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Failing to stop after an accident

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Failing to stop after an accident


What to do if you have failed to stop after an accident ?


Being involved in a road collision can be disorienting and shocking without the relevant information surrounding the actions you must take when involved in an accident you could find yourself charged for an offence you weren't aware you committed . If you have been involved in an accident , charged with failing to stop or accused of being in an accident of which you have no recollection, read on . 

At Parnell and Peel we have specialised in motoring offences for over 16 years and possess an extensive track record of successful cases and happy motorists .

We believe that solely providing exemplary legal representation isn't enough and aim to educate and inform our clients and motorists on the implications , consequences , defences and procedures of their case to ensure our clients aren’t  left in the dark in a difficult time in their lives . If you have been charged or accused with failure to stop after an accident contact us now for a free legal consultation to see where you stand in regards to your case .


What happens if you fail to stop after an accident ?



If you have been involved in an accident that has caused damage or personal injury legally as a motorist you are required to stop at the scene in order to exchange details with the other party affected by the accident the information required is as follows

  • The Full Name of the Driver

  • The home address of the driver

  • Full name / address of registered keeper ( If keeper is different )

  • Vehicle Registration Number 

If you fail to stop at the scene of the accident you could be charged with a failure to stop offence or a failure to furnish information offence . If you have failed to stop you may receive a letter from the police requesting the driver's information Failure to do so may result in further penalties so it is adamant that you fulfil this request and provide the correct details if you were the alleged driver or you are the registered keeper aware of who the driver of the vehicle was at the time of the offence .


Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 



Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act states there is a duty on the registered keeper of a vehicle to provide information as to the identity of the driver as they may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police where the driver of a vehicle is alleged to be guilty of an offence under Road Traffic  Act. If the police are informed of a driving offence a section 172 notice will be sent to the address of the registered keeper of the vehicle .

The notice should arrive within 2 weeks of the incident and will come alongside a NIP ( Notice of Intended Prosecution )  .

The notice will be a document containing questions in regards to the incident and  is required to be returned within 28 days or you can be charged with failure to provide driver details . It is important to note that filling out the document is not a proclamation of guilt in regards to the defence and cannot be used entirely to convict you of an offence .


What are the penalties for failure to stop at the scene of an accident / failing to report an accident within 24 hours ?



If you have been involved in an accident the maximum penalties you may face are shown in the table  below :


Level of SeriousnessStarting PointRangeDisqualificationPenalty Points
Category 1

High level community order

Low level community order – 26 weeks’ custody6 – 12 months

9 – 10 points

Category 2

Band C fine

Band B fine – Medium level community orderup to 6 months7 – 8 points
Category 3

Band B fine

Band A fine – Band C fineNone 5 – 6 points


The penalties shown above are determined by the S172 magistrates sentencing guidelines and the range and severity of penalties imposed is under the discretion of the magistrates . As well as the nature of the offence other factors will also be taken into account such as mitigating and aggravating factors surrounding the offence .

Aggravating factors may include :
  • Previous Convictions 

  • Whether the offender was on bail at the time 

  • Little or no attempt made to comply with duty

  • Evidence of bad driving

  • Failure to comply with current court orders

  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision

Mitigating factors may include :
  •  No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions

  •      No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions

  •     Remorse

  •     Good character and/or exemplary conduct

  •     Reasonably believed identity known

  •    Genuine fear of retribution

  •    Significant attempt made to comply with duty

  •    Serious medical condition requiring urgent, intensive or long-term treatment

  •    Mental disorder or learning disability

  •    Age and/or lack of maturity

  •    Sole or primary carer for dependent relatives


What to do if you leave the scene unintentionally ?



If you fled the scene in a state of shock due to the accident you should try to return immediately in order to comply with the law . If you are unable to return to the scene for whatever reason you should contact the police and report the accident within 24 hours . After doing so contact your vehicle's insurance company and inform them in regards to the details of the accident . 


How we help



At Parnell and Peel our team of solicitors have been solely dealing with Motoring related offences for nearly 2 decades with an extensive track record of happy motorists and an outstanding team of solicitors and representatives we provide exemplary legal representation and consultation on all motoring offences . To hear from our happy clients click here

If you have been charged for or accused of  failing to stop after an accident or failure to provide details contact us now over the years we have developed and identified numerous tried and tested defences and loopholes in order to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case . 





What defences can I use for failing to stop / failing to provide details ?



Defences we use here at Parnell and Peel to obtain successful outcomes for our clients range from proving the motorist was not aware of the accident , extenuating factors such as a medical emergency , invalid evidence provided by the prosecution and procedural errors .


If I have been involved in a minor accident should I still report it to the police ?



If you have been involved in a minor road accident where no injuries or serious damage are present you are not usually required to contact and notify the police but in some conditions it may be best . Instances like this may be :

  • If one of the parties involved is under the influence of drink/drugs 

  • If one of the parties is displaying aggressive behaviour 

  • If there is a disagreement between parties on details of the incident