Home > Get Off a Speeding Ticket > Dispute a Speed Ticket: You Were Not the Driver

Dispute a Speed Ticket: You Were Not the Driver

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 14 Feb 2018 |
 
Speeding Speed Camera Ticket Nip Fixed

In the UK, you can be caught speeding by either a fixed, mobile or average speed camera, which calculates time over distance. If you receive a speeding ticket but you think this is wrong, then there are a number of ways to dispute it. One of the reasons for disputing the ticket is that you do not know who the driver was.

Receiving a NIP

The document you receive will be a Notice of Intended Prosecution (also known as a NIP). The NIP has been sent to you as the Registered Keeper of the alleged speeding vehicle i.e. the person who the vehicle is registered under with the DVLA. This is not necessarily the owner of the vehicle.

The NIP will come from the police, explaining the details of the alleged incident, including, but not limited to the vehicle registration, date, time and location. The Registered Keeper will be requested to complete the required details on the NIP and return it within 28 days. This is known as a Section 172 Notice. You are to return it to the address notified on the NIP. Before signing and returning the NIP you might need to challenge the details, for example, if you do not know who was driving the vehicle, and so you should not sign the NIP before carrying out the actions below.

If you were driving the vehicle at the time of the incident, or you know who was driving then you must say so in the Section 172 Notice. As the Registered Keeper, you have a duty to notify the police and it is an offence to withhold/not provide the police with information.

Conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice

Once you have return the Section 172 Notice identifying the driver, you (or the driver if it was not you) will most likely receive a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice, depending on the nature and severity of the offence. In these circumstances, you will be offered a fixed penalty of £60 plus receive 3 points on your licence, instead of going to court. This is the easiest and safest option if you believe you were the driver.

You were not driving at the time

If, however, you were not driving or do not know who was driving i.e. there are more than one insured persons or you were sharing the vehicle that day, then you should not return a signed NIP. If you do so, then it is unlikely that you will be able to reverse it.

Instead, you should write to the address given on the NIP stating that you acknowledge receipt of the NIP and are the Registered Keeper, however, you do not know who was driving the vehicle at that time. Request all photographic evidence and/or other evidence the police have so that you can help them to identify the driver and assure them that you are doing all you can to speak to and identify the other possible offenders in the meantime. The police should provide you the photographs if they are available, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If your car was stolen prior to the time of the incident, then make sure this is reported immediately.

Evidence

Once you have received the evidence, you should consider it carefully. Can you clearly identify the driver? Is the photograph blurry or unclear or do you not recognise the driver? If the photograph is blurry then you should write back to the police and say that unfortunately, the photograph is too blurred to be able to identify the driver and ask if they have any further evidence.

If the person in the photograph is not somebody you recognise then you should write back to the police and tell them that you are still unable to identify the driver but you will provide them with a list of all the names and addresses of the possible drivers.

If you request further evidence because the photograph is blurred or unclear, and the police do not write back to you with any further photographic evidence, then you should write back within 14 days and state that you have been unable to identify the driver as you have not been provided with any photographs, however, you were not the driver at the time of the alleged offence and you are now providing a list of all possible drivers, for the police to pursue.

Case law

There have been a number of cases, and in particular, police officers who have successfully disputed speeding prosecutions because photographs have not been enough to show who the driver was.

One of the most cited cases is that of Regina v Detective Superintendent Adrian Roberts, who appealed against a fixed penalty notice. His defence was that he could not remember if he been driving at the time. It was subsequently ruled that the photographic evidence was inconclusive and the ticket was scrapped. It is useful to cite cases such as this when writing to the police.

Hopefully, this will be the end to it and you will not hear anything more. This is because it might be infeasible for the police to continue with their enquiries if, for example, the evidence is unclear. Another factor for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider is whether or not it is worth running the case. If this is the case, you should receive a letter saying that no further action will be taken in this matter. If not, you may be questioned further or be summoned to court anyway.

Court Summons

The police may not accept your letters and decide to summon you to court. A summons is a legal notice which requires you to attend a court hearing. This will usually be in front of one or more magistrates. The summons could either be because:
  • You are believed to be the driver at the time of the incident
  • You have failed to identify the driver

Being summoned to court does not necessarily mean that the police believe you to be guilty. In most situations, the police do not think they have the power to consider defences or mitigating circumstances and therefore, decide that it is for the court to make the decision.

If this occurs, you must attend court at the specified time and when asked, enter a plea of "Not Guilty". When asked why, tell the court exactly the same as you have written in the letters; that you were not driving at the time or do not know who was driving and why this is the case. Tell the court that you have provided the police with as much information as you possibly could. Take all of the evidence, correspondence and list of possible drivers with you to the Magistrates. You should also cite cases which are similar to yours such as that of Detective Superintendent Adrian Roberts above.

What is the Burden of Proof?

Usually in English Law, the burden of proof is on the Claimant or the Prosecution to prove that the Defendant is the "wrongdoer". However, in the case of speeding, the burden of proof is on the Registered Keeper of the vehicle to prove that they are innocent. When defending the NIP, you must demonstrate that you have exercised "reasonable diligence" in trying to find out who was driving at the time. This simply means you must do all you reasonably can when trying to identify the driver, such as finding text messages about the car on that day, or identifying the whereabouts of you as the driver at the time the offence was committed.

Once in court, the burden of proof still lies with the Registered Keeper. However, the Magistrates must be satisfied that:

  • You were the driver of the vehicle at time of the offence
  • You exceeded the speed limit for that part of the road
The Magistrates know the law and are impartial. If they are not satisfied as to these elements, then they will not be able to find you guilty.

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[Add a Comment]
Abdul - Your Question:
My friend borrowed my car he got flashed. I got the ticket under my name because I’m the legal owner I gave my friends details sent it back to the police now 6 months later I received a letter saying. Who’s is the driver and what circumstances was he driving my car and also to provide with my contact number and my friends. My question is why did they write back to me and what actions can I take against them because I’ve already filled up the details and sent it 6 months ago why are they writing to me again?

Our Response:
Maybe they simply need more information from you?
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Feb-18 @ 3:30 PM
My friend borrowed my car he got flashed. I got the ticket under my name because I’m the legal owner I gave my friends details sent it back to the police now 6 months later I received a letter saying. Who’s is the driver and what circumstances was he driving my car and also to provide with my contact number and my friends. My question is why did they write back to me and what actions can I take against them because I’ve already filled up the details and sent it 6 months ago why are they writing to me again?
Abdul - 14-Feb-18 @ 9:10 PM
koettiv - Your Question:
I gave my car to a friend for a quick trip. He wasn't insured and he exceeded the speed on the motorway at 97mph. I've received the NIP and don't know what to do, to say that the driver was me, or to say that it was him. My question is: will the police ask for proof of insurance if I will give them his details? I don't want him to pay the fine for the speed+points and the fine for insurance+points. Maybe it's a better idea for me just to ask him for the money and to pay the fine. I'm not afraid of points as I haven't got other ones.

Our Response:
You should always tell the truth in situations like this. At 97mph there's a strong chance that the case will go to court. The recommended penalty for this is a fine of up to 125% of your weekly income, between 4 and 6 penalty points and possibly a 7 to 28 day ban. If you're found to be lying, both your and your friend will be penalised.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Feb-18 @ 3:43 PM
Cam - Your Question:
I receive a letter saying I was speeding 35mph in 30. However I have sold the bike and send log book off but can't remember who I sold it to (it was a couple months back) I got photo via online and can't identify the rider. What would the advice be to deal with it.

Our Response:
If you have sent the log book (V5 document) off then the DVLA may be able to help,even if it hasn't updated its records yet. Contact them first. If they can't help, you could use a copy of the receipt you gave the buyer, or a bank statement showing that money was paid in etcas evidence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Feb-18 @ 2:58 PM
I gave my car to a friend for a quick trip. He wasn't insured and he exceeded the speed on the motorway at 97mph. I've received the NIP and don't know what to do, to say that the driver was me, or to say that it was him. My question is: will the police ask for proof of insurance if I will give them his details? I don't want him to pay the fine for the speed+points and the fine for insurance+points. Maybe it's a better idea for me just to ask him for the money and to pay the fine. I'm not afraid of points as I haven't got other ones.
koettiv - 10-Feb-18 @ 4:55 PM
I receive a letter saying I was speeding 35mph in 30. However I have sold the bike and send log book off but can't remember who I sold it to (it was a couple months back) I got photo via online and can't identify the rider. What would the advice be to deal with it.
Cam - 10-Feb-18 @ 11:52 AM
Arthur - Your Question:
I just received a letter stating a mobile speed camera captured one of my vehicles doing 71 in a 30 not sure of the driver as it is a pool car. How do I get photo evidence as I need this resolved asap. Also I'm pressuring this will be a ban and I own a haulage company and will need to get another driver.Any help appreciated Ps this is Bedfordshire police if that makes a difference

Our Response:
If do not know who was driving i.e. there are more than one insured persons or you were sharing the vehicle that day, then you should not return a signed NIP. If you do so, then it is unlikely that you will be able to reverse it. Instead, you should write to the address given on the NIP stating that you acknowledge receipt of the NIP and are the Registered Keeper, however, you do not know who was driving the vehicle at that time. Request all photographic evidence and/or other evidence the police have so that you can help them to identify the driver and assure them that you are doing all you can to speak to and identify the other possible offenders in the meantime. The police should provide you the photographs if they are available, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Feb-18 @ 9:46 AM
I just received a letter stating a mobile speed camera captured one of my vehicles doing 71 in a 30 not sure of the driver as it is a pool car. . How do I get photo evidence as I need this resolved asap. Also I'm pressuring this will be a ban and I own a haulage company and will need to get another driver. Any help appreciated Ps this is Bedfordshire police if that makes a difference
Arthur - 8-Feb-18 @ 3:00 AM
Wullie123 - Your Question:
Received nip today doing 83mph on a 70mph motorway sure I was driving but my point should Not have been speeding but was really following rest of drivers it was dry and clear what can I expect to get really worried

Our Response:
83mph in a 70mph zone would usually result in a fixed penalty of 3 points plus £100 fine or a speed awareness course. Note however, that speed awareness courses are offered entirely at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-Jan-18 @ 12:19 PM
Received nip today doing 83mph on a 70mph motorway sure I was driving but my point should Not have been speeding but was really following rest of drivers it was dry and clear what can I expect to get really worried
Wullie123 - 30-Jan-18 @ 12:28 PM
I was caught by a speed camera in my boyfriends jeep, the notice came through in his name as he was the registered keeper so I filled in the bit saying I was driving and sent it off and didn’t hear anything back, just found out today my boyfriend has had the points put on his lisence, who do I contact to get this sorted please?
Bonsai - 25-Jan-18 @ 5:24 PM
Deno - Your Question:
I was stopped by PC with a hand held speed gun claiming that my speed was 46 mph in 30 mph zone. I am a professional driver, at the time a had a high profile actor in my car and we were being chased by mad fans. At the time we felt that he could be in danger and and for 3-4 seconds I accelerated to lose them that is when I got pulled over.Should I receive NIP do I have any ground for appeal?Many thanks

Our Response:
If you were stopped at the time you will probably receive a fixed penalty...and the 14 day rule of course will not apply. It's unlikely your reason will be considered good grounds to appeal.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Jan-18 @ 3:47 PM
I was stopped by PC with a hand held speed gun claiming that my speed was 46 mph in 30 mph zone. I am a professional driver, at the time a had a high profile actor in my car and we were being chased by mad fans. At the time we felt that he could be in danger and and for 3-4 seconds I accelerated to lose them that is when I got pulled over. Should I receive NIP do I have any ground for appeal? Many thanks
Deno - 22-Jan-18 @ 12:42 PM
Don2 - Your Question:
Received bailiffs letter saying owed £1121. Called them asked what is this for. They said speeding offence in Manchester. Never been to Manchester and different number plate. Dvla accepted evidence sent, however have 6 points on licence. How do I get this removed please?

Our Response:
You will probably need to apply to the courts to have this removed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:41 PM
X - Your Question:
My son had a letter from work saying that there was a court order for speeding fine not paid. When we loved into it it was in a car he has never seen it was in another part of the country he hasn't and was at work. The court papers etc had gone to an old address which was different from his driving licence and he had.moved out a month before. So they are trying to fine him put 3 points on his licence what can we do been to police station rand dvla up they give him numbers he's just getting sent bk and fourth. What do we do

Our Response:
Has the court hearing already occurred or is this a summons?
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:40 AM
Received bailiffs letter saying owed £1121. Called them asked what is this for. They said speeding offence in Manchester. Never been to Manchester and different number plate. Dvla accepted evidence sent, however have 6 points on licence. How do I get this removed please?
Don2 - 14-Jan-18 @ 1:58 PM
My sonhad a letter from work saying that there was a court order for speeding fine not paid . When we loved into it it was in a car he has never seen it was in another part of the country he hasn't and was at work . The court papers etc had gone to an old address which was different from his driving licenceand he had .moved out a month before . So they are trying to fine him put 3 points on his licence what can we do been to police station rand dvla up they give him numbers he's just getting sent bk and fourth . What do we do
X - 12-Jan-18 @ 11:30 AM
Nige - Your Question:
Hi I received a NIP on the 5th Jan 2018 stating the car with my number plate was driving 48mph in a 40mph area in Southend. It is impossible that it is my car as it was parked in my drive all day in Yorkshire. this appears to be a case of cloning of my number plate. I intend sending a letter to the Police/ Enforcement team stating this and asking for photographic evidence. I have also stated the make & model of my car and given my licence number so they can check with DVLA ( If that's what they do). what should I expect to happen now? will I have to change my plates?

Our Response:
No you won't have to change your plates. As you have suggested, you should write to the police with evidence of where you were at the time and state that you fear your vehicle has been cloned. Then write to the DVLA who will append the information to the vehicle record for future reference and make consider issuing a new registration mark if there is a genuine case for it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:53 PM
Hi I received a NIP on the 5th Jan 2018 stating the car with my number plate was driving 48mph in a 40mph area in Southend... It is impossible that it is my car as it was parked in my drive all day in Yorkshire.... this appears to be a case of cloning of my number plate... I intend sending a letter to the Police/ Enforcement team stating this and asking for photographic evidence... I have also stated the make & model of my car and given my licence number so they can check with DVLA ( If that's what they do)..... what should I expect to happen now?... will I have to change my plates?
Nige - 7-Jan-18 @ 11:30 PM
Bart - Your Question:
I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, I filled out the details of person that I think was driving at the time, but I was not 100% sure, because we swapped during the journey and I do not know she( EU driving licence) does not have insurance to drive in UK, I received another letter form Camera and Tickets Office, to give the policy number the vehicle were have been driving under On the other side of that page they have enclosed a NIP for confirmation or consideration of my nomination.In that case may I change the details of driver, if I believe that I was driving at that time?

Our Response:
If this conflicts with the information previously provided simply because you didn't check that she had the relevant insurance, it's a risky move and not something we can advise on.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jan-18 @ 12:35 PM
I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, I filled out the details of person that I think was driving at the time, but I was not 100% sure, because we swapped during the journey and I do not know she( EU driving licence) does not have insurance to drive in UK, I received another letter form Camera and Tickets Office, to give the policy number the vehicle were have been driving under On the other side of that page they have enclosed a NIP for confirmation or consideration of my nomination. In that case may I change the details of driver, if I believe that I was driving at that time?
Bart - 3-Jan-18 @ 9:08 AM
I had nemerous off speeding fines through regarding a van I sold as the van never had a v5 slip I could not send a way I took his name and details and I rang him to see what happens and he said that his fried word speeding and so on so I got his details and he said on the letters that is was him speeding but I got fine through and points any help
Tommy c - 19-Dec-17 @ 8:53 PM
SunnyD - Your Question:
I received a NIP for a courtesy car that I had for a morning. I disputed the NIP as the time of the offence was after I gave the car back. When The police wrote to the dealership they gave my details but I have written to the Police to ask for photographic evidence based on the fact I gave the car back before the offence. They sent me a letter which has copies of the photo of the car speeding (but I cannot identify the driver as its the rear of the car) and a letter which basically says that I have 2 options either take it to court and let a magistrate decide or take the 3 points and £100 fine as the speed is outside the parameters of a speed awareness course. They have provided a direct number and stated that if I wish to discuss the matter further than I can contact her direct, however the letter does not give a timescale in which I have to respond or any form to complete, just a letter and the photographs. Any idea what I should do?

Our Response:
Does the photo have times on it? If so and you're sure that it wasn't you, you will have to be prepared to attend court to dispute this. Call the number as advised on the last letter you received.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Dec-17 @ 11:08 AM
I received a NIP for a courtesy car that i had for a morning. I disputed the NIP as the time of the offence was after i gave the car back. When The police wrote to the dealership they gave my details but i have written to the Police to ask for photographic evidence based on the fact i gave the car back before the offence. They sent me a letter which has copies of the photo of the car speeding (but i cannot identify the driver as its the rear of the car) and a letter which basically says that i have 2 options either take it to court and let a magistrate decide or take the 3 points and £100 fine as the speed is outside the parameters of a speed awareness course. They have provided a direct number and stated that if i wish to discuss the matter further than i can contact her direct, however the letter does not give a timescale in which i have to respond or any form to complete, just a letter and the photographs. Any idea what i should do?
SunnyD - 9-Dec-17 @ 4:37 PM
Shawn Hender - Your Question:
A while back 2 of us were in a company van and got caught doing 60 in a 50 zone. The other driver received the ticket and chucked the allegation that it was me however due to his laziness has not responded to the ticket. If it was me driving will this cause problems for me in the future as the punishment will escalate with him not returning it?

Our Response:
Did the employer complete NIP and return it with the other driver's name on?
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Dec-17 @ 3:26 PM
A while back 2 of us were in a company van and got caught doing 60 in a 50 zone. The other driver received the ticket and chucked the allegation that it was me however due to his laziness has not responded to the ticket. If it was me driving will this cause problems for me in the future as the punishment will escalate with him not returning it?
Shawn Hender - 5-Dec-17 @ 11:34 AM
I have jist recieved a nip! On the date in question i was on holiday in tenerife (this can be proven) and a number of people have access to my house and car (all have my permision to use my car) what would be the best coirse of action to take or does anyone know a template letter i can use to request the photograph from the police? Thanks in advance.
Cully - 25-Nov-17 @ 9:26 PM
My partner told me he had exceeded his points and that i had to take points for hil, i told him i ddnt want to and he insisted, i ddnt want my insurance to go up and i wanted a clean kicence, iv never had points and i have a clean record, he kept on and on until he put the form in front of me and basicall Said that i was signing it, he filled out al my licence details and he sent it off... after several other incidents i lived to my dads and told him about the incidents along with my being upset about taking these points when the letter arrived at ly dads asking me to confirm i was the driver, my dad- a very upright person i sisted i do right by him and hiw he raised me and not to commit any crimes and told me to explain that i was nit the driver and for them to check their camera, they wrote back asking me to confirm the driver which i did and it was incredibly hard for me as i felt id betrayed my husband.... he seemed unconcerned and still received another 3 or 6 points for none responding, he paid the fine and took the 3 points but they have left the case open and called him to a court.... am I in trouble for being initially coherced and im worried he will teceive more than a ban, - he did a speed awareness course for some point this year and the 6 points he had prior he can argue he ddnt get notified if them but im worried the judge might argue if he wasnt aware if the 6 points why would he coeherce me to take his points... he is going to argue hardship too that peiole around him would suffer if he s not driving... i just d't knw hiw strong his case is... i ddnt want anything to happen to him i jst wanted him to stay within the speed limit and not ask that of me.I feel really guilty.
Flutterby - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:29 AM
I just got sent a NIP letter 17/11/17 Saying I was caught speeding between junction 23 to 24 on m25 clockwise at 10am on 13/11/17. I was at work at the time and when ever I go out on a home survey for work. I have to always log these in our diary so we can claim our mileage back. I double checked if there was any last minute home surveys, I may have done on that day and that had not been updated on my dairy but there is none what so ever apart from one which was at 1pm. There was no photographic evidence sent out to me either, when I called the them up and requested photographic proof, they said if I state I was not the driver then I can not have the image! Apparently there was a animal on the m25 at the time which was why the speeding was reduce to 50mph. (My car was going apparently 69mph) And as for the letter I haven't been advised what to do with it, do I not sign it or etc.. I can do with some advice here right now. Many Thanks
ker - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:20 AM
Hanson - Your Question:
I just received an NIP for doing 80 on a motorway reduced speed limit of 50. On the night in question I was at work and the driver is a visitor from abroad. What are my options as the visitor has travelled back to their country (Germany).

Our Response:
You should reply saying you weren't the driver and give details of the person who was driving at the time. It would be useful if you could provide evidence of your own whereabouts during the time of the offence in case it proceeds to court.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-17 @ 12:34 PM
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