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Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988 Notice of Intended Prosecution - you don't have to fill it in!

If you have been a naughty boy and driven too fast through our lovely county you are liable to be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the laughingly called Wiltshire Police Safety Camera Partnership.
On the form are various instructions, such as - Part 7. Please complete this part in all cases. This is a requirement under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988 .

It is a lie.

The charming Miss Anna Gilder of the Wiltshire Police Safety Camera Partnership has confirmed to me that "There is no legal requirement that this form be used if someone chooses to provide the details in another form this is acceptable."

So nit-pickery on one side and an arrogant dismissal of legalities on the other. A civilised service which respected us would include a form and say, "Please could you use this form as it will help you to fulfil your obligation and help us to process it accurately and easily and this will keep our costs down etc." But no, they hector us with bold black ink orders threatening the full force of the law when they have no right to. No wonder I have replied to her thus:

Miss Anna Gilder
Wiltshire Police Safety Camera Partnership
PO BOX 3025
Devizes
SN10 9AH

Ref xxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Madam:

Thank you for your speedy reply to my letter, which as it was attached to my completed form I take to be an acknowledgement that you received the form safely.

My apologies if you misunderstood my letter, I merely pointed out that I couldn’t remember driving “like Jehu, the son of Nimshi” (2 Kings 9 – 20). I didn’t deny I was the driver or suggest any other drivers: you also have my signed form in which I say I was the driver and completed my driver details. I am therefore at a loss to understand what grounds you have for suggesting I have failed to provide driver details, but for the avoidance of doubt let me make this statement:

It’s a fair cop, guv., it was me, you have got me bang to rights.
Signed:

Driver xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On a more worrying note I am pleased you acknowledge that the form you send out is wrong and the threat - Part 7. Please complete this part in all cases. This is a requirement under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988 - is false. I hope you will confirm that this wording, and the other misleading instructions, including those on your website, will be modified to reflect the truth.

I understand why you wish to plough on with your cases, as is your right; but I would beg you to remember that if the ECHR does rule against the present method of mulcting the motorists, and that we should go back to a rule of law where ancient liberties are recognised and the policing authorities can regain some of the trust and respect that they have frittered away, then I will be looking for this injustice to be righted.

Yours as ever,

Comments

Hi Castle Dweller,

I’m avoiding yet another fine for the heinous crime of going slightly too fast on a perfectly safe road.

It was a mobile wot got me! Hidden round a long bend, etc…

Anyway, looking at things once more I wonder about the following. Under the infamous S172 of the RTA, there is the following passage I am sure that you are familiar with:

(a) the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police, and

My wife has properly complied with this (as the registered keeper) and sent the NIP back (without signature) identifying myself as the driver.

The RTA continues:

(b) any other person shall if required as stated above give any information which it is in his power to give and may lead to identification of the driver.

Now, and this is the bit which I am currently pondering, rather than sending back a PACE letter attached to the NIP...the police already have the identity of the driver (moi) from my wife, and it will also be on video. I look substantially different to my wife, thank God, so why should I even enter the debate about who was driving the vehicle.

In other words, why not simply return the NIP that they have now sent me? I envisage a polite letter stapled to it explaining that as they are already perfectly aware that I was driving the vehicle in question at the time of the offence, there is no purpose in requiring me to confirm it, which I would only do under the provisions of PACE in any case.

The RTOA upon which the NIP relies, merely states:

(c) within fourteen days of the commission of the offence a notice of the intended prosecution specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed, was—
(i) in the case of an offence under section 28 or 29 of the [1988 c. 52.] Road Traffic Act 1988 (cycling offences), served on him,
(ii) in the case of any other offence, served on him or on the person, if any, registered as the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the commission of the offence.

My wife has already been served (as the registered keeper) and there does not appear to be a necessity to serve me at all. In any case, as the offender, I have been served well after the 14 day expiry period.

Furthermore,

(2) A notice shall be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above to have been served on a person if it was sent by registered post or recorded delivery service addressed to him at his last known address, notwithstanding that the notice was returned as undelivered or was for any other reason not received by him.

Both NIP’s were sent by normal post, so proof of delivery is in absence.

I would value your thoughts, and thank you in anticipation. I also apologise if these ponderings have already been covered and I have failed to find the dissection of them elsewhere.

Ralph

This is a requirement under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988. Oh yes it is! DPP v Wilson 2002 confirmed that the form is a reasonable request for information and it needs to be completed in the manner specified on the form.

In Francis v DPP 2004 it was held that not signing the form was not a way out of it. Furthermore, the form is a confession under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and is admissible in court. It is NOT a breach of your rights under European Convention on Human Rights.


This is a requirement under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988. Oh yes it is! DPP v Wilson 2002 confirmed that the form is a reasonable request for information and it needs to be completed in the manner specified on the form.

In Francis v DPP 2004 it was held that not signing the form was not a way out of it. Furthermore, the form is a confession under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and is admissible in court. It is NOT a breach of your rights under European Convention on Human Rights.

Please don't read the posts above as a definitive guide to the law. These people are merely ranting. Miss Anna Gilder of the Wiltshire Police Safety Camera Partnership is wrong and her words could not be relied upon in court.


No one seems to have mentioned the provisions of Part VII RTA 88 state the S172 requirement to provide details 'on behalf of the Chief Officer of Police' power applies only to 'constables' and the only 'other persons' are 'certifying officers/examiners' (of the DfT) and only then on production of their authority but NOT under current legislation can this EVER apply to civilian clerks in a 'Safety Camaera Partnership' office or any other civilian office employee of a Police Service. They are NOT etitled to ask for such information and any request and any answer given is very likley inadmissable in evidence.(They may send out the NIP however but often those two forms are conjoined) In other words the civlian employee can send out the NIP but a 'CONSTABLE' MUST sign the S 172 notice. Finally the S172 request should always be returned within 28 days with a polite letter as above. Failure to return it may constitute an offence but that has not yet been tested as far as I am aware, the question being, does one commit an offence by failing to comply with an unlawful request, maybe not.

I have just had a run in with the Wiltshire Police Camera 'safety' Partnership. I was travelling from East Sussex to Devon a distance of 235 miles and as in most long journeys I share the driving with my partner of 27 years. When I was served with the NIP a fortnight after the alleged offence - it had happened on the first day of our holiday - I pointed out the facts to the Wiltshire Police that it was impossible in a 200 mile plus journey when we changed drivers at intervals to give each other a break to say who was driving at a point on the road of which neither have any knowledge. We're lazy and don't map read but use SatNav. Why would we know who was driving at any particular time? We do not keep a continuous log on journeys. The camera unit were not impressed and said if I could not (not would not) identify the driver I would have to appear at the Magistrates Court at which there was a 100% conviction rate. An astonishing statement but I assume it to be true. I then nominated myself.

Not sure whether to complain to the magistrates court who seem unimpressed by evidence or the Chief Constable of Wiltshire who employ these people who blackmail people into telling lies just to avoid an appearance in court which would lead to a larger fine than a fixed penalty, not to mention a round trip which may necessitate an overnight stay. The cost far outweighs the fixed penalty. I'm now expecting them to extract further blood by charging me with perjury because I genuinely have no idea who was driving nor does my partner and had previously told them that. This is not another case of the Hamilton defence but with the court not being prepared to listen according to a statement by the female person I spoke to this afternoon 10 July 2009 at 4.15pm what choice do I have but to tell them I was driving.

For Peter Gornall - seek proper advice since Wiltshire Police may have overstepped the mark if the 100% comment is in writing. Also, changing drivers is not uncommon and I have been in a car of 4 where 3 of us have driven during a journey from London to Sunderland and back to London via the Midlands in one day - I can't remember the bits I drove. Have you asked for evidence? Why not ask if you can have it heard at your loacl magistrates court if that is permissible (I know that County Court cases can be moved).

My view is that if we are going to have legislation let it be fair and be applied fairly.

Nemesis

Re posted by Ian. I have been served with a NIP asking me to fill in & return with details of driver at time of speeding offence. As others have mentioned, I had no idea if it was myself or my daughter who was driving at the time, therfore, I wrote back asking for photographic evidence which I received with another NIP and a letter stating that unless I give the required information I would be summonded to appear in Court. The photographs only show the rear of the vehicle therefore I am still unable to identify the driver.... What do I do now? Plead guilty or face court with a £1000 fine and 6 penalty points?
HELP....

I failed to respond to a NIP simply because i never recieved one. I changed address 18 months ago and sent my drivers liscense off to the dvla at roughly the same time. Through being rather naive i failed to send off and change my logbook details. This being the reason i never recieved any NIP.

Through this single act of complacency I now stand to loose, my license, my job and my home....It's a cruel world!!

Ralph posted the question above in 200... based on section 1(2) - " A notice shall be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above to have been served on a person if it was sent by registered post or recorded delivery service addressed to him at his last known address, notwithstanding that the notice was returned as undelivered or was for any other reason not received by him.

Both NIP’s were sent by normal post, so proof of delivery is in absence."

As the failure to use registered or recorded post been challenged? I have seen a NIP which is stamped " I hereby certify that this document has been sent by 1st class post" containing a datestamp. This casts doubt that the requirement to use registered or recorded post has not been met and secondly obviously it has not "BEEN" sent when stampted. To be factually accurate surely it should say "I hereby certify that this document IS INTENDED TO BE sent by 1st class post" as it is impossible to stampt something that has been sent

Thoughts?

Harry

I submitted the Driver Information form but in a covering letter stated that it was most likely me that was driving even though I couldn't remember and they have now said that I failed to supply the driver information because I wrote that and it will be turned over to the courts - even though I completed my details on the form - how am I supposed to take this forward if I'm not disputing the offence ? I'm flabbergasted. Any ideas what will happen now guys ?

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