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.
Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident are offences which can attract a wide range of penalties. The scope of the Court to impose a prison sentence, fine, penalty points and driving ban on those who are guilty is broad because of the varying circumstances surrounding such an offence.
This week has seen two extreme examples of circumstances where this offence applies.
The first is the case of Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, who is in hot-water for failing to stop after he accidentally crashed into a parked car whilst undertaking a seven-point turn in his Ford Mondeo Estate.
The collision was caught on CCTV and the police traced the vehicle registration back to Mr Balls who said that he, “was aware the two bumpers touched. But had no idea damage had been done.”
In this case, Mr Balls has admitted his mistake, apologised and offered to pay for the cost of repairs to the other vehicle. As yet, it is not clear if the police intend to prosecute him.
However, in the ‘hit and run’ case involving Sheffield teenager, Jasmyn Chan, there is no doubt that a prosecution will take place. Jasmyn was killed after she was knocked down by a car on Normanton Hill in Sheffield on 9th May. The driver failed to stop at the scene of the accident and also faces the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
The offence of failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident can attract the following penalties:
- Imprisonment up to 6 months
- Fine up to £5,000
- Discretionary ban
- 5-10 penalty points
We specialise in advising and representing drivers who have been charged with this offence, so get in touch via the website or free phone number for a free initial consultation.
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.'