Failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident are two offences are aften said to go hand in hand and it is common to be summonsed before the Court for both offences. They are not direct alternatives and you can be convicted of both failing to stop at the scene of an accident AND failing to report and accident.
What does failing to stop and failing to report an accident mean?
The Law requires that a driver of a motor vehicle, who has been involved in an accident to remain at the scene and provide such details as is requested of them by any person. It goes on to say that the driver must report the accident to the Police as soon as is possible and at the latest within 24 hours.
If insufficient details are provided, or you leave the scene but return, then the Court can conclude that the offence has been commited.
What if there is no-one about?
Where an accident occurs and there are no other persons present for you to provide details to, you must report the matter to the Police. It you attempt to leave your details, or demonstrate that you made efforts to inform someone, you may successfully defend a charge.
What if I did not know an accident had taken place?
The question asked by the Court will be
“Should the driver have known an accident had occurred”
A sharp jolt, a loud bang or crash may indicate that an accident had happened and it would be for you to show that you were not aware that an accident had taken place.
Do I need to report an accident to the Police if I stopped and provided my details at the scene?
If you have provided or exchanged details at the scene of the accident, then you are not required to report it to the Police. It would be advisable to take the names and contact details of all persons present at the accident.
What are the penalties for failing to stop and failing to report an accident?
For the offences of failing to stop and failing to report, the Court has the power to impose between 5 – 10 penalty points together with a fine of up to £5,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment. A prison sentence is usually reserved for the most serious of offences. The Court can impose a discretionary disqualification for each offence. This will again depend upon the seriousness of the case and the presence of mitigating and aggravating factors.
What should I do next?
We would always recommend that you seek the advise of a specialist motoring solicitor. It can be the case that following detailed examination and preparation of your case, we can make representations to the Prosecution to persuade them to drop the failing to stop, failing to report or both offences.
If you face an allegation of failing to stop or failing to report an accident then contact us today on 01482 227669 and talk to Carl.