After an accident - Failing to stop and assist after impact causing injury


In NSW, failing to stop and assist after an accident in which injury was caused to another person is an offence under the Road Transport Act 2013. This offence is punishable with a maximum fine of 30 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment, or both, for a first offence.

The penalties for a second or subsequent offence within a 5 year period include a maximum fine of 50 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment, or both.

The Offence Of Failing To Stop And Assist

Section 146 of the Road Transport Act 2013 makes provision for the offence of Failing to Stop and Assist after Impact Causing Injury. The legislation states that a person is guilty of an offence if:

  • the vehicle they are driving or riding is involved in an impact causing the death of, or injury to, another person, and
  • the person knows, or should know, that the vehicle has been involved in an impact causing injury to another person, and
  • the person fails to stop and give any assistance that may be necessary and that it is in the person’s power to give.

Maximum penalty (first offence): Fine of 30 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment, or both.

Maximum penalty (second offence): Fine of 50 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment, or both.

The offence also has an automatic 3 year disqualification.

What Actions Might Constitute Failing To Stop And Assist?

Hit and run.

A person on a push bike rides into the side of the car but the driver continues to drive without stopping to confirm the rider was unharmed.

Four cars are involved in an accident at an intersection. One vehicle is largely undamaged and the driver leaves the scene although he can see that an ambulance is being called for another person.

What The Police Must Prove:

To convict you of Failing to Stop and Assist, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • There was an impact causing death or injury; and
  • You were the driver or rider of a vehicle involved in the accident; and
  • You knew, or ought to have known that another person was injured; and
  • You failed to stop your vehicle; or
  • You stopped your vehicle but did not provide assistance that was in your power to provide.

Possible Defences For Failing To Stop And Assist:

Possible defenses to a Failing to Stop and Provide Particulars/Assist charge include but are not limited to:

  • The car is registered in your name but you were not driving at the time of the incident;
  • You stopped the car and did everything within your knowledge and experience to assist the injured person;
  • You could not reasonably stop the car due to the circumstances of the accident e.g. it was dangerous to stop or exit the vehicle.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This matter is a summary matter and will be heard in the Local Court.

 

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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