Speeding Cases to be Abandoned Due to Delays in Bringing the Case Before the Court?

Reports in the press today suggest that Greater Manchester Police has been forced to abandon cases against drivers alleged to have been speeding due to delays in bringing the case before the court. 

The challenge relates to section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that a vehicle owner has 28 days to provide the driver’s details upon receipt of a request from the Police to do so.

Following a Scottish High Court ruling from October 2010 - where a motorist was prosecuted more than six months after failing to provide driver details for an alleged speeding offence - cases in the Greater Manchester Police area are currently being withdrawn in similar circumstances.

As a result,  ongoing prosecutions around the country may now be discontinued and people may now seek to appeal against previous convictions of a similar nature.

However, the Scottish High Court is only persuasive authority.  The issue has not yet been tested by an English court by way of guidance in respect of this argument and, at present, this therefore seems to be confined to the Greater Manchester Police force area.