Speeding tickets have a way of catching people out at the most inconvenient moments, so it’s only natural to be on the lookout for a loophole. Whether you’ve recently received a speeding ticket or know someone who has, there’s a good chance you’ll have come across something called the 14-day rule.
With so much misinformation being passed from one hopeful to the next, it’s important you fully understand the real limitations of this rule before trying to back out from any payments.
What is the 14-day rule?
Unless a driver is stopped at the time of a speeding offence (in which case a verbal NIP should be given by the police), a Notice of Intended Prosecution is required to be sent by post and received within 14 days. This applies to offences detected by fixed cameras such as HADECS and GATSOS but may also apply to those detected by manned cameras such as laser devices where the driver was not stopped by the police at the time.
You may be under the impression that if a Notice of Intended Prosecution comes through their letterbox more than 14 days after they were caught speeding, you shouldn’t be liable to penalty points or a fine.. This may be the case, but there are certain caveats which apply to this which are important to bear in mind.
According to section 1 of the Road Traffic OffendersAct 1998, the 14-day limit means the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) needs to be served onthe registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days. The police must send the notice so that it can be expected to arrive within 14 days of the alleged offence. Posting the notice within 14 days will not be sufficient if it does not actually arrive at the address of the registered keeper within that time.
Why might a speeding ticket arrive late?
If the NIP was posted to you on time, you might be wondering why you received it so late and whether the 14-day limit could still apply.
There may be a perfectly logical reason why an NIP may have been received by you well outside the 14 day period. For example, if you are not actually the registered keeper of the vehicle, it’s almost certainly been sent somewhere else first before you were nominated as a possible driver.
One of the main reasons tickets are delayed is if they are posted to a previous address or a workplace that’s still registered to your vehicle. Alternatively, tickets are sometimes sent to the wrong owner if a vehicle has been recently sold, or to a hire company if the vehicle is leased.al. As a general rule, a notice will be valid if it has been sent to the registered address of the vehicle (even if that address may not be correct) and it can reasonably have been expected to have arrived within 14 days based on the date it was posted.
The important thing to remember here is that even if the notice was posted within 14 days, this does not always mean it will be on time. There is a presumption in law that an NIP has been served two business days after posting. For example if an NIP has been posted on a Thursday, it will normally be deemed served on the following Monday unless something different is shown. Weekends and bank holidays are not business days. NIPs which have been posted just before bank holidays or Christmas may cause the notice to be invalid.
What if the reasons for the delay were completely out of your control? For example, there might have been a postal strike or your letter could have been lost. Even in these circumstances, you will have to pay the ticket if it was processed on time by the police.