Speeding tickets and what to do (and what not to do)
- AuthorMichael Pace
Many people receive a speeding ticket and without asking any questions simply reply to the police giving their details.
Some people do not properly follow the instruction on the Notice and get themselves into worse trouble, ending up with 6 points instead of the usual 3.
When you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) you should first consider whether it is technically correct and that the Registered Keeper (RK) of the vehicle (car, van, motorcycle or lorry), has received it on or before the 14th day after the date of the offence.
The Registered Keeper (RK) might be the leasing company, or some other 'owner' of the vehicle. If you are not the Registered Keeper, you should contact them and check when they received their copy of the NIP. It is that first NIP that matters. If the RK received the NIP out of time then a successful prosecution cannot follow.
If you are the RK, but were not the driver, then you must complete the details of the driver as best you can and return the form to the police. They will then send a new NIP to the named driver. You must not pass the NIP to the driver for them to complete and return. This can lead to you being taken to court and both ending up with 6 points.
As well as the length of time the police have to send the NIP to you, there are other points to check on the NIP itself. This includes the description of the location of the offence. It must be clear enough for you to know where it was. The date of the offence should be correct but the time can be incorrect. Where it is a temporary speed limit it can be worth checking there is a Speed Restriction Order in place.
The actual offence does not have to be stated but it usually is. Sometimes a more serious offence is alleged and if the matter goes to court a lesser offence is charged.
The form does not have to be actually signed. It does need to say though that it is sent on behalf of the Chief Constable or words to that effect.
If you have any doubts about the legality of an NIP which you have received, simply email a copy of the front page to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will check it for free.
If you are not sure about the date and time as alleged, ask to see a photograph to ensure it is your vehicle. There are a surprising number of cloned cars and motorcycles. Once satisfied on everything then send the form back having completed the details and signed it. To fail to do so is a 6 point offence.
If you need to challenge anything about the form or the alleged offence, you must still complete and return the form to avoid those 6 points. You may need help from a solicitor at this point.
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