Failure to Stop

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Legal, Motoring, Transport

Failure to stop and report

Failure to stop happens when an accident involving a vehicle has occurred and the owner of the vehicle failure to stop at the scene, and when he or she is required to do so, does not exchange or provide their details.

‘Failure to report’ happens when a driver does not report the accident within 24 hours to the police.

Every motorist is under a duty to stop at the scene of an accident and remain for such time as is reasonable in the circumstances to allow details to be exchanged with any person requiring them.

If you do stop and there is nobody with whom to exchange details, for instance perhaps it is late at night, then you must report the accident as soon as reasonably practicable and within 24 hours other wise you could be charged with failure to stop.


failure to stop

Firstly, you have to know you have been involved in an accident. There may be genuine reasons why you were not aware of this which would be a Defence to any prosecution. However, you only have to be the cause of an accident, so the fact that you did not hit anything does not mean there is no duty to report or you have failure to stop and report the accident.

Secondly, there must be damage to a person, property or animal. Drive into a ditch damaging your own car, nothing else, is not reportable. Should you injure your passenger in the same accident it is reportable.

hit and run motoring offences

Under s. 170 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 drivers have a duty to stop, report and give information or documents after an accident, it states:

(1) This section applies in a case where, owing to the presence of a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place, an accident occurs by which—

personal injury is caused to a person other than the driver of that mechanically propelled vehicle, or

damage is caused—

(i) to a vehicle other than that mechanically propelled vehicle or a trailer drawn by that mechanically propelled vehicle, or
(ii) to an animal other than an animal in or on that mechanically propelled vehicle or a trailer drawn by that mechanically propelled vehicle, or
(iii) to any other property constructed on, fixed to, growing in or otherwise forming part of the land on which the road or place in question is situated or land adjacent to such land.

(2) The driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address and also the name and address of the owner and the identification marks of the vehicle.


(3) If for any reason the driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle does not give his name and address under subsection (2) above, he must report the accident.

(4) A person who fails to comply with subsection (2) or (3) above is guilty of an offence.


If you have been accused of a failing to stop offence and need some help defending the allegation, ask a free question HERE and find out if you have a valid legal defence.



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