Section 172 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act
Section 172 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act requires the registered keeper of a vehicle to supply the identity of a driver. Section 172 notices should not be ignored, so read on.
If you fail to do this then the penalty is 6 points and a fine of up to £1,000. The court also has the power to impose a driving ban but rarely uses it preferring 6 points and large fines instead.
The police have 14 days to serve the registered keeper with an NIP. If they don’t then the driver may have a defence to the offence that they are accused of. But this 14 day rule does not apply to an offence under section 172 so you are still under a legal duty to respond to the notice even if they have not done this.
Why have I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)?
You may be either the registered owner/keeper, nominated owner/keeper/driver/hirer or a person our investigations have identified as someone who may have information that may lead to the identification of the driver of a vehicle detected exceeding the legal speed limit, contravening a traffic light or other Road Traffic Offence.
I did not receive the NIP within 14 days
We are required to post the initial NIP in sufficient time that ordinarily it would be expected for the Registered Keeper to receive it within 14 days of the alleged offence. We do not have to prove it was delivered, merely that it was posted. There is no time restriction on subsequent notices. In certain circumstances this 14 days can be exceeded, for example if you fail to register the vehicle promptly and enquiries need to be made.
This area of law is complex and ‘loophole’ defences may well be available. If you want accurate, up to date information about the possible legal defences available to you for your specific offence allegation, ask Patterson Law Solicitors (one of the leading specialist motoring solicitors in the UK) a free question and prepare yourself to get the best possible outcome for your Court case.
For instance the prosecution must prove that the request was made on behalf of the Chief Constable and must prove proper service of the notice. Also bear in mind the defence, which appears in section 172 itself, of not knowing who the driver was and that you have acted with reasonable diligence to find out who that person was. If this should be the case then you have to prove on the balance of probabilities that you have acted with reasonable diligence.