What Is An NIP?
A notice of intended prosecution or NIP is a letter sent to motorists who have been caught by a roadside camera exceeding the speed limit or not having car insurance etc.
NIPs were introduced when speed cameras were introduced as a means of notifying drivers of their offence and future prosecution.
There are several parts to an NIP, the most important one of these is the obligation to identify the driver at the time of the offence.
Naming the driver is a legal requirement and fialing to do so will lead to the registered keeper of the vehicle receiving double the points that the offence warrants.
There are exceptions if you can genuinely demonstrate that you cannot identify who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, but these are increasingly hard arguments to win unless you are very familiar with the law.
When you receive an NIP you must return the driver information to avoid receiving an additional penalty.
If your NIP arrives more than 14 days after the offence took place, you have grounds to contest it, as it isn’t legally valid. Additionally, if you didn’t receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution at all you can also contest the prosecution in some circumstances.
Many drivers try to contest a Notice of Intended Prosecution because some of the information on it is inaccurate, but that doesn’t automatically invalidate the NIP, it is just a notification, and doesn’t represent the evidence against you. In court, the prosecutions evidence will be accurate!
For many low speed offences and other minor driving offences, you may well be offered either a fixed penalty fine and points, or a driving awareness or speed awareness course. These exist to free up court time and allow the court to deal with your offence quickly and cheaply.
For many drivers it is the best course of action to accept the offer of the course, or the fixed penalty rather than risking a larger penalty in court.