Failing to stop or report an accident
Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court
Failing to stop or report an accident

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Failing to stop or report an accident
  • Elements of the offence of failing to stop or report an accident
  • Failing to stop
  • Failing to report
  • Defences to failure to stop or report
  • Sentence for failure to stop or report an accident

Drivers are under a duty to stop at the scene of an accident, provide personal details and report an accident. These duties are governed by the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988).Road Traffic Act 1988, s 170(1)

These duties arise when:

  1. a driver of a vehicle

  2. drives on a road or other public place, and RTA 1988, s 170(1)

  3. has an accident where:

    1. personal injury is caused (to a person other than the defendant) or

    2. damage is caused (to another vehicle or property other than that belonging to the defendant, or to an animal not in the vehicle)

For a full definition of property see RTA 1988 ss 170(1)(b)(iii) and (8) for the definition of animal.RTA 1988, ss 170(1)(b)(iii), 170(8)

Elements of the offence of failing to stop or report an accident

It is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant did not stop or wait a reasonable amount of time, and that he was aware of the accident.

It is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant did not attend the police station as soon as was reasonably practicable.

This is a summary only offence and so only a magistrates’ court has the jurisdiction to try the case.

Failing to stop

Once the defendant becomes aware there has been an accident he must:RTA 1988, s 170(2)

  1. stop

  2. if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring (ie the other party to the accident or the police)

  3. give his name

  4. give his address

  5. provide the identification marks of the vehicle, a