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).

These duties arise when:

  1. a driver of a vehicle

  2. drives on a road or other public place, and

  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 170(8) for the definition of animal.

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

'Accident' is not defined in RTA 1988 and it is left to the courts to apply a common sense approach, perhaps asking whether an ordinary person would, in the circumstances of the case, say that there had been 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 they were 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 reasonably practicable.

This is a summary only offence and so only