, its now about damage control, a letter would be say 80 quid maybe less, but we can probably do one on here for you to send that doesnt make your position worse
Nirurin
OK, I got more of the story at work today.
The owner of the car had come in asking if we had cctv, as someone had crashed into her car, and someone else who had witnessed me do it had taken down my number plate. Noone at work realised it was my car apparently.
The owner did not leave a name or any contact details, but the receptionist on duty says she believed it to be the parent of a childs birthday party that had finished at 3pm.

So Im now considering if I should call that person, and ask if it was her car that was involved in an incident in our car park last week, and if so, apologise for my mistake and explain that I honestly thought I had done no damage to her car. And then obviously give her my insurance details, or make restitution.

If it wasnt her car, then she may at least know who's it was.


edit: also wanted to say, yes this is a situation of my own making, but at the time I did not realise there was any need to do anything if the car was undamaged. I am not an expert on the law, and I have had no experience with incidents like this as Ive never caused any sort of accident before. Now that I know, I would do things differently in future of course.

Also, an extra note from the NIP, it mentions:
Section 3 of the road traffic act 1988
Schedule 2 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

Is this just standard for this?
mrh3369
Be careful about taking numbers from work. You could land yourself in more trouble, the police will no doubt put you in touch in due course or you could contact the police and ask for your details to be passed on.
Nirurin
Yes I was unsure about getting the number through work, however asking the police to pass my details on to the owner is a very good idea thankyou smile.gif if anyone could help me to phrase my letter correctly, so that I can include it with the S172, I would very much appreciate it.

Edit: Have just been in touch with insurance company, given the details of the accident and they will be getting the underwriter to contact me in the next couple of days.
Nirurin
Couple of more questions.. showing how clueless I am.

First off, I am trying to think what to write in my cover letter that I'd include with the S172 form. Im not sure what the best course of action is, wether to simply write that I was unaware of any damage caused at the time, and I would be grateful if the police would pass on my details or put me in touch with the other driver. Or I dont know... some other wording.

Another thing I wanted to check, as far as payment for solicitors costs, I believe my car insurance (highway insurance) says that they cover me for "reasonable legal costs" as standard with my insurance.. is this likely? Or am i misunderstanding

edit: Also, is there any particular type of solicitor I should contact in the initial stages, with regards to contacting the police on my behalf?
jobo
QUOTE (Nirurin @ Sat, 5 Nov 2011 - 23:55) *
Couple of more questions.. showing how clueless I am.

First off, I am trying to think what to write in my cover letter that I'd include with the S172 form. Im not sure what the best course of action is, wether to simply write that I was unaware of any damage caused at the time, and I would be grateful if the police would pass on my details or put me in touch with the other driver. Or I dont know... some other wording.

Another thing I wanted to check, as far as payment for solicitors costs, I believe my car insurance (highway insurance) says that they cover me for "reasonable legal costs" as standard with my insurance.. is this likely? Or am i misunderstanding

edit: Also, is there any particular type of solicitor I should contact in the initial stages, with regards to contacting the police on my behalf?


give BB law a message, he will point you in the right direction of a solicitor and give you an idea of cost re letter

ring the insurance and ask them what it covers, id be surprised if it includes this, but you never know

deiced if your going to right your own letter or pay, then we can design it if its you doing it
Nirurin
thankyou jobo, I will message BBLaw and ask him

A solicitors letter might be the better way to go, though it does feel like im over defending myself.. I kinda feel like a personal letter explaining I made a mistake and to please pass my details to the other party seems more honest, if that makes sense?
However if it is recommended to go through a solicitor, then it is the route I will take, as I am aware the "personal touch" does not carry much weight in the overworked police force as they have a lot to deal with.
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