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A Quick Guide to Failing to Stop / Report a Road Accident

Articles, Driving Offence - Quick Guides, Driving Offence Advice

In this “Quick Guide” we will take you through the law, the sentencing and the defence for the offence of Failing to Stop / Report a Road Accident in England & Wales.

The offence of failing to stop after an accident or failing to report a road traffic accident are both contained within Section 170(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Section 170(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 places a requirement on all drivers to immediately stop their motor vehicle if an accident has occurred on a road or public place, due to the presence of the driver’s motor vehicle.

This requirement arises where there is:

  • Personal Injury, or
  • Damage to a Vehicle, or
  • Damage or Injury to an Animal
  • Damage to Property attached to the road where the accident occurred

The driver must stop their vehicle and provide his / her name, address, the details of the vehicle owner and the vehicle registration to a person that has reasonable grounds to require this information from the driver.

The driver must give correct and accurate details in order that prompt communication can occur, if this is not done, the offence of failing to stop and report an accident is likely to have been committed. The requirement to stop after an accident still applies, even if the accident was not your fault.

If a driver continues to drive and then returns to the scene a short while later, the offence of failing to stop may still have been committed.

If for a reason the driver does not immediately stop and exchange details, Section 170(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 places a requirement on all drivers to report the accident to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event within 24 hours of the time of the accident.

What are the penalties for Failing to Stop / Report A Road Accident?

  • 5 to 10 Penalty Points
  • Driving ban of up to 12 months
  • Prison Sentence of up to 6 months
  • Community Order
  • Fine of an unlimited amount

Sentencing Guidelines for Failing to Stop / Report Road Accident

Level of Seriousness
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Starting Point
High level community order
Band C fine
Band B fine
Low level community order – 26 weeks’ custody
Band B fine – Medium level community order
Band A fine – Band C fine
Ban or Points
Disqualify 6 – 12 months
9 – 10 points (Extend if imposing immediate custody)
Disqualify up to 6 months
7 – 8 points
5 – 6 points

When will I require legal representation?

As this is a serious driving offence which can result in a prison sentence of up to 6 months, along with penalty points or a driving ban of up to 12 months, a person charged with this offence should always appoint specialist legal representation as soon as possible.

Things our solicitors look out for in Failing to Stop/Report Road Accident cases

  • Procedural errors
  • Whether the prosecution has been brought within time
  • What evidence the Prosecution has to prove that our client was driving
  • Whether there was in fact a requirement to stop or report
  • Whether there is a viable defence
  • Establish whether our client is at risk of receiving a ‘Totting Up Driving Ban’
  • Identify the likelihood of a prison sentence

Do you require a solicitor for Failing to Stop / Report a Road Accident?

If you have just read our quick guide to Failing to Stop / Report a Road Accident then you should have an idea by now whether you require legal representation for this offence. If you feel you do require legal advice and representation please not hesitate to contact us by calling 0345 222 9955 or by filling out our contact form.

failing to stop and report a road accident uk

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West Midlands
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London Office

5 Chancery Lane

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Milton Keynes Office

The Pinnacle
Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BP

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