Debate about not signing the NIP

Here is a summary of the ruling. As I understand it you have fully complied with identifying the driver - you have just not signed the document.

In effect this case is about the 28 days rule not about signing the a document per se. As you will read the driver was acquitted of the offence because his telephone response was inadmissable in court, ie like an unsigned document

Bear in mind I know nothing about the law !!!!

"DPP v Broomfield

QBD (Admin): HH Judge Wilkie: 8 August 2002

It was lawful for the police authority to include reasonable instructions as to the manner in which information was to be provided to them in response to a notice of intended prosecution. A late, telephoned response was inadequate.

Judge Wilkie, sitting as a High Court judge, so held in answer to questions put by the DPP in an appeal by way of case stated from the decision of Mr Recorder Parroy QC sitting in Bristol Crown Court on 18 April 2002. The recorder had upheld an appeal by the defendant, Mr Broomfield, against his conviction by the Bath Wansdyke and Mendip Justices for failing to give information as to the driver of vehicle F848 CYC according to s 172(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in response to a notice of intended prosecution dated 4 September 2001 sent to him in respect of an alleged speeding offence.

The defendant failed to respond in writing within the 28-day period but had telephoned the Avon and Somerset Constabulary instead. The justices held that the telephone call was sufficient for Mr Broomfield to have complied with the statutory requirements. The DPP did not seek to have the defendant's acquittal overturned but posed the following questions for the opinion of High Court: (1) Whether the recorder was correct in finding that the provision by the defendant of the following information: (i) that he was the registered keeper of vehicle index number F848 CYC and (ii) that he was the driver of the vehicle of F848 CYC at the time that the driver of the vehicle was alleged to have been guilty of an offence on the 28 day of August 2001, to an employee of the Avon & Somerset Constabulary in the course of a telephone conversation outside the 28-day period, was sufficient to meet the requirements of s 172 Road Traffic Act 1988. (2) Whether the recorder was correct to allow the appeal in those circumstances.

HHJ WILKIE said that it was lawful for an authority to include reasonable instructions as to the manner in which information was to be provided, by whom, when and where, as long as the request was within a reasonable time and by reasonable means. This was especially so since the requirement by the police authority that a written reply be given in the notice of intended prosecution was directed at enabling that document to be used as evidence that the driver was the driver of the vehicle on that occasion. The recorder was therefore wrong to hold that oral information was sufficient to comply with s 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and therefore, since there was no request that the matter be remitted to the court, the questions were simply determined in that manner."

Here is the act that covers this

"172.—(1) This section applies—
(a) to any offence under the preceding provisions of this Act except—
(i) an offence under Part V, or
(ii) an offence under section 13, 16, 51(2), 61(4), 67(9), 68(4), 96 or 117,
and to an offence under section 178 of this Act,
(b) to any offence under sections 25, 26, 27 and 45 of the [1988 c. 53.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, and
(c) to any offence against any other enactment relating to the use of vehicles on roads.
(2) Where the driver of a vehicle is alleged to be guilty of an offence to which this section applies—
(a) the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police, and
(b) any other person shall if required as stated above give any information which it is in his power to give and may lead to identification of the driver.
In this subsection references to the driver of a vehicle include references to the person riding a cycle.

(3) A person who fails to comply with the requirement of subsection (2)(a) above is guilty of an offence unless he shows to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle or, as the case may be, the rider of the cycle was.

(4) A person who fails to comply with the requirement of subsection (2)(b) above is guilty of an offence."