Police traffic cameras can be found all over the country. Although they may not all be operative it is wise to assume they are. If you received a notice from the Police asking you to divulge the name of the driver at the time of an alleged speeding offence to have been caught on a camera, what should you do?
Firstly do not panic! There are clear procedures that must be followed and time periods to allow you to consider and take advice before acting. If you are in any doubt call our Road Traffic helpline and we will advise you.
The notice must be served on the registered owner of the vehicle within 14 days of the alleged offence. Service is satisfied by the notice being posted to the address held by the DVLA by first class mail. In some cases the notice may be received by you outside that period, for example where it is sent first to a lease company. Do not ignore it, it may still be valid.
You will have 28 days to respond to it. Failure to respond creates a separate offence that carries 6 penalty points so be sure to take advice before you decide not to act.
Completing the form with details that you know to be incorrect is likely to lead to a charge of Perverting the Course of Justice which invariably leads to imprisonment if proved.
In some cases you may not be able to say who was using the vehicle at the relevant time. If you cannot find out using “reasonable diligence” who was driving, you may have a defence to failing to give details. To make any assessment of the prospects of success you should take early legal advice.
- Retain all documents and keep copies of any letters you send,
- Make a note of all dates of receipt,
- Take legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
If you accept that you were the driver and return the completed notice, you will next receive either an offer to accept a fixed penalty or an alternative Speed Awareness Course. If the speed alleged is significantly over the limit you may receive a summons to appear at court. A summons must be issued in the Magistrates Court within 6 months of the offence. In either case it is prudent to take advice.
We will always explore the circumstances of the alleged offence to ensure that there are no other defences available to you. For example these may involve challenges to the Police equipment or the validity of the Speed warning signage.
The Speed Awareness Courses are offered across the country to qualifying drivers and if you pay for and attend the course you will avoid a conviction and the imposition of any penalty points.
If you already have points on your licence it will be important to consider the affect of any new points. If they might leave you with 12 or more points the Court will have to disqualify you for a minimum of 6 months unless you can provide some special mitigation. This does not mean about the offence, but rather about you and the effect of disqualification on you or those who depend on you.
Once again this is an area where we can always assist, by preparing your case and presenting it to the court to your best advantage.