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Lesson of the day. Nick off if you have a minor accident

By Innovation - 12 March 2013 25

Unless someone is injured or if an insurance company gets involved it seems that there is absolutely no point in stopping to report an accident.

I’ve seen a related thread on RA a while ago and now we have experienced something similar. We were hit by another car and the driver stopped, looked at our car and apparently mouthed an apology of sorts. Because we thought he was getting out to provide his details, we (and the witnesses) only managed to get his registration number and the color of the car when he then suddenly drove off.

The damage to our car would be less than the cost of the insurance excess and future increased premiums (eg if we got the license number wrong or the driver disputed liability) so it’s not worth claiming. We FOI’d a copy of the other party’s police report but the police have now advised that there isn’t one and they don’t have the resources to contact the driver and ask why they haven’t reported the accident.

Apparently, the police only pursue hit and runs if someone has been injured or if an insurance company gets involved. As well, they don’t keep a record on their database of vehicles in other accidents (eg to identify someone whose driving skills might be failing or someone who makes a habit of hitting other vehicles and driving off). Even if the police were aware of someone’s poor driving skills apparently there is nothing that they can do to have the person’s license reviewed (although they could raise charges if they had the resources). The Officer that spoke to us admitted that they would only take action when someone was killed or injured.

I remember seeing RA discussion about a site called something like “rate my plate” which at least would keep a running public record of these drivers but I can’t remember the reason it was pulled down – presumably the same privacy reasons that RA can’t show images of number plates or perhaps to avoid liability from any vigilante behaviour.

Anyway the whole thing sucks! End rant.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Lesson of the day. Nick off if you have a minor accident
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Innovation 7:24 pm 13 Mar 13

IP – Other than our singular experience (and knowledge of others that may adopt this practice) there is nothing to suggest that this person makes a habit of this. I am inferring, however, that he does.

Alderney – Thank you for going to so much trouble – I was aware of the rules. The point is that we have been informed on two occasions, and by different people, that the police do not (and don’t have the resources to) follow up where an accident report has not been submitted in circumstances such as this. As well, we have had our FOI request returned with the same explanation.

I should note too that this is not the police’s fault; they are under resourced. The fault lies with a deficient vehicle registration database, lack of regulatory powers and penalties for these and many other offences, the need for regular license renewal testing for all and greater police powers to require individuals to be retested (eg the elderly). Having a site such as Rate My Plate would help too.

JC 5:07 pm 13 Mar 13

EvanJames said :

banco said :

There’s always 3 or 4 of them supervising the taxi rank at Canberra airport.

Snow’s personal traffic cops. I would like to know if they’re sworn, or tricked-out protective services. I’ve tried peering at their shoulder things but can’t determine their status at all. I tend to suspect that any vehicle around Barton or the Airport covered in AFP statements are actually not AFP, but protective services.

They are AFP protective services, as opposed to AFP police officers doing ACT police work.

Alderney 1:51 pm 13 Mar 13

Here you go Innovation, I’ve even looked up the relevant section of the ARR for you.

Section 287 of the Australian Road Rules say (in part):

(1) A driver involved in a crash must comply with this rule.
Offence provision.
(2) The driver must stop at the scene of the crash and give the driver’s required particulars, within the required time and, if practicable, at the scene of the crash, to:
(a) any other driver (or that driver’s representative) involved in the crash;
(c) the owner of any property (including any vehicle) damaged in the crash (or the owner’s representative), unless, in the case of damage to a vehicle, the particulars are given to the driver of the vehicle (or the driver’s representative).

It also states:

The driver must also give the driver’s required particulars, within the required time, to a police officer if:
(b) the driver does not, for any reason, give the driver’s required particulars to each person mentioned in subrule (2); or
(c) the required particulars for any other driver involved in the crash are not given to the driver

(4) For this rule: required particulars, for a driver involved in a crash, means:
(a) the driver’s name and address; and
(b) the name and address of the owner of the driver’s
vehicle; and
(c) the vehicle’s registration number (if any); and
(d) any other information necessary to identify the vehicle;
for subrule (3), includes any other information required to be given to a police officer

I’d go back to the police and request them to follow up on your report.

EvanJames 10:36 am 13 Mar 13

banco said :

There’s always 3 or 4 of them supervising the taxi rank at Canberra airport.

Snow’s personal traffic cops. I would like to know if they’re sworn, or tricked-out protective services. I’ve tried peering at their shoulder things but can’t determine their status at all. I tend to suspect that any vehicle around Barton or the Airport covered in AFP statements are actually not AFP, but protective services.

kumadude 10:35 am 13 Mar 13

There is no such thing as an accident, there is only inconsiderate uncoordinated negligent folk who feel they have no duty of care regarding others in the community.
I look forward to the day there is no more development in Canberra, at least half of the halfwitts will then leave.

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