Fail to Stop and Fail to Report an Accident
Failing to Stop and Failing to Report – The Law
When an accident has taken place and either damage or personal injury has been caused then the vehicle driver is required to remain at the scene of the accident and to make themselves available to anyone who might need their personal details and/or their Insurance policy number.
It is an offence under Section 170 of the Road Traffic act 1988 to Fail to Stop at the Scene of an Accident.
There is also an additional obligation (even if you do stop and provide your details) to report any accident that has resulted in damage or injury at a police station as soon as is practical and within 24 hours of the incident.
Under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is also an offence to Fail to Report an Accident.
Sentence for Failing to Report and Fail to Stop
When these offences were originally introduced it was anticipated that they would mostly deal with hit and run offences. Because of this the penalties related to them are onerous.
Many cases we deal with involve nothing more than bumps and scrapes in supermarket car parks, where in many cases our clients tell us that they were not even aware that an accident had occurred. Because of this, while the potential penalties can be severe, in many cases they are dealt with by points and fines.
The range of penalty points for these two offences is 5 – 10. In instances where both offences occur during the same incident, then the offences are usually treated as happening on the same occasion. Should you receive a summons for the two offences, as long as they are related to the same incident, you should only receive points for one offence, not both.
Adding 5 – 10 points onto your licence can have serious consequences however, so if you have been accused of Failing to Stop or Failing to Report an Accident, ask us a free, no obligation question about your incident circumstances.....click this red button
Fail to Stop and Fail to Report an Accident Penalties
The fines imposed for both Failing to Report an Accident and Failing to Stop can be anything up to £5,000 but this will depend on your financial circumstances and the seriousness of your offence.
For the most serious cases, Failing to Stop and Failing to Report can involve a prison sentence of up to 6 months. A prison sentence would normally only be used if someone was injured during the accident and the Defendant had driven away knowing that there had been an accident.
Defences for Failing to Stop and Failing to Report an Accident
Failing to Stop and Failing to Report are both defendable allegations.
- You would have a defence if you were not driving at the time of the offence.
- You would have a defence if you were not driving on a public road or in a public place when the accident occurred.
- You would have a defence if you could demonstrate that you had stopped at the time of the incident and that you had reported the incident.
The most common defence used is that the driver was unaware that an accident had occurred.
Depending on the severity of the impact involved anf the amount of damage, the more unlikely it is that you might not have known that an accident had happened, however, if you can argue that you were genuinely unaware that there had been an accident you have a defence for both of these allegations.
If you were not aware that an accident had occurred, but you become aware of the accident within 24hrs of it taking place, you are required to report the accident in the same way as you would have done had you known at the time.
Additionally, the prosecution are required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that injury or damage was actually caused. If the prosecution are unable to do this then it will be possible to defend the allegation.
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Clarke v CPS 2013 EWHC 366 (Admin)
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