Failing To Provide Details
If a vehicle has been involved in a motoring offence or circumstances involving an accident, there is a legal obligation on the registered owner of the vehicle to give information relating to the alleged offender.
At Seatons, we can help advise you of your rights and responsibilities relating to this area of law, and provide clear, friendly legal assistance at low sensible fees.
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Under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, when a requirement for the driver’s details is made, the registered keeper has a duty to provide the driver’s details or provide any information which may lead to the identification of the driver within 28 days of receiving the request. This request will come in the form of a Notice of Intended Prosecution and a Section 172 notice.
If you were the driver:
• You must complete the form provided and sign the form confirming you were the driver.
• You will then be contacted providing you with full details of the offence and it is then up to you to say whether you are guilty or not. Depending on the type offence and the state of your driving license (if it is a driving offence) will depend on whether you will be offered a fixed penalty notice, a Speed Awareness Course or whether you will have to attend court.
If you were not the driver but you know who was:
• You must complete the form provided with as many details as you have of the driver to enable the Prosecuting Authority to contact them directly.
If you were not the driver and do not know who was driving:
• You should return the form with a covering letter explaining the reason why you are unable to identify the driver. If there are many possible drivers you should name these drivers but try to narrow down the possibilities.
• Depending on the view the Prosecuting Authority has on the information provided, you may still be Prosecuted and find yourself in a position whereby you have to defend yourself at court and show that you acted with reasonable diligence to try and find out who was driving.
There will be times when the registered owner of the vehicle will not be able to identify the individual driving at the time of the offence. This can be as a result of many reasons; more commonly, because there is more than one registered driver to the vehicle. In these instances, the law states that ‘reasonable diligence’ can be argued, where the registered owner must show that they were unable to identify the driver, despite reasonable steps having been made.
There is not an exhaustive list of ‘reasonable steps’ to choose from and, in many cases, the Court will review each person’s actions on a case-by-case basis. As long as the person can show that they acted with ‘reasonable diligence’, the Court may allow the defence.
The penalty for failing to do so includes:
• 6 penalty points AND
• Fine of up to £1000 AND
• Costs AND
• Victims surcharge