David Cooke, Solicitor, West Sussex."
Using Reasonable Diligence - Patterson Law
What is Reasonable Diligence ?
The offence of failing to provide driver information arrises when you are sent a request to of a motor vehicle after an alleged road traffic offence has been committed.
If you are the registered keeper of a car and you are accused of failing to name the driver you will be found not guilty if you can show that you used reasonable diligence to ascertain who was driving at the time.
There is no statutory definition of what amounts to reasonable diligence. Every case is decided on its own merits.
If you are going to try and use the defence of reasonable diligence you have to prove the defence on the balance of probabilities. This means that you have to show that "its more likely than not" that you have done your best to work out who was driving.
We have had cases where Judges have said that using reasonable diligence means "doing your best". Again each reasonable diligence argument is judged on its own facts.
Reasonable Diligence Checklist
- If you don't know who was driving ask for photo evidence from the police. They don't always agree to send it out by explain you are struggling and use your powers of persuasion. Even if the photo is of the rear of the car its important to show that you asked!
- Check that the other potential drivers were insured to drive the car - you don't want to get yourself into further trouble by being accused of permitting someone to drive your car without insurance (6 penalty points) !
- Ask all possible drivers whether they could have been driving the car on that occasion before nominating them.
- Check diary dates/work commitments to try and jog your memory
- Look at a map and check the route if it was a long journey and you changed drivers on route.
- Be careful about nominating people from abroad. The police rarely believe it and tend to think its just an attempt to avoid the points.
We are very good at defending allegations of failing to name the driver. We can often get the police to agree to take no further action or get the matter dropped without trial at court.
If you are struggling and you would like our expert help please Contact Us for further advice.
If you have a court hearing date call 01626 359800
Clarke v CPS 2013 EWHC 366 (Admin)
It's not easy to defend a speeding allegation and its becoming increasingly difficult with cases like this.
A new client came to us after being banned by the Magistrates for 6 months. He had accumulated 12 points within 3 years and the Magistrates court banned him for 6 months. The client tried to argue exceptional hardship on his own and the court rejected his argument.
Our client instructed us to represent him at court when he was charged with overloading a hired minibus. He had hired the minibus as he had his extended family visiting for a holiday. At the same time builders were refurbishing his house and asked him if he could help them collect some extra sand and cement. Our client agreed and they went with him to the DIY shop to collect the materials.