Failure to stop after an accident – the legal penalties

If there has been a failure to report an accident or you are accused of failing to stop after an accident, the police may wish to interview you as a suspect and you can be prosecuted for this.

If you are facing allegations of failing to report an accident or failure to stop after an accident, you would benefit from receiving expert legal advice from our motoring offence solicitors.

The general rule is that if there has been an accident, which has resulted in injury, or damage is caused to another vehicle or property (such as a building or wall) the driver should stop and make reasonable endeavours to ensure that details are exchanged with the other driver or owner of the property.

In simple terms, if this cannot happen, the law requires the driver to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

If injury has been caused as a result of the accident, it is also required that insurance details are exchanged and if that is not possible then they must be exchanged afterwards and if not the accident must be reported to the police within 24 hours of the accident occurring.

The offences are separate, although it is common for both failing to stop and failing to report an accident being charged at the same time. Legal defence to both charges are available and it is necessary to carefully consider the circumstances before deciding how to plead to the charges.

The penalties for “failing to stop after an accident” or “failing to report an accident” are significant. The court can impose a prison sentence and will certainly consider adding further driving penalties, such as between 5-10 penalty points to a driving licence or a driving disqualification.


What to do if you are accused of failing to stop after an accident

We have extensive experience in advising and defending these matters, so contact us to discuss your situation and receive immediate assistance and help.




Is it illegal not to report a car accident in the UK?

The Road Traffic Act says you must report the accident within 24 hours to the police. You must also report the accident to your insurance company (even if you are not planning to make a claim). You can do this by calling 101, the police non-emergency number.


Should I stop for an unmarked police car?

If an unmarked police car contains a police constable who is in uniform then you must stop. But if an unmarked car is flashing for you to pull over, do not pull over unless you are certain it is the police.  


Do I have to give out my address after an accident?

An offence is committed the registered keeper of the vehicle fails to provide details of the driver within 28 days when they receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution.. If you fail to provide the requested information you will receive 6 penalty points and a fine.