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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been sent a section 72? notice, which mention a possible

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I have been sent a section 72? notice, which mention a possible offence (which I didnt commit since someone ran into the back of me) but Im not sure if it is an intention to prosecute or just a request for information

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was at traffic lights and someone ran into the back of me. It was a slight shunt. We both got out. She seemed OK and there didnt appear to be any damage. Neither of us asked for details. I got back into my car, and then after the lights changed drove off. I informed my insurance company the following day, who informed me that a whiplash and car damage claim had been submitted. I then received a letter from GMP saying an alleged offence had taken place...failing to stop, failing to give details and driving without due care and attention. I filled in the form to confirm that I was the driver, and am dealing through my insurance comoany. They are coming to take a staement and plan to fight the icivil claim, but obviously I' concerned about any possible police action I have not had an accident for over ten years, and have never had an issue like this - I though I was being considerate in not going after the other person for hitting my car!

I'm sorry for the delay. I had some technical issues and wasn't able to log in.

When you say a s72 notice, I presume you mean a s172 ? It should ask for the identity of the driver?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, section 172


I presume you were the driver on that occasion?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes iI was

Thanks. I just need 10 mins to type out an answer if thats ok?
Thanks for the information.

The document you have received is confusing. It combines two legal entities. The first is a notice of intended prosecution. The second is a request under s172 for the identity of the driver.

The first point to make is that you must complete the s172 form disclosing the driver's identity. If you don't they will just charge you with failing to identify to which you wouldn't have a defence so you absolutely did the right thing by completing that

You don't admit the offence by completing that document. All you do is deal with your s172 responsibility to tell them who was driving.

The second point is the prosecution itself. They are giving you notice that they are considering a prosecution. It doesn't mean that they will necessarily. It certainly doesn't mean it will succeed. I have to say that if this a rear end shunt I would be interested to know on what basis they say you were driving without due care and attention.

There is a possible prosecution for failing to stop and report. Ultimately you didn't exchange details. There is a debate over what 'stopping' means but there is caselaw that says you have to stop long enough to provide your details. That doesn't mean hand over your insurance details necessarily as some people very sensibly don't carry them. It does mean that you have to offer a name and address.

Overall, if this is a rear end shunt and you have exchanged details now then I'm not sure they would prosecute you. Apart from anything else, she must have had some information from you to make a claim. I'm not sure it would be considered in the public interest if they facts are as you say.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you want more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



The document doesn't say it is a Notice of Intention to Presecute. It just says it is a request for information. I've just popped into the local police station and they have confirmed it's not a Notice of Intenton...their view was that considering the circumstances they didnt think there was a case to answer, but it is a different force that sent me the letter...and of course anything with the word POLICE written on it makes you concerned...


I returned the form by recorded delivery the next day

Its just a s172 form then

They don't have to give out a nip with failing to stop and report but they do for careless driving. There's no case in careless driving on these facts.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is 'driving without care and attention' what you termed careless driving?

Yes, formally known as driving without due care and attention or careless driving variously in statutes. There is no case for that if this is a rear end shunt.
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