Nockolds Solicitors recently acted for a driver at Feltham Magistrates’ Court who had been summonsed to appear at court for failing to identify a driver. The Magistrates were persuaded that our client was not guilty of the offence and the case was dismissed. The Magistrates subsequently made a defendant’s costs order.
The most common situation where this offence arises is upon receipt of a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, details of the driver must be supplied when requested by the police. The registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (if the driver was not formally warned of the possibility of prosecution at the time of the alleged offence). Often this will be for offences of speeding or traffic signal contraventions.
The ‘person keeping the vehicle’ must supply the driver identity, or any person can be asked to give information if it is ‘in his power to give and may lead to the identification of the driver’. The typical scenario is where a Notice of Intended Prosecution is served on the registered keeper (as recorded by the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)). If the keeper identifies another as the driver or a person having information to supply the driver's identity, the obligation transfers to that person.
If details are not supplied within 28 days, the offence of failing to identify the driver is committed. An offender’s licence can be endorsed with six penalty points along with a fine up of £1,000.
In our recent case the Magistrates were persuaded that our client showed that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver was, as required by section 172(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Consequently, he was found not guilty.
For more information on failing to identify the driver and how we can help you, please contact a member of our Motoring Team on 01279 755777.