How failing to stop after a car accident could land you a £5,000 fine and up to 10 points on your licence – The Sun
FAILING to stop following an accident could see you hit with a costly fine and points on your licence.
And you could also find yourself in trouble with the police if you forget to report a crash – even if it wasn’t your fault.
Drivers have a responsibility to stop and provide information, such as insurance details and address, if they’re involved in an accident which causes damage to another vehicle.
Even if the crash is minor, such as a clipped side mirror, you’re required to stop and exchange your details with the other owner.
If you’re unable to get these details for any reason, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
And drivers who fail to report a prang to the police when details aren’t exchanged can also be charged with a driving offence, even if the other person flees the scene.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, you must give your registration details to “anyone having reasonable grounds for requiring them” if you’re involved in an accident which causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property or animal.
It also states that “if for any reason the driver of the other car does not give their name or address you must report the accident”.
If police or a bystander witness you failing to stop, or you neglect to report an accident within 24 hours, you can be slapped with a fine and penalty points on your licence.
And in serious cases where the incident goes to court, you can be hit with an unlimited fine, five to ten penalty points and even a driving ban – but for most drivers, the fine won’t exceed £5,000.
Almost 2,770 people across England and Wales were found guilty for failing to stop in 2017, according to Home Office figures.
Neil Greig, policy and research director at IAM RoadSmart, said: “It has long been a specific requirement in Road Traffic Law that you must stop and provide your details to ‘anyone having reasonable grounds for requiring them’.
“Failure to stop is a very serious offence and that is why the penalties are so high. You do have 24 hours to report your details to a police station, but that does not remove the requirement to stop after a collision involving injury or damage no matter how small.
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“The government are consulting on bringing in online reporting within 24 hours as there are now so few police stations around. This should make it easier but the duty to stop remains.
“Remember that if you do stop the next thing you should do is put on your hazard lights, switch of your engine and then give assistance or exchange details.”
We previously reported the steps you should follow if you’re involved in a car accident.