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Road Traffic Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

4Time for bringing, and evidence in, proceedings for certain offences

(1)Proceedings for an offence in England and Wales under section 1(8) or section 2(8) above may be brought within a period of 6 months from the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge, but no such proceedings shall be brought by virtue of this section more than 3 years after the commission of the offence.

(2)Proceedings in Scotland for an offence to which subsection (1) above applies shall not be commenced after the expiration of a period of 3 years from the commission of the offence, but subject to the foregoing limitation, and notwithstanding anything in section 23 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Act 1954, any such proceedings may be commenced at any time within 6 months after the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the Lord Advocate to justify the proceedings comes to his knowledge or, where such evidence was reported to him by a local authority, within 6 months after the date on which it came to their knowledge; and subsection (2) of the said section 23 shall apply for the purposes of this subsection as it applies for the purposes of that section.

(3)For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) above, a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor or, as the case may be, the Lord Advocate or the local authority and stating the date on which such evidence as aforesaid came to his or their knowledge shall be conclusive evidence of that fact; and a certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed shall be deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(4)Where any person is charged with any such offence as is specified in section 1(1)(b) above or with the offence of failing duly to pay an excess charge and the prosecutor produces to the court any of the statutory statements in Schedule 1 to this Act or a copy of a statement of liability, within the meaning of section 3 above, purporting—

(a)to have been furnished in compliance with or in response to a notice under section 1(6) or section 2(6) above, and

(b)to have been signed by the accused,

the statement shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have been signed by the accused and shall be evidence (and in Scotland sufficient evidence) in the proceedings of any facts stated in it tending to show that the accused was the owner, the hirer or the driver of the vehicle concerned at a particular time.

(5)In section 80 of the 1967 Act, subsection (10) (which restricts the making of references, in proceedings for offences to which subsection (1) of that section applies, to the giving or affixing of fixed penalty notices) shall cease to have effect.

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