Section 172 Section 172 Defence Approach 3 - Outbound 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 prefering 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 3 - Outbound Post
Section 172 Defence Approach 3 - Outbound Post
So if Option 1 of Reasonal Diligence does not apply and neither does Option 2 of not receiving the request in the post - what is the final option for you?
At this point we must then assume that you received the paperwork and filled it out and returned it to the correct address.
You are not under an obligation to send it via registered post - just normal post.
Accordingly you have complied with your obligations and it must have either gone astray in the post or at their offices.
This is still a valid defence.
You just need to be certain that it was posted to them.
They may well challenge this but they need to prove that you did not post it back and that is almost impossible for them as if you are certain that you posted it they have little to challenge you on.
This is a somewhat simplified version of events and revolves around the volume of letters that the Post Office lose each year.
As with the previous option Section 172 Defence Approach 2 - Inbound Post you will need to spend considerable time and effort to contact the Post Office to gather evidence on the percentage and number of letters that are lost in your area.
Understandably the Post Office are not keen to hand out this information.
This information will then need to be structured into a formal letter and sent back to them.
It is probably best to send it this time via recorded post to ensure it has arrived.
To use this defense you will really again need some expert legal help to get a good result.
Many years ago we did have template letters on this site for people to use, but we again found that they were overused and were ignored by the authorities.
Beware of template letters on the web as some seem to just get the authorities backs up and then they will not give up.
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 30% of cases the DIY approach will work. Sadly in around 70% 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.
There are NO other options - you need to select which ever option best matches your situation and get on with it. The longer you leave it the worse it will get. If you do nothing you will end up in court and get 6 points and a large fine.
The best advice we can give is to get a specialist proven Motoring Solicitor to help you get a good result - 90%+ of cases they will get dropped.
Email me here and we will get them to call you - do not forget to include your telepone number in the email if you want a swift response.
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