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Speeding fine. No driver identified.

  • 10-09-2010 3:19pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    Not sure what to do here.

    A speeding fine arrived in the office today. 71km in a 50km zone. Its crazy really. Fine big open road with a 50km limit, and I drive twisty, bumpy country roads home everyday with a higher limit - anyway thats not the issue.

    We accept that one of our vans was speeding and we are willing to pay the fine but we, in good faith, cannot be sure who was driving at the time. The offence took place right outside our depot and it was a van that we use regularly for going to the shop, collecting parts, dropping off customers etc etc. It is usually only gone for 10-30 min and then its back and someone else is off in it to do something else. There are 5 possible drivers and no one can remember who was driving at 4:04 last Monday.
    The location were the offence took place doesn't help us to narrow down the list of suspects as it was so close to the branch - anyone going anywhere would have to use that road.

    I've been in contact with NPO and they say that the photo does not identify in any way who was driving.

    So what do I do? I can't just go out and randomly pick someone to take the penalty points. Surely everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the only proven fact is that the van was speeding.

    I am just the branch manager and the company is a small local owned company with 4 directors.
    How should we proceed? And what is the likely outcome?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,590 ✭✭✭✭ R.O.R


    I'd still request a copy of the larger photo - might give something away about who was driving it.

    As far as I'm aware, the points should ultimatley end up with the company seceratry or one of the directors - but I think that's fairly hard to enforce.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,866 ✭✭✭ Wossack


    may have to make a tough management call


    and draw straws :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 72,119 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    All 5 names in to a hat and draw one :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    There must be a precedent for this? Anyone?

    I can't see how the court could impose penalty points on a random director, or expect us to nominate an innocent driver. Surely everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and not that we are guilty and have to prove our innocence? Who does the burden of proof lie with?

    In good faith I cannot impose on a random employee such a penalty, and even if I did, surely he would have a case to bring me to court for naming him without proof that he was the driver?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,619 ✭✭✭ kildare.17hmr


    the office the fine came from can surley tell you how to deal with this, contact the RSA and ask them. in the meantime pay the fine


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,003 bijapos


    Tell them its a Polish lad working for ye and his name is Prawo Jazdy. The Guards know him well, he's been caught speeding loads of times. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,747 ✭✭✭ mdebets


    Isn't the normal procedure for this to give the fine to the registered owner of the car and drop the points, but require the owner to keep a logbook from now on?


  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    the office the fine came from can surley tell you how to deal with this, contact the RSA and ask them. in the meantime pay the fine

    NO. I emailed them to ask for a picture to identify the driver. They said they would send it but it was of no use to identify anyone. They concluded by saying...
    "Should you not be in a position to Nominate the driver, I would advise you to retain all paperwork you possess in respect of this Notice as you may need to refer to same should any Court paperwork issue to your company in the future."

    I don't think they will accept any payment of fine unless we nominate a driver either.
    They also said...
    "If the Notice is not returned to this office within the 28 day period prescribed for by law for receipt of Nominations, it will remain in the Company name and, if not paid within the 56 day timeframe, court proceedings may be initiated against the Company."

    I don't want to seem uncooperative and do nothing. But that seems to be the option if we can't identify the driver. And then just wait and see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,590 ✭✭✭✭ R.O.R


    ajamesr wrote: »
    NO. I emailed them to ask for a picture to identify the driver. They said they would send it but it was of no use to identify anyone. They concluded by saying...
    "Should you not be in a position to Nominate the driver, I would advise you to retain all paperwork you possess in respect of this Notice as you may need to refer to same should any Court paperwork issue to your company in the future."

    I don't think they will accept any payment of fine unless we nominate a driver either.
    They also said...
    "If the Notice is not returned to this office within the 28 day period prescribed for by law for receipt of Nominations, it will remain in the Company name and, if not paid within the 56 day timeframe, court proceedings may be initiated against the Company."

    I don't want to seem uncooperative and do nothing. But that seems to be the option if we can't identify the driver. And then just wait and see.

    I'd like to see a judge impose points and a fine on a company for driving a vehicle above the posted speed limit.

    Most companies (in fact all) that I've ever worked for, don't know how to drive - yet alone hold a licence.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,619 ✭✭✭ kildare.17hmr


    ajamesr wrote: »
    NO. I emailed them to ask for a picture to identify the driver. They said they would send it but it was of no use to identify anyone. They concluded by saying...
    "Should you not be in a position to Nominate the driver, I would advise you to retain all paperwork you possess in respect of this Notice as you may need to refer to same should any Court paperwork issue to your company in the future."

    I don't think they will accept any payment of fine unless we nominate a driver either.
    They also said...
    "If the Notice is not returned to this office within the 28 day period prescribed for by law for receipt of Nominations, it will remain in the Company name and, if not paid within the 56 day timeframe, court proceedings may be initiated against the Company."

    I don't want to seem uncooperative and do nothing. But that seems to be the option if we can't identify the driver. And then just wait and see.
    well they are not much help then!! was that the RSA who said that?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    well they are not much help then!! was that the RSA who said that?

    NO. The NPO. That was the email address for enquires. Maybe I'll try the RSA also.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 7,941 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Yakult


    ajamesr wrote: »
    There are 5 possible drivers and no one can remember who was driving at 4:04 last Monday.

    Surely one of them knows that they were driving at or in around that time and is acting like a coward by not coming forward.

    Regards to the matter, nothing more I can suggest than whats been said already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    R_H_C_P wrote: »
    Surely one of them knows that they were driving at or in around that time and is acting like a coward by not coming forward.

    The fact that its the road right outside our depot makes it very hard to narrow it down. If it was 10 or 15 miles away it would be easier to identify. And that particular van is very much a small run around van used regularly for short runs. In fairness none of them are cowards, just unwilling to take responsibility without some evidence that it was them. They are good lads that don't usually argue or cause trouble, but they are well within their rights in this instance.
    In fairness I wouldn't know who was in the van TODAY at 16:00, let alone a week ago.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,070 ✭✭✭ ScouseMouse


    ajamesr wrote: »
    The fact that its the road right outside our depot makes it very hard to narrow it down. If it was 10 or 15 miles away it would be easier to identify. And that particular van is very much a small run around van used regularly for short runs. In fairness none of them are cowards, just unwilling to take responsibility without some evidence that it was them. They are good lads that don't usually argue or cause trouble, but they are well within their rights in this instance.
    In fairness I wouldn't know who was in the van TODAY at 16:00, let alone a week ago.

    Sorry to butt in but how long did it take for the ticket to get to you?

    You mention a week ago. Is that literally? So it takes one week for a gatso van to snap you and a ticket to arrive? I may be getting one for my company.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,645 ✭✭✭ knifey_spoonie


    Im my expericence, nothing will ever come of this, well im waiting 2-3 years now and still have no idea who was driving.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,570 rebel.ranter


    A company director is ultimately held responsible for taking the fine/points. It is their responsibility to put something in place to assist in identifying who was driving the vehicle. Similar story for illegal downloading, if a company computer & internet connection is found to be responsible for accessing material illegally the company director is held liable until they can prove the actual guilty party. Big deals were made of both of these items a few years ago where I work (at the time our Director has a UK license, so no points for him!).

    When penalty points came in first all the pool vehicles in work were fitted with tracking systems & we were all given swipe cards for the cars. It was a pain in the backside though if you forgot your card, the thing beeped constantly until you swiped. For some reason we have now reverted to booking them through Excel spreadsheets/Outlook/Diary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭ Chonker


    This happened to us a few years ago 7kph over limit, I simply paid the fine and never mentioned or named the driver, who happened to be me. Nothing ever came back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    Its all a bit frustrating. Many comments seem to contradict each other. "Nothing will come of it" - "the company director will be held responsible".

    There doesn't seem to be a clear picture of how this will play out. But as things stand I can't see any other resolution other than to attempt to pay the fine and see what happens.

    Its a pity the real criminals of this country weren't pursued with the same vigor as the ordinary working person. As a someone commented on another thread, and I believe some Gardai friends of his told him this, its the honest ones that suffer the full rigors of the law, while the liars get away scott free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,242 ✭✭✭✭ djimi


    Probably best to ring the office who issued the fine rather than emailing them. I find a phone conversation is infinately more fruitful than an email conversation. Dont hang up until you get a definitive answer one way or another, and if the person you are speaking to cannot help then ask to speak to someone above them who can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,041 ✭✭✭✭ CiniO


    I can't really see how a director can be penalized with points.
    First of all he doesn't have to have a licence.
    Even if he has, he definitely wasn't driving that vehicle.
    Maybe he doesn't use his licence for work at all.
    Why then, should he get penalty points?

    Second thing that comes into my mind - I would never accept a fine before seeing the picture.
    How can you be sure it was your van? Maybe someone just put the same numberplates as yours and was speeding.
    I don't know Irish law about speed cameras, but clear picture is a must almost in every country. Otherwise penalty can't be issued.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,242 ✭✭✭✭ djimi


    CiniO wrote: »
    I can't really see how a director can be penalized with points.
    First of all he doesn't have to have a licence.
    Even if he has, he definitely wasn't driving that vehicle.
    Maybe he doesn't use his licence for work at all.
    Why then, should he get penalty points?

    Second thing that comes into my mind - I would never accept a fine before seeing the picture.
    How can you be sure it was your van? Maybe someone just put the same numberplates as yours and was speeding.
    I don't know Irish law about speed cameras, but clear picture is a must almost in every country. Otherwise penalty can't be issued.

    He has seen a picture and obviously is not disputing that it is his companies van. The dispute around the picture is that it cannot show who is driving.

    Good point about the company director tho; theres nothing to say a company director has to have a drivers license.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,570 rebel.ranter


    This topic has already been discussed before:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055694869

    One of the points made is that the owner (in the case of a company car the director) is assumed to be driving, so if the real driver has not been identified the director gets the summons. They would have to go to court to resolve.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,570 rebel.ranter


    A link to a 2004 article on the issue here, the relevant section is quoted below:

    http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2004/11/14/story426603463.asp
    Speed traps full of loopholes
    Sunday, November 14, 2004
    A further weakness in the legislation is the advantage it confers on the drivers of company cars. Official figures released to the PAC, which went unreported, reveal that the gardai are reluctant to pursue speeding cases against these drivers.

    This is because the penalty points law only covers the car user. When a camera picks up the speeding driver of a company car, it actually only captures a registration plate registered to a company - an abstract concept not provided for in the legislation.

    "The company does not incur penalty points, because the law relates to the user," said chief superintendent John Farrelly, who inherited the penalty points nightmare when he took over the traffic bureau last September. "There is no legislation under which penalty points can be imposed on the company concerned.

    "However, there is legislation in place to deal with the failure to nominate a driver.

    "We pursue companies in this way."

    Asked at the PAC how many companies had been pursued, he said: "There have been 11 instances this year where we have initiated proceedings.

    There have been one or two convictions. Normally it is the company secretary who is brought to court."

    Up to last December 31, about 235 companies had failed to nominate a driver.

    John Curran, a Fianna Fáil TD, noted that only one in 20 companies had been pursued through the courts. The temptation for many to defy the law might be irresistible.

    Aylward said the law might have to be amended.

    "If we find, on advice from the gardai, that the system is simply proving too unwieldy, we have agreed with our colleagues in the Department of Transport that they should be willing, in the context of forthcoming road traffic legislation - either legislative vehicles already under way or subsequent ones - to tidy up the law.

    "This would make it more convenient administratively for the gardai to go after the company that is failing to identify its driver.

    "At the moment, it is slightly unwieldy, since the garda has to identify the court area, and, if resourced, the investigation must get after the company, its secretary and so on. However, it will not be allowed to emerge as a significant loophole."

    Julie O'Neill, a senior civil servant in the Department of Transport, said: "It is a great incentive to nominate people, if owners know they will attract the points if they do not do so. It is clearly a somewhat different issue where companies are concerned.

    "We want to facilitate the gardai in any way possible to pursue the company, and we are exploring the idea of going beyond simply making the company responsible for nominating the individual driving the car.

    "A named person in the company, such as the company secretary, might be assigned that responsibility specifically, making it easier for the gardai to pursue the matter to prosecution. Several other issues arise from time to time regarding the legislation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,041 ✭✭✭✭ CiniO


    This topic has already been discussed before:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055694869

    One of the points made is that the owner (in the case of a company car the director) is assumed to be driving, so if the real driver has not been identified the director gets the summons. They would have to go to court to resolve.

    So again the question that I asked a while ago.
    What if company director doesn't have a driving licence.
    Is he still assumed he was driving?
    If so, he will have to be charged for driving without licence, and for driving without insurance (as company's policy couldn't cover him as he just doesn't have licence).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,496 Mr. Presentable


    ajamesr wrote: »
    Its a pity the real criminals of this country weren't pursued with the same vigor as the ordinary working person. .

    This kind of crap winds me up. Someone in your company knows he/she was doing 40% over the speed limit and you say the Gardai should be chasing "real criminals".

    I don't know how this will pan out, but as a company director I would expect to be capable of knowing who was at the wheel or take the rap myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ Bumpstop


    I dunno if this helps but here is my experience.
    I got a speeding notification in the mail with a tiny photo of my reg plate. It was the front reg plate so I guessed it was a Gatso van.
    Now there is no way I will accept a summary fine, So I wait for my court summons. When it arrives about 8 weeks later, it had a full blown picture of the front of the car, with me clearly visible. So the gatso must take a full photo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,248 ✭✭✭✭ Esel


    Surely your company has CCTV - which could be used to identify the driver.

    If not, please PM all details. :D

    Not your ornery onager



  • Registered Users Posts: 580 ✭✭✭ Meeoow


    if a private vehicle is done for speeding, it is assumed that the owner is driving unless proven otherwise.
    Why shouldn't it be the same for you?
    If your company get off scot free, everyone would use the same excuse and get off fines. someone has to be accountable or everyone would use that excuse.
    So suck it up, admit who was driving the van, and let them suffer the consequences.


  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ ajamesr


    Meeoow wrote: »
    if a private vehicle is done for speeding, it is assumed that the owner is driving unless proven otherwise.
    Why shouldn't it be the same for you?
    If your company get off scot free, everyone would use the same excuse and get off fines. someone has to be accountable or everyone would use that excuse.
    So suck it up, admit who was driving the van, and let them suffer the consequences.

    Our company has 4 directors. Which one should be held responsible. And I love the way many assume that we are trying to avoid some penalty. Has it not occured to anyone that we genuinely do not know who was driving? The offense took place 100 yards from our depot, someone could have jumped in the van to go and get milk from the shop around the corner and that was the offence, but we can't remember who went up to get the milk, or drop a customer back, or collect a part at exactly that time on Monday. Its a little run around van that gets used for short, small trips and as soon as it comes back someone else hops in to go and do something else.
    Honestly we could not in good faith nominate a driver. We would have no problem admitting who was driving if we knew without doubt.
    And by the way we are not looking to get off scott free. We have offered to pay the fine.
    I would rather people would presume that we genuinely cannot be sure who was driving rather than jump to the conculsion that we are trying to pull a fast one, effectivley accussing me of lying.
    My original question was if we HONESTLY (and there are still some honest people living in Irleand dispite the example our governemnt ministers set) cannot identify the driver, then what is the LAWS stand on this?

    Please don't reply if your answer is simply going to accuse me of lying...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,390 ✭✭✭✭ Saruman


    If the company director can emphatically prove that they were not driving (out of the country or something) then surely they can not be given the points?


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