Section 172 Defence Approach 2 Inbound Post

Section 172 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act requires the registered keeper of a vehicle to supply the identity of a driver. 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.

This web site was founded over 15 years ago to help people with legal motoring issues. Over the years we have had millions of visitors and have seen every type of offense thousands of times over. Accordingly we are well positioned to provide real world advice.

We can give you advice to help you avoid unjust points, fines and bans.

Section 172 issues. Normally this occurs after a Notice of Intended Prosecution (commonly know as a NIP) has been sent to a vehicles registered keeper along with a request to identify the driver (the Section 172 bit). If this is not returned or the driver is not named then you can expect to be in breach of the Section 172 legislation and if found guilty you will get 6 points and a big fine (up to £1,000).

The request to identify the driver would seem to conflict with the normal approach in law that you are not required to incriminate yourself. This has been challenged all the way up to the European Courts and has been rejected by the Courts - so this approach is not a solution to your problem.

You have three main defences to a Section 172 issue:

Section 172 Defence Approach 1 - Reasonable Diligence

Section 172 Defence Approach 2 - Inbound Post

Section 172 Defence Approach 3 - Outbound Post


Section 172 Defence Approach 2 - Inbound Post

If you did not receive any documents then you will have obviously not been able to respond to them.

The NIP and associated request to identify the driver are normally just sent out by regular post and like any other item of mail sometimes do not arrive.

The Royal Mails own statistics show that they deliver an incredible 21 billion letters a year and that almost all of them arrive OK. A small percentage get lost and do not arrive, but this small percentage of 21 billion letters means that millions of letters get lost each year.

Unfortunately just writing a letter back to them saying that you have not received the original paperwork is unlikely to get a positive response. This is mainly due to this approach being abused in the past by people trying to avoid the penalty.

However if your case is genuine, then you should not be put off by this as it is a valid defence. So to continue with your Section 172 Defence approach.

If you did not receive the paperwork, how can you be guilty of not returning it?

You will need to do a fair bit of research to stand a good chance with this approach.

You will need to identify the Post Office regions that the letter will have passed through from point of posting to your address and contact them to request written confirmation of volumes and percentages of mail lost in this region(s) - or nationally if they cannot/will not give regional figures.

Try and find out if any significant events may have occurred whilst the letter was on its way to you - perhaps they had a fire or break in at a relevant office or depot?

This is not an easy process so you will need to be persistant and invest a fair bit of time. Perhaps you have had issues in the recent past with other post going astray that you can document?

Even with a valid case and having spent a considerable amount of time in many cases your defence will still be rejected as you are not an expert in pulling all of this documentation and evidence together to present it properly to the authorities concerned. You need to be able to prove that the paperwork did not arrive to a degree that will be believed.

These cases are assessed upon a Balance of Probability and the way in which you present your evidence is as important as the evidence itself. A specialist Motoring Solicitor will already be a master of this and a good one will be successful in over 90% of cases. In addition if you use a solicitor many authorities will either drop it due to the effectiveness of the solicitors letter or just realise that it you feel strongly enough to engage a solicitor that it may not be worth their time to continue.

We know the solicitors that are best at this work and their fees are considerably less than the fine and 6 points, Email me here and we will get them to call you - do not forget to include your telephone number in the email if you want a swift response.

We used to have template type letters for everyone to use, but they were overused and the courts became immune to them. We now see the best results from individually created letters coming from Solicitors.

In summary you have 3 options at this point:

You can accept the 6 points and a big fine.

You can take the advice above and try and do it yourself. We see that in around 25% of cases the DIY approach will work. Sadly in around 75% of cases it does not and you end up in court and get 6 points and a big fine. If you challenge it and lose the fine is normally near to £1,000.

Or the option with the best chance of success (90%+) is to engage a specialist solicitor and get them to do all the work. As they tend to charge less than your fine and the huge issue of getting 6 points this is the best approach.

Email me here and we will get them to call you - do not forget to include your telephone number in the email if you want a swift response.

Also see:

Section 172 Defence Approach 1 - Reasonable Diligence

Section 172 Defence Approach 3 - Outbound Post

Email me here and we will get them to call you - do not forget to include your telephone number in the email if you want a swift response.

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And finally if you have found any of this site useful and would like to thank us for creating it. My wife is doing a sponsored walk for Breast Cancer on the 11th June 2011 and you could give a small donation



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