YOUR RIGHTS IN RELATION TO SPEEDING
If you are flashed by a speed camera, the registered keeper of the vehicle should receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days. If you hear nothing within this time, you should be ok. It is possible that the camera had no film in it, or that the image was insufficiently clear to identify the registration mark of the car. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some Gatsos with no film in are set at speeds at or below the speed limit.
The courts usually allow a day or so extra beyond the 14 days to allow for postage. However if it is not posted within 14 days you should be in the clear. If you receive it after this time scale, you should have a valid defence.
If you do receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution, Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act states you must return the NIP Information form with details of who was driving within 28 days.
If you are not the registered keeper then the police are allowed more time to establish who is the driver. This can often happen, for instance if you are driving a company or hire car or works van or if the vehicle has recently been sold and not yet registered with DVLC.
If you are stopped by a police officer, or there is a police officer at the scene of an accident, the police officer may give you a verbal NIP, and if this is the case, a written one is not required.
If there is a significant mistake on the Notice of Intended Prosecution, then you may have a valid defence. However, under the slip rules, the court can make minor amendments and so you will have no defence in such circumstances.
If you have only recently acquired the vehicle, the police may send the NIP to the previous registered keeper, who will then of course inform them that the vehicle has been sold. If this error is your fault (e.g. for not sending in the registration document with your details) then again this will be no defence.
The police have 6 months to issue proceedings, which may be by way of fixed penalty notice or summons.
If you know that you were speeding and are intending to plead guilty, it may be worthwhile to try to plea for a lower sentence due to mitigating circumstances. This is particularly true if you were considerably over the speed limit and are being dealt with by way of summons.
Mitigation may include the circumstances involved at the time of the speeding offence, e.g. a serious emegency, or the hardship that would be caused to others especially for instance family members if you were to lose your licence.
Mitigating circumstances could include:
A reason why you were speeding (especially medical emergency)
Hardship you would face by losing your licence - loss of job, family transport particularly if there is illness or other special needs in the family
DEFENCES TO SPEEDING
There are a number of potential defences and loopholes to look at to see whether you can succesfully defend a speeding ticket. These are sometimes described in adverts as driving secrets. Remember, there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee that you will escape a speeding fine or conviction if you are guilty!
I was not the driver
If you were not the driver then you are not guilty of an offence. However, if you were the registered keeper then you are required by law to return the Notice of Intended Prosecution form with the driver's details. Failure to do so is an offence punishable by six penalty points on your licence. The authorities will then contact the alleged driver who will then be prosecuted.
I don't know who the driver was when it was caught on the speed camera
You are required to make every effort to discover who the driver was. This may involve checking fuel receipts, phone records etc of those people who could have been driving.
It's a company van and I don't know who was driving
You are required to make every effort ("reasonable diligence") to find out who was driving at the time of the alleged speeding offence. As an employer you are required to check the licences of those people who you allow to drive the vehicle.
My wife and I shared the driving and I don't know who was driving at the time
This defence was successfully used by Neil & Christine Hamilton. Again you must make every effort to find out who was driving at the time of the speeding offence.
I genuinely wasn't speeding
Ask to see the police photos/video from the speed camera equipment
Important note. Do not lie to get out of your speeding ticket - it can lead you into more trouble.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the legal information contained on “YouandYourRights” is accurate, it does not constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. Neither the Proprietor nor Dean Dunham can assume responsibility and do not accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it.