Before a prosecution can take place in respect of certain offences, section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 requires that a driver be warned of a potential prosecution against them. The notice of prosecution can be given verbally or in writing, usually within 14 days of the date of the alleged offence. It is referred to as a Notice of Intended Prosecution or NIP.

A notice of intended prosecution will usually be served on the registered keeper of the vehicle involved, together with a requirement under section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988. This requirement places a legal obligation on the person to whom the notice is addressed and requires them to respond within 28 days confirming the details of the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.  If you do not know the details of the driver, you must provide all information within your power as to who could have been driving.

If the Notice of intended prosecution is addressed to a company, you are still required to respond confirming the details of who was driving at the relevant time. There is an expectation, that a company will have a system in place for keeping records of who drives or has access to any vehicle at any given time. If you do not know who was driving the vehicle in question you will need to show that there was no record of who drove the vehicle and that the failure to keep such a record was reasonable.

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