Failing To Name Driver
Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 gives the police a power to demand information from you relating to the identity of a driver. If you are the keeper of a motor vehicle suspected to have been involved in an offence, e.g. speeding, you may find yourself receiving one of these notices in the post. Failure to respond, or failure to provide the details requested (if they were in your power to give), is an offence punishable with a fine and 6 penalty points. So, you are likely to be punished more harshly than the driver of the car would have been for the original offence.
The law in relation to this offence is not straight-forward. There are a number of defences open to those accused of not properly responding and the police might be unable to establish that the requirement to provide information actually applies to you.
It may be that you cannot afford to have 6 additional points on their licence. It may be that you tried to find out who the driver was but were unable to. Often it is the case that you sent the notice back but it was never received by the police. Whatever the circumstances, our Road Law Barristers can use their years of experience to find your best possible avenue of defence.
1. Don’t panic!
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as they may first appear.
2. Don’t delay in taking legal advice.
These days, you can go directly to a barrister (rather than using a solicitor) for advice. The sooner you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your case, the more time there is to get information together to ensure we get the best possible outcome.
3. Make sure you comply with any deadlines given by the police or court.
If you don’t comply with deadline dates, you could be making things a whole lot worse for yourself. Failure to respond to a notice of intended prosecution means you have committed a further offence.
4. You can represent yourself in Court if you wish.
If you do represent yourself in court, we recommend that for ‘peace of mind’ you ask us for an advice about your case. That way, you are bit more prepared. We can tell you what to expect on the day, your likely sentence and how best to present yourself to the magistrates.
5. You can appeal the decision
If you don’t get the outcome you expected, you can appeal on the grounds of a procedural or legal error.
AA advice on dealing with a ticket that can lead to a 'failing to name driver' charge - 'Don't ignore it. Failure to respond means higher penalties, and at worst a visit from the bailiffs or a Court summons. The penalty won't go away.'