Motoring Incidents - 1266/19

Date Responded 29 October 2019

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

Please could you provide me with a full list of motoring incidents which were a result of fatigued and/or tired drivers in your area, monthly from 2014 to 2019. Please could this information be broken down into the following categories:

  • The number of incidents per month between 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • A count of actions taken per annum - for example, £9,000 in fines and 30 licence suspensions were issued in 2015

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidelines state that:

A public authority must confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the information you require is held by Northumbria Police as to actually determine if it is held would exceed the permitted 18 hours therefore Section 12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply.  This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00.

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.

I have set out the reasons for this below.

The information requested, if held, is not held in a format that allows its extraction within the 18 hour threshold. Every RTC record for the time periods requested would need to be located and manually reviewed to establish if any had been recorded as fatigued and/or tired drivers as being a contributory cause.  In 2014 alone in excess of 8,000 collisions were recorded . Even at a conservative estimate of 4 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to locate and extract the information for 2014 alone would take over 133 hours.  Further time would then be required to establish a response at your second question regarding fines/licence suspensions.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.

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