What Car? Q&A - Am I bang to rights?

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  • Green 4x4s
  • Speeding tickets
  • PS and BHP
A: I have received a notice of intended prosecution from the police regarding a speeding offence – I was flashed by a camera doing 36mph in a 30mph zone.

Thing is, I got the notice after 26 days, and I heard the maximum time the police are allowed is 14 days. Am I within my rights to complain, or is it a fair cop?
Martyn Birks


A: It's true, you should receive the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of the offence (as stated in the Road Traffic Offenders Act of 1988).

That doesn't mean you're off the hook, though, because if you were to appeal and the case ended up in court, you could find yourself in even more trouble.

Why? Because the same Road Traffic Offenders Act essentially allows the police extra time to serve the notice if the name and address of the accused (or the name and address of the registered keeper) could not with ‘reasonable diligence' have been determined with the 14-day period. Maybe the police had a lot on that week?

If the court were to accept the police's explanation for the delay, it is likely to take a dim view of you trying to wriggle out of the punishment, and may impose an even bigger fine.

So, the answer is you're taking a risk by appealing, but many drivers have avoided prosecution doing so in the past.

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