If the driver of a vehicle is alleged to have committed a road traffic offence but the vehicle has not been stopped at the time of that offence, for example because it is a speeding or traffic light offence which has been caught on camera – then the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).
The NIP must be sent within 14 days of the date upon which the offence took place and requires the registered keeper to help identify the driver of the vehicle at time the offence took place. You will have 28 days in which to respond to the notice or to challenge the notice if it should not have been served upon you. If you are the registered keeper of that vehicle and you fail to provide this information within 28 days then you may be prosecuted for failure to furnish information under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and if convicted could be fined up to £1,000 and have 6 penalty points on your licence.
It is vital that if you have received a NIP that you contact keepmedriving as a matter of urgency and before you return the notice so that we can advise you as to how to respond to the notice and as to the options which are open to you. This is a complicated area of the law and it might not be a straight forward issue as to whether you are the keeper of the vehicle.
You may not be sure who was driving the car at the relevant time – especially if a number of people have access to the car, and the response you give could dictate how the matter proceeds. You may then, for example, have a defence if you can establish that you acted with “reasonable diligence” to ascertain who the driver was, which may involve, for example, asking for copies of any photographs from the speed or traffic light cameras to help you to identify the driver. If the matter proceeds to court you may be called upon to give further evidence of the steps you have taken to ascertain the identity of the driver.
You should also bear in mind that the court also has a discretionary powers to disqualify for this offence, although fortunately this is a power which is seldom used.
If you are the owner of a company then there are other factors which you have to take account of. For example, there is a duty upon you to keep a record of who was driving a company vehicle at any particular time. If you have not kept such a log then you will need to contact us as a matter of urgency in order that we can help you to minimise the penalties arising from that also. Remember it is up to the police or the Crown Prosecution Service to prove their case and you should not simply accept the position.
If you have been charged with failing to provide information then please contact keepmedriving either by completing the appropriate online information form which you will find in the Getting Help section, by requesting a free call-back using the free, no-obligation call-back form to the right or by phoning us during office hours on 084 4804 4804