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Company failing to name or nominate a driver - Patterson Law
Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988.
The road traffic offence of failing to name / nominate the driver of a vehicle at the time of an alleged offence can be alleged against a company as well as against an individual.
This normally happens if the vehicle is a company car and the company is the registered owner at the DVLA.
If the company is asked to name the driver at the time of an alleged road traffic offence and the company fails in its duty to do so then the company can be summonsed to court. The company will face a hefty fine unless it can defend the allegation.
If a company is summonsed to court for this offence then there is no risk of penalty points unless an individual within the company is being held personally responsible.
The prosecution can try and show that the failure to name the driver was due to the negligence or conivence of an individual within the company - for example the company secretary or a director.
Company defences to failing to name the driver
The company can defend the allegation if the company can show on the balance of probabilities that it did not receive the request for driver identity in the first place. s.172(7)(b) RTA 1988.
The company can defend the allegation if it can show on the balanace of probabilities that it has used reasonable diligence to fgure out who was driving at the time of the alleged offence.
The company is only allowed to rely on this road traffic defence if it can show that it was reasonable in the circumstances for the company not to have kept records of who was driving the vehicle at the time !
If you run a company and want to be able to rely on the reasonable diligence defence (if you are ever unable to name the driver) make sure you have a good system of record keeping in place and all your employees know about the system. Otherwise if the company is unable to name the driver you will not be able to use this defence.
The law in relation to individuals who are asked to name the driver is difference see here for further guidance in that respect.
The law in relation to s.172 is very complex. We suggest that you ask a question if you have been sent a request to name the driver and you are having difficulties with your response.
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.