It is an offence to fail to stop (at the scene) and report a traffic accident if personal injury has been caused to someone other than the driver of the vehicle or if damage has been caused. This duty only applies to the driver of the vehicle. The driver must either exchange details with the other parties at the scene or report the accident to a police officer at a police station within 24 hours of the accident or as soon as is reasonably practicable.
As with many road traffic offences, the sentencing powers of the Courts are very powerful and stringent. Upon conviction a defendant can be sentenced to a penalty point endorsement of between 5 and 10 points or could even be sent to prison for up to 26 weeks. In addition the fine imposed by the Court could be up to £5,000.
The sentence would vary depending on the seriousness of the offences alleged. Seriousness is assessed either on the degree of damage caused or the efforts made by the defendant to comply with his duty to stop and report the accident to the police.
Depending on the facts of the individual case, these cases can be defended. For example the duty only applies to a defendant if they are aware an accident occurred. Also, there is no defined period of time that a defendant must remain at the scene.
Due to the severe sentencing powers available to the Courts for failure to stop or to report a road traffic accident offence, expert legal advice and representation should be sought quickly.
To discuss your case with one of our Driving Offence Solicitors, call us for a free initial consultation and we'll be happy to help.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Watford, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Cambridge.