Failing To Report An Accident
As well as failing to stop and provide details, there is also a separate offence of failing to report an accident to the police. Any accident should be reported as soon as possible, and no more than 24 hours after it occurred. There is no requirement to report the accident to police, assuming that you stopped and provided details to a relevant party at the time of the accident. Although similar to the offence of failing to stop, the two are separate offences, and it is possible to be summonsed for one or both following an accident.
Any driver that has been involved in an accident has a duty to ensure that the police are made aware of the incident, or to ensure that the other party has their details. Reporting an accident to the police should be done in person, and within 24 hours of the alleged incident taking place. A phone call will not usually be sufficient, and you should go the station personally to ensure that the accident is reported properly.
The offence carries similar penalties to that of failing to stop with a maximum ten penalty points, £5,000 fine and a discretionary ban all possible. Prison sentences are possible but reserved only for the most serious offence. Because failing to report an accident can be accompanied by a failing to stop conviction, this can mean considerable penalty points and fines may be on the cards.
If the driver stopped immediately following the accident and exchanged details with the other party, then there is no requirement to report the accident to the police, although you may still do so in order to avoid any problems further down the line. While it is possible to be accused of both failing to stop and failing to report an accident, if it can be shown that you stopped or that you were not aware of any accident occurring, this may be considered a defence by the courts.
Failing to report an accident is considered a serious offence, and even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you have a legal obligation to report the incident to the police. The maximum penalty is heavy, and it is important that you have a qualified and experienced motoring solicitor working on the case on your behalf to try and ensure that you keep your licence, avoid the fine, and are able to continue driving.
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