The requirement to furnish information is particularly used in Traffic Light and Speed Camera cases where the driver is not immediately stopped and the police do not know who was driving at the time. In such a case the police will issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), together with a requirement to identity the driver, to the registered keeper of the vehicle. A period of 28 days is usually provided within which to respond. If no response is forthcoming the police can bring a charge against the registered keeper of the vehicle, or any other person, for failing to provide the relevant information. In all cases it is essential that the prosecution prove that the request or notice for information was sent and was not returned.
In addition to being charged with failing to identify a driver a person may also be prosecuted for the original offence that led to the enquiry in the first place, such as running a red light or speeding. Arguably such an approach is unfair because the authorities have charged someone on the basis that they do not know the identity of the driver who committed the original offence. However, the approach may work to your advantage if the original charge carries fewer penalty points.
The terms of a 172 Requirement impose strict duties on people to clearly identify a driver. Individuals who ignore or seek to evade the requirement by claiming that they simply “don’t know” will find themselves on the wrong side of a prosecution. Of course, such a response is wholly understandable, especially if you are unexpectedly visited by the police about a motoring offence that took place some time ago. In such circumstances you should ask for and be given sufficient time within which to make enquiries about who was driving your vehicle at a particular time.