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Failing To Provide Driver Details

Mr Hatvany, our specialist motoring law solicitor, has won more trials concerning failing to provide driver details than any other motoring matter.  Failing to provide driver details means failing to say who the driver was of a certain vehicle, at a certain time, when requested to do so by the police.  This offence is also known by other names such as “Failing to furnish driver details”, “Failing to identify the driver”, or a “Section 172 offence”.  The offence comes under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988.  The request for driver details from the police will often arrive in the same envelope as a notice of intended prosecution.


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Notice Of Intended Prosecution

In this age of speed cameras, motorists are not normally pulled over when they supposedly commit a motoring offence and so are temporarily blissfully unaware.  Many of us have had the nasty shock of opening a letter to find a notice of intended prosecution stating that our vehicle was involved in a motoring offence, normally speeding. The notice of intended prosecution must be sent by the police to the driver, or the registered keeper of the vehicle, within fourteen days of the alleged offence.  If it is sent outside the fourteen day time limit then the allegation will not succeed at court as that is a concrete defence.  This fourteen day time limit is often one of the first things that Philip Hatvany, our specialist motoring solicitor, will check in relation to a case.

Section 172 Notices

Accompanying the notice of intended prosecution in the same envelope there will normally be a Section 172 notice.  This notice asks for the identity of the driver at the time of an alleged motoring offence.  The police use this in cases where the motorist hasn’t been pulled over and therefore it is still an issue for them as to who was actually driving the vehicle and committed the offence.

Penalty For Failing To Supply Details Of The Driver

If you receive a Section 172 notice and you fail to respond with the required information, as to who the driver was, then the magistrates will impose 6 penalty points on your driving licence and may fine you.  This is often a far worse penalty then you would have received for the original offence, often speeding, that gave rise to this.  A lot of Magistrates Courts will accept a guilty plea to the original offence in return for withdrawing the offence of failing to supply details of the driver.

The magistrates can, in fact, disqualify someone outright for failing to identify the driver but this hardly ever happens.

The difficulty for motorists who already have 6 or more penalty points on their driving licence is that pleading guilty, or being found guilty of an offence of failing to identify the driver, will mean that they will now have 12 penalty points or more on their driving licence.  The law states that the magistrates should disqualify such a person from driving for at least 6 months, however, normally such a ban can be avoided if exceptional hardship is found.

Philip Hatvany is a specialist motoring law solicitor and he has an outstanding success rate of over 90% (average over the last 10 years) for keeping his clients driving through successfully arguing exceptional hardship.

Defences To An Allegation Of Failing To Supply Driver Details

Our leading road traffic solicitor, Mr Hatvany, will always first see if a defence is available for a client facing this allegation.  A couple of possible defences are as follows;

  • The accused tried their best but simply could not identify who was driving the vehicle at the time the alleged offence took place.  This is called the “reasonable diligence” defence (Section 172(4) Road Traffic Act 1988).  An example of this would be where a husband and wife are sharing the driving on a long stretch of motorway.  Here it could be argued that one of them simply couldn’t remember who was driving the vehicle in question at the time that the speed camera registered it speeding and therefore, despite their best efforts, they can’t name the person driving at the relevant time.
  • The accused may argue that it was not “reasonably practicable” to respond to the Section 172 notice as to who the driver was (Section 172(7) Road Traffic Act 1988).  An example of this defence could be where the accused’s post failed them and they never received the Section 172 notice.  The argument here would be that the individual in question couldn’t respond to the notice if they had never actually received it!

Our specialist motoring law solicitor, Philip Hatvany, has a success rate of 82% (average over the last 10 years) in relation to winning trials concerning allegations of failing to provide driver details.

Mr Hatvany is a very well travelled solicitor who regularly attends Portsmouth, Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford and Reading Magistrates' Courts. Often he also attends London Magistrates Courts. If the hearing is further afield, then we have a select pool of experienced barristers that we use located throughout England and Wales who operate under Mr Hatvany’s supervision.  Mr Hatvany would still carry out all the preparation in such cases.

A Company Fails To Name The Driver

The offence of failing to identify the driver is not always just in relation to individuals but can be alleged against a company.  This normally happens in the case of company cars, where the company is the registered owner, and the car in question has committed a motoring offence and the police want to find out who was driving.  If the company is asked by the police to name the driver of a particular vehicle and fails to do so then it could face a large fine if found guilty, but no penalty points can obviously be imposed.

Once more, the defences are available of it not being “reasonably practicable” to reply to the notice asking for drivers details or that, after exercising “reasonable diligence,” the company was unable to name the driver.  However, in relation to the defence of “reasonable diligence” the company is only allowed to rely on this if it can show that it was reasonable in the circumstances for the company not to have kept records of who was driving the vehicle at the relevant time!

A conviction for this offence can tarnish a company’s reputation, and also result in a hefty fine.

Why You Should Contact Speeding Law Solicitors

Failing to supply driver details under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is a complicated area of the law.  It takes a very skilled and experienced solicitor to fully understand all the possible potential defences and, if one is available, to prepare adequately for trial.  Our specialist solicitor Mr Hatvany’s success rate for trials is exceptionally high.  We believe solicitors should be “straight talking” and if no defence is available, then Mr Hatvany will inform you of this at an early stage.  Even then, without proper guidance and representation, the consequences could be devastating.  Therefore call the leading road traffic solicitor, Philip Hatvany, now for a FREE telephone consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.