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Failing to stop and report

We are Specialist Failing to Stop and Report an Accident Solicitors

Caddick Davies Solicitors specialise in representing motorists who find themselves charged with offences of failing to stop and report an accident, contrary to Section 170(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

In accordance with the law if a motorist has an accident on a road or other public place, which results in damage to another vehicle, personal injury to any other person, damage to any roadside fixture (e.g. signs and fences) or any animal, then they are required to stop immediately at the scene and to exchange their name, address and vehicle details with any person that may reasonably require them. If a person for any reason is unable to provide their details, for instance if it is late at night and there is nobody around, then you are under a duty to report the accident at a police station or to a police constable as soon as “reasonably practicable” and in any event within 24 hours.

The maximum penalty for failing to stop and report an accident is 6 months in prison and/or a fine and the endorsement of between 5 and 10 penalty points.

This offence is commonly committed in combination with an offence of Driving Without Due Care and Attention (Careless Driving) when it is often the case that a person has been involved in a minor collision without knowing (e.g. clipping a wing mirror or brushing a car in the supermarket car park).

We have successfully defended many motorists charged with this offence and so if you find yourself with a Court Summons for failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Failing to Stop and Report an Accident Law

Penalty for Failing to Stop and Report an Accident 

The maximum penalty for failing to stop and report an accident is imprisonment for 6 months and the endorsement of between 5 and 10 penalty points or disqualification from driving.

Most cases of failing to stop and report are sentenced by way of a fine and the endorsement of penalty points, with sentences of imprisonment and disqualification being reserved for the most serious cases usually involving death or serious injury.

if you find yourself with a Court Summons for failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Defences to Failing to Stop and Report an Accident 

There are a number of defences which may be argued against an allegation of failing to stop and report an accident. These include technical legal arguments and also more factual defences, which may include the following:

1) I was not involved in an accident;
2) There was no damage caused;
3) I stopped or reported the accident; and
4) I was unaware of any accident or damage such that I was not aware that I should stop or report the accident.

If you find yourself investigated or summonsed before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to stop or report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Specialist Failing to Stop and Report an Accident Solicitor Representation

How we can help 

We specialise in the representation of motorists charged with the offences of failing to stop and report an accident.

We have successfully defended many motorists charged with the offence and have avoided the endorsement of penalty points on their licence and even disqualification.

If you find yourself being investigated or with a Summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Commonly Asked Questions About Failing to Stop and Report an Accident

I have been accused of failing to stop and report an accident, but I didn't know I'd had an accident - What can I do? 

Sometimes an accident and any damage may be so minor, such that you do not know that you have had a collision or that damage has occurred.

By way of example, you may be coming out of a parking space at your local supermarket when you have a minor scuff with another vehicle and simply do not realise.

In this type of situation you remain under a legal duty to stop and report an accident, however if you are charged with the offence of failing to stop and report an accident, you will have a defence that you were unaware that the collision occurred and so did not know to report it.

If you find yourself being investigated or with a Summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you.

What do I have to do if I have an accident? Do I need to call the police or go to the police station? 

If you are involved in an accident involving any injury to a person, damage to another vehicle, damage to property (including roadside fixtures such as fences, walls and signs) or damage to any animal, then you are legally required to stop immediately at the scene and to provide information including your name, address and vehicle details to any person who reasonably requires them.

Provided that you do this there is no requirement to call the police or to attend at a police station.

If however, you stop at the scene and there is no one to provide details to, for instance if you have collided with property and you cannot identify the owner, you are required to report the incident to a police station or police constable or as “soon as reasonably practicable” and in any event within 24 hours. This means that you should report the matter as soon as you are able to do so.

If you find yourself being investigated or with a Summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Do I need to stop and report an accident if I hit a cat or dog? 

The Road Traffic Act 1988, states that you must stop and report an accident involving damage (injury) to any of the following animals:

Horse, Cattle, Ass, Mule, Sheep, Pig, Goat or Dog

This means that you must stop and if required report an accident involving a dog and that if you do not do so you will commit an offence.

You are not required in law to stop and report an accident involving a cat, however it is perhaps the ethical and proper thing to do.

If you find yourself being investigated or with a Summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to stop and report an accident, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Case Study

Mr Stevens (name changed for confidentiality) was summonsed to appear before Wathamforest Magistrates Court for offences of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop and report an accident.

The accident related to an alleged minor collision with a parked vehicle on a side street, which had involved damage to a car wing mirror.

Mr Stevens had no knowledge of such a collision, but accepted that it had occurred on a road which he did use and that it was possible that he might have clipped a wing mirror and not known. He did not dispute the evidence of independent witnesses that the collision had occurred. As his vehicle was a Land Rover Defender, he explained that the noise in the cab of the vehicle could be loud and the vehicle quite “rattley”.

Based on the above we advised Mr Stevens to plead not guilty to the offence of failing to stop and report an accident, and guilty to the offence of driving without due care.

The case proceeded to trial and at the start of the trial, following discussions with the prosecutor the prosecution chose not to continue with the case and Mr Williams was therefore acquitted or found not guilty of the offence of failing to stop and report. He remained to be sentenced for the offence of careless driving, however on the basis that this was only a minor error of judgement, the court sentenced him by way of the endorsement of 3 penalty points and a small fine. Mr Williams was allowed to recover the costs of his representation by way of a Defendant Costs Order.