VEHICLE owners who refuse to spill the beans on the driver who was behind the wheel at the time of a speeding offence are warned they could be stung with heavy fines.
Cheshire Constabulary says any registered keeper who receives a notice of intended prosecution for a speeding offence is legally obliged to state the full details of the person who was driving at the time of the offence.
The notices state: 'If you were not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, you are required to give any information in your power which may lead to the driver's identification.'
But police say many fail to provide the information required and are making things much worse for themselves. Some people think they can ignore the notices altogether.
The offence can result in a £1,000 fine and points on their licence.
And the message comes at a time when some UK police forces have begun to adopt special speed trap technology which not only snaps a picture of the vehicle and its registration number from behind but uses a second camera positioned in front to take a picture of the driver.
In Halton, a frozen food retailer was fined £1,000 for failing to provide the necessary information and another resident was fined £80 with three points on their licence.
A spokeswoman for Cheshire Safety Camera Partnership, said: 'Cheshire Safety Camera Partner-ship, which is responsible for speed and red light cameras operating in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, encourages anyone to proceed to court if they feel they have a viable case.
'Unfortunately, there are some people who wrongly believe that if they don't respond to the notice of intended prosecution, they will be forgotten and let off the alleged offence. This is simply not true, as demonstrated by the results of recent court cases.
She added: 'It would be advisable that the next time your partner, relative or friend asks to borrow your vehicle, your employee uses the pool car or you agree to share the driving on a long journey, think twice before you casually hand over the keys to a vehicle registered as belonging to you or your company. Ultimately, it is you who is held responsible.'