Fail to Notify Police


In NSW, you must notify the police of personal details and the circumstances of the crash if someone is injured, if someone fails to provide information to the other driver, or if a vehicle is towed away. If you don’t, it is an offence. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 20 penalty units.

The Offence Of Failing To Notify Police Of A Car Accident:

The offence that may arise from failing to notify police of car accident is dealt with under Rule 287 the Road Rules 2014. The law establishing the offence of fail to notify police states:

The driver must also give the driver’s required particulars, within the required time, to a police officer if:

  • Anyone is killed or injured in the crash, or
  • The driver does not, for any reason, give the driver’s required particulars to each person mentioned in subrule (2), or
  • The required particulars for any other driver involved in the crash are not given to the driver, or
  • A vehicle involved in the crash is towed or carried away by another vehicle (except if another law of this jurisdiction provides that the crash is not required to be reported), or
  • The police officer asks for any of the required particulars.

For this rule, required particulars, for a driver involved in a crash, means:

  • The driver’s name and address, and
  • The name and address of the owner of the driver’s vehicle, and
  • The vehicle’s registration number (if any), and
  • Any other information necessary to identify the vehicle

and, for subrule (3), includes an explanation of the circumstances of the crash.

When Must You Notify Police?

If police do not attend the scene of the accident you must report the crash as soon as possible within 24 hours (unless exceptional circumstances exist).

If the crash is serious, it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer quickly and they can assist you in providing the relevant information to the police.

What Actions Might Constitute Failing To Notify Police Of Car Accident?

If are involved in an accident and despite someone being injured, you don’t contact the police.

If you are involved in a crash and your vehicle must be towed away, and you don’t report the matter to the police.

If you are contacted by a police officer regarding a crash they suspected you were involved in, and you fail to respond to their requests to provide the required particulars.

What The Police Must Prove:

You were the driver of a vehicle in an accident; and

You failed to provide the required particulars to the police.

Possible Defences For Failing To Notify Police:

Possible defences to a failing to notify police of car accident charge may include:

  • The vehicle is registered in your name but you were not driving at the time of the incident;
  • There were exceptional circumstances as to why you did not provide the details to police within 24 hours.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

In general this offence is finalised by way of a traffic infringement notice, a fine of $330 and a loss of 3 demerit points. You will not be required to attend court if given an infringement notice from the NSW Police or the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).

However, you have the option to elect for the matter to be heard in the Local Court before a Magistrate if you wish to request the Court’s leniency or do not believe you are guilty.

WHERE TO NEXT?

In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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