Failure to Provide Driver Details (Section 172)

This area of the law is governed by the rules set out in section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

A ‘section 172 notice’ (also sometimes loosely referred to as a notice of intended prosecution) is commonly encountered in a situation where a vehicle bearing a particular registration has been detected as being involved in a road traffic offence (i.e by a GATSO speed camera) but the identity of the driver is not known.

Such notices require the registered keeper of a vehicle to assist in identifying who was driving a vehicle at the time an offence took place

A driver who receives a section 172 notice has 28 days in which to respond to the notice. Failure to comply with such a notice is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1000 and the imposition of six penalty points on your license. The courts also possess the power, exercised on a discretionary basis, to disqualify, for an offence of this nature.

A ‘section 172 requirement’ can also be made by a police officer engaged in the investigation of a road traffic violation. Failure to comply with such a requirement attracts identical.
Any driver who has received a ‘section 172 notice’ or expects to be made subject to a section 172 requirement is advised to seek immediate expert advice on how to respond.

Employers should note that the legal requirements of s172 place certain obligations upon them. For example, an employer is lawfully obliged to keep a record of who was driving a company car at any given time and could face prosecution if they fail to do so.

For ordinary registered keepers of vehicles it is a defence to a charge under section 172 to show that ‘reasonable diligence’ was exercised in attempting to ascertain who the driver was at the time in question. As with other statutory defences under the road traffic legislation this a defence which the accused person requires to prove on the balance of probabilities.


A couple of case examples:

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