Failing To Name The Driver
Because the majority of traffic offences in the UK are captured and reported automatically (by roadside cameras) without the need to stop the car accused of the offence, it became necessary for the police to have a system in place to legally identify the driver at the time of the allegation. Failing to name driver offences relate to not providing requested information requested.
To do so, the registered keeper of the vehicle is sent a request to name the driver. This is legislated under section 172 of the road traffic act 1988, under which the registered keeper has a duty to provide the information requested.
By providing the name of who was driving, you are not admitting guilt to the offence, but just legally identifying who should be prosecuted.
In the same way as giving your name to the police officer that stops you at the roadside. You are identifying the driver and nothing more.
Defences That DO NOT Work
I don’t have to give the information because of my human rights.
There have been many test cases to the European Court of human rights and all have failed. It is considered to be proportional to provide the information.
Get a pack of letters off the internet and send them instead.
This approach may have works a long time ago, but not any more & if anything in the letter attempts to mislead the police you can be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.
Defences That DO Work
You have 3 real defences;
- You have tried your best but can’t establish who was driving at the time.
- You didn’t receive the request & so couldn’t respond within the required 28 days.
- You did send the required information as requested but it wasn’t received.
If there are several drivers insured to drive the vehicle and it is often used for many different journeys then it might not be possible for you to identify with any certainty who exactly was driving at the time of the offence.
If the Section 172 information request wasn’t received, you can’t reasonably be expected to reply to it.
In order to respond, you must complete the request form, sign it and post it with the correct address and postage. If you have done that then it is deemed to have been ‘delivered’.