Notice of Intended Prosecution

What is an NIP?

A Notice of Intended Prosecution is, as the name suggests, a notification that you are being taken to court for a driving offence. A NIP can be issued in a number of different ways, for a number of different offences, though it must be given to you within 14 days of the alleged offence taking place.

When should you get one?

Under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, you must be informed via an NIP that you may be prosecuted for any of the following offences:

  • dangerous driving 
  • careless and inconsiderate driving 
  • leaving a vehicle in a dangerous place
  • dangerous cycling 
  • careless and inconsiderate cycling 
  • failing to conform with the indication of a police officer when directing traffic
  • failing to comply with a traffic sign
  • exceeding temporary speed restrictions imposed by s 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • exceeding speed restrictions on a special road
  • exceeding temporary speed limit imposed by order
  • speeding offences generally

What form must the notice take?

It can be issued in any of the following ways:

  • communicated verbally at the scene
  • a summons served on the offender no more than 14 days after the offence
  • a notice of intended prosecution (NIP), stating the offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed, which must be served on the offender (or the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the offence), within 14 days of the offence.

It will be assumed that these provisions have been abided by, unless you can prove otherwise.

If the notice has failed to materialise after 14 days (ignoring the day of the offence) then you cannot be prosecuted unless an exception apples (see below).

Should I sign the NIP?

If you’re wondering whether or not to sign the NIP, see this page

Exceptions & get outs

In the following situations you can still be prosecuted even if you don't receive notice within 14 days:

  • A full or provisional fixed penalty notice has been given or fixed under the Provisions of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988
  • A notice which is delivered more than 14 days after the incident is still considered to be served, in cases where it was posted at a time where it would ordinarily reach the recipient in time.
  • The car of the driver charged has been involved in an accident, and the driver is aware of it.
  • The police could not have reasonably obtained your details in time to meet the 14 day limit, or you contributed to this failure to acquire the information.
  • If your current address is not known, it is sufficient for the police to send the NIP to your last known address.

If you're still unsure about the procedures and details of the NIP or motoring offences in general, our Instant Law Line service could be the answer you're looking for. For an affordable price, you can get legal advice on any law problems you're facing, whether they're road-related or not.

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