Failing to stop/report accident

Section 170(2) of the Road Traffic act 1988 provides that the driver of the motor vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and the identification marks of the vehicle. The duty to stop means to stop sufficiently long enough to exchange the particulars above: Lee v Knapp [1966] 3 All ER 961.

Section 170(3) places an obligation on the driver, if he does not give his name and address under subsection (2) above, to report the accident to a police constable or police station as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within 24 hours. The duty to report means “as soon as reasonably practicable”: Bulman v Bennett [1974] RTR. It does not mean the driver has 24 hours within which to report the collision.

When the evidence reveals a failure to comply with both subsections (2) and (3), proceedings should be brought for both offences. The failure to stop is usually viewed as the more serious of the two.

Sentencing Guidelines

A person who fails to comply with subsection (2) or (3) above is guilty of an offence punishable with a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment.

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