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Failure to Stop / Failure to Report

Failure to Stop and/or Report a Road Traffic Accident

If you have a motor vehicle accident which causes injury to another person or damage to property, do not sneak away from scene and hope no one ever finds out you were involved. Under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, if you fail to stop and exchange details with the other party involved in the accident, or if you are unable to locate the person who owns the property you have damaged, report the accident to the police within 24 hours, you will have committed an offence which carries harsh penalties.

Penalties for Failure to Stop and/or Report

If you fail to stop or fail to report an accident you can be charged with an offence even if the accident was not your fault. The penalties for these offences reflect the serious nature of the crime. In extreme cases, such as a hit and run involving serious injury or death, custodial sentences can be handed down.
For failure to stop and/or report an accident the court has the power to issue 5-10 penalty points, up to six months disqualification and impose a maximum fine of up to £5,000.00.


If no injury or damage to property is caused in the accident, then there is no duty imposed on the driver of a vehicle to stop and/or report the incident.
The most common defence for failure to stop at the scene of an accident is that the driver was unaware they had been involved in an incident. Minor bumps or scrapes on the road can often go undetected by a driver, especially if their senses are affected in some way, for example, they have the car stereo on high volume which lessons their ability to hear any vehicle impact. This onus is on the defendant to prove that they were not aware they had been involved in an accident on the balance of probabilities. The court will take into account factors such as the impact of the collision and the damage to the driver’s vehicle.

Other defences include:
• You were not driving the vehicle at the time the incident occurred
• You were driving in a private place or on a private road at the time the incident occurred
• You can show that you in fact did stop at the time of the accident and/or did make a report to the police within 24 hours of the incident.

Contact Us
If you have been charged with failure to stop or failure to report then contact us today. We have years’ of experience defending clients against motor vehicle offences and we can advise you on the best course of action to take in a straightforward, down to earth manner. If you chose to fight the charge we will ensure we put a strong case forward in your defence. If you decide to plead guilty we will work to ensure you receive the lowest penalty possible.

Call us today on 0207 797 7788 to talk through your situation with us.