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markieg
Hello,
We got what seems to be a NIP asking for driver details from Surrey Police. It states driving our car in the "fast lane" of the M25 whilst towing a trailer.

My questions are:

I have enclosed a copy of said letter but it does not say anything about it being a NIP (Notice Of Intended Prosecution), is it one?

The letter is full of mistakes. The spelling of trailer (trailor) is incorrect, the use of the term 'fast lane' is not used by the police or indeed the highway code. In fact, all the lanes are fast when they have traffic flowing on them. I think they should be referring to it as 'outside lane'! The miss-wording and spelling do not really mention any crime!

Their reference number includes the date we travelled (visible as 21/05) but the date mentioned is incorrect (22/05) we were not travelling on this day!

They have asked for details of the driver at 'the date and time specified above' but there is no mention of the time of this offence anywhere on the notice.

They have supplied a postage paid envelope which is addressed to 'Traffic & Process Unit' 'Surrey Police' etc etc. Is this a legit police matter or some private company trying to cash in by making it look legit?

I don't know whether to respond or not! If I do respond, I'm not going to 'furnish' them with any particular driver details because it could have been any of 3 adults (myself included) who were in the car on this (ref) date and I will mention this and the mistakes at the same time, on the reverse (the additional page of this notice) was also not present!

What do we do now? Please help and many thanks.





glasgow_bhoy
I'm not sure on the content of the letter- it doesn't seem the best to me. But others will comment.

What I would say is that you must comply with the S172 request for drivers details. Not giving details as to who was keeping the car on 22/05/13 is likely to lead to a court appearance with 6 points and a mahoosive fine.

Of course, if you wait until 14 days are up before pointing out their mistakes, then they wouldn't be able to issue a revised NIP (Unless there had been an accident).

EDIT again.... 14 days were actually up ages ago, so thats a bit wierd. Have you owned the car long, moved address recently or changed the regi plates of the vehicle recently? Is there any reason you can think of that it would have been hard to trace the car?
markieg
Hi,
Thanks for your response.
We have had the car for years and not changed address for 4 years, so no to your question.

I don't understand how it can have so many glaring errors and be official. Is it indeed even a legal requirement to answer it because of the lack of official s172 headers/footers etc? I have never seen an official s172 or NIP form and feel I could do better making my own using Word!
If it was not for the pre paid envelope addressed to Surrey Police (not p.o. box etc) I would have probably thrown it in the bin..
Transit man
As GB says. The information we need for now is, do you own the vehicle?, if yes, for how long & what is the Docref date on your V5? Have you moved recently? Is the address on the V5 correct?, any general problems with your post?

Answering the above will be a good start. The letter is a S172 so you will have to answer it or risk very nasty points & fines, but the spelling & terminology, whilst irrelevant to any potential prosecution, reeks of amateurism.

Edit:- Your reply beat my post, can you just confirm that your V5 is correct?

Just re read the letter, as you state, there appears to be no time stated for the offence, even though they require to know the driver "at the time & date", therefore it is not beyond the possibilities, that during a 24 hour period the vehicle may have travelled there on numerous occasions with a similar number of drivers. But as they have the date wrong, I would suggest that you could reply that no one was at that spot on that day as the vehicle was at XYZ, others will confirm what you best move legally should be. Strange one this.
markieg
QUOTE (Transit man @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 16:57) *
As GB says. The information we need for now is, do you own the vehicle?, if yes, for how long & what is the Docref date on your V5? Have you moved recently? Is the address on the V5 correct?, any general problems with your post?

Answering the above will be a good start. The letter is a S172 so you will have to answer it or risk very nasty points & fines, but the spelling & terminology, whilst irrelevant to any potential prosecution, reeks of amateurism.

Edit:- Your reply beat my post, can you just confirm that your V5 is correct?

All our held details about the vehicle are correct, original plate, tax reminders, v5 is correct etc. They sent out the letter in good time (11 days I think). I don't understand how this is relevant to the actual letter or what is contains, maybe I'm missing something here.
I will respond to it to comply with s172 and furnish them with details of who was in charge of it whilst it was parked on a campsite 50 miles away from the location specified (it was a trailer tent).

Thanks guys

Edit: the car only travelled once along that road if this helps
McPlod
The offence in question is not one which requires a NIP so forget that as a possible out. You may be able to argue that the details on the 172 request are not sufficient for you to be able to name the driver. Without a time it is possible that more than one person drove that stretch of road on the day in question. I have a recollection that there is case law to the effect that a 172 request must contain sufficient detail re time and location to avoid uncertainty.
Transit man
QUOTE (McPlod @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:12) *
I have a recollection that there is case law to the effect that a 172 request must contain sufficient detail re time and location to avoid uncertainty.

And this S172 fails on so many levels by the look of it.

Out of interest, do you recall using lane 3 when at that spot?
markieg
QUOTE (McPlod @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:12) *
The offence in question is not one which requires a NIP so forget that as a possible out. You may be able to argue that the details on the 172 request are not sufficient for you to be able to name the driver. Without a time it is possible that more than one person drove that stretch of road on the day in question. I have a recollection that there is case law to the effect that a 172 request must contain sufficient detail re time and location to avoid uncertainty.

Hi McPlod,
What does not require a NIP mean? Does it go straight to court?
What they are asking in a very badly written way is who was driving the car on a day when it was parked on a campsite! Their reference number contains the day it travelled that road but their question asks who drove it whilst it was parked up! Even if they published the time we only made the one journey anyhow.

What do I do next? The 28 day required response time runs out this coming week?
What do they do when they receive my information?

Confused


QUOTE (Transit man @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:20) *
QUOTE (McPlod @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:12) *
I have a recollection that there is case law to the effect that a 172 request must contain sufficient detail re time and location to avoid uncertainty.

And this S172 fails on so many levels by the look of it.

Out of interest, do you recall using lane 3 when at that spot?

To be honest, no I don't remember using lane 3. I didn't know it was an offence anyhow lol
sgtdixie
You must reply, no ifs or buts. However you can only reply to the date stated. I would consider it valid to return the s172 request with a letter stating that you cannot identify a driver as only a date is given and on that date the vehicle was at X campsite.

Eventually they will get round to specifying the time and correct date. As no NIP is required and the offence was only a month ago there seems little to be gained in putting things off.

When they do eventually get it right your suggestion of telling them to perm one from 3 will see you summonsed for failing to furnish and will almost certainly lead to 6 points and a £500 fine.

Whilst calling it the fast lane is a nonsense it is often used as an expression as most driver appear to refer to it as this. In fact it's correct title is not outside lane but the number of the lane, normally lane 3.

I would suggest that if you were unaware that you cannot tow a trailer in lane 3 it would explain why you committed the offence. A bit of reading of the highway code beyond what they (don't)call lanes may be in order to prevent further offences.
Transit man
QUOTE (markieg @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:30) *
To be honest, no I don't remember using lane 3. I didn't know it was an offence anyhow lol

......and limited to 60 mph on an M way rolleyes.gif
The Rookie
QUOTE (markieg @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:30) *
What does not require a NIP mean? Does it go straight to court?

Certain offences require a NIP to be issued within 14 days, a failure to do so would provide a defence, as this is not one of those offences then no NIP is required. This has no effect on how they will react/treat you once they have the drivers ID.
markieg
So basically I'm screwed even though the police have completely cocked up their side of the proceedings so far? ohmy.gif

I could have (off topic, I know) done 90mph thru a 20mph school zone at peak time, caught on a gatso and then got a NIP which would then be thrown out due to incompotent technicalities?

What is the penalty of MAYBE towing a trailer tent in lane 3?
mrh3369
The police have not cocked up they just haven't used the preferred wording, you have the option of proving your innocence in court if you so choose but given your ignorance of the law is highly likely that you committed the offence and will be found guilty.
markieg
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 19:27) *
The police have not cocked up they just haven't used the preferred wording, you have the option of proving your innocence in court if you so choose but given your ignorance of the law is highly likely that you committed the offence and will be found guilty.

Well they are asking who was driving the vehicle the day after the MAYBE committed offence took place. I must admit, I tow a trailer once every few years granted and was not aware of the outside lane limitation to doing so. I was probably guilty (I really have no idea).

But I know speeding is also a bigger danger (when used at the wrong time and place) and the laws associated with getting caught doing it, could have been thrown out because of the police cocked up the basics!
norahl
QUOTE (markieg @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 19:46) *
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 19:27) *
The police have not cocked up they just haven't used the preferred wording, you have the option of proving your innocence in court if you so choose but given your ignorance of the law is highly likely that you committed the offence and will be found guilty.

Well they are asking who was driving the vehicle the day after the MAYBE committed offence took place. I must admit, I tow a trailer once every few years granted and was not aware of the outside lane limitation to doing so. I was probably guilty (I really have no idea).

But I know speeding is also a bigger danger (when used at the wrong time and place) and the laws associated with getting caught doing it, could have been thrown out because of the police cocked up the basics!


the police have made a couple of errors and so have you, you are both equal there. now your error is going to be subject to a prosecution, theirs is not.
Transit man
QUOTE (norahl @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 19:55) *
the police have made a couple of errors and so have you, you are both equal there. now your error is going to be subject to a prosecution, theirs is not.

Somewhat harsh, the police have got the date totally wrong & it can be proved by the OP that the vehicle was not present at the given spot on the given day & even if the date had been correct, without a time we are talking about a 24 hour period where any number of drivers could be the culprit.

That to me shows a fairly low level of competence which I must admit IME is a rarity on these matters.

As to the OPs lack of knowledge as to the laws regarding trailers, we can all knock, but how many times on these pages do we see speeders driving vans totally unaware of their lower limits, that of course does not make it acceptable, it just indicates lack of training or regular reading of the Highway Code, I'm not condoning it, but there it is. I see on average 3-4 trailers a week in lane 3 (most at >60), some may not know the law, some may just be ignoring it.

I am interested to know of the evidence collection re this one, if it was a camera van, I would have thought the ticketing office would have been more efficient & error free in the S172, if it was a visual by a traffic car then a stop would probably occurred, unless they were already busy, who knows?
Ruperts Trooper
QUOTE (Transit man @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 18:13) *
QUOTE (markieg @ Sun, 23 Jun 2013 - 17:30) *
To be honest, no I don't remember using lane 3. I didn't know it was an offence anyhow lol

......and limited to 60 mph on an M way rolleyes.gif


For completeness, vehicles towing trailers are limited to 50mph on single carriageway roads and 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways, in both cases unless lower limits apply either to the vehicle (eg LGV) or the road.

Vehicles towing trailers are banned from the outermost lane of motorways with 3 or more travelling lanes (not turn-off lanes) - they aren't banned from lane 2 of 2-lane motorways nor are they banned from the outermost lane of a non-motorway road, regardless of how many lanes.
Pete P
And it doesn't matter what you're towing either, if you ARE towing then you CAN NOT exceed 60mph or use lane 3 of a motorway! As said above on NSL single carriageway the limit is 50mph too
markieg
Hi all,
Just a quick update on this one!

Sent of the S172 and on a covering letter stated the cockups in a nice way and it was impossible to furnish them with the driver id as the car was parked up elsewhere on that date. Received this two page response this morning.

It was an unmarked car with cctv mounted on board!

Many thanks for all who posted, I have certainly learned a lesson about towing trailers.


Logician
A more than reasonable response!
Jlc
QUOTE (markieg @ Thu, 4 Jul 2013 - 12:05) *
Many thanks for all who posted, I have certainly learned a lesson about towing trailers.

The process has served its purpose and all sides are happy... wink.gif

"I hope you are satisfied with my decision...?" - No, please prosecute me instead! laugh.gif
desktop_demon
Its nice to see there are some sensible BiB in action. The letter is quite on point and would seem to be fair in the circumstances. Either way no further action and driver at fault educated as the the offence committed. Well done.

Result! smile.gif
Pete P
Hats off to that officer who replied! You were lucky, the police ****** up and you got off lightly because of it. Well done.
Concrete Jungle
My goodness!!! A rare dash of common sense from the BiB, I would frame that letter and hang it up in a prominent place. ohmy.gif
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