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Motorbike insurance advice: Failing to stop for minor collisions

If you have even a minor collision with another vehicle always stop to inspect the damage and possibly exchange details with the other driver.

Alex Dawes didn’t, and he’s in a bit of trouble.

“I was riding along the left hand lane towards a junction alongside stationary traffic and needed to change lanes in the gap at a junction to continuing filtering. As I passed through the gap I felt a bump and heard a crack.

"I stopped immediately to investigate. I looked down to see If I was damaged, which I wasn't, and then looked back to see what had hit me. It was a red car with its bumper hanging off.

"I sat there and shook my head thinking "what has she done, driving into me and damaging her car like that.

"She then made a gesture, which to me signalled her admission that she was in the wrong, and because of that, combined with the lack of any damage to my bike, I proceeded with my journey to work.

"It was a month later when I got a letter from the police asking if I had been involved in the accident, to which I replied I had been and they replied to that with a court summons for: 1. Failure to stop after an accident, and 2. Failing to report an accident to the police within 24 (or 48) hours."

The bad news for Alex is that the law requires you to either stop at the scene and exchange all personal and insurance details with the other party.

If circumstances mean that does not happen, then you are required to report is as soon as "practible", and in any case within 24 hours.

The use of the word practible means that if you continue on your journey and pass a police station or a police officer but choose not to report it, you have committed an offence at that point.

Unfortunately you can't even claim the “deminimus” rule, that there was no obvious damage so you didn't think there was an accident to report as you have admitted seeing the car's bumper hanging off.

Depending on the severity of the accident the penalties are up to ₤1000 fine and three to six points. I should think you are looking at three points and a ₤60 fine.


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