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Ontario|Highway Traffic Act
Driving Offences: Highway Traffic Act
524 Failure to report and remain at the scene The offences of failing to report and remain at the site of a motor vehicle accident are committed when a driver who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident fails to report it to the police or fails to remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident.
The law requires that you report accidents that involve injuries or more than $1000 in property damage. You should be careful about estimating what $1000 of property damage is, because people tend to underestimate the extent of the damage. You are obligated to report an accident whether you are directly or indirectly involved in it. The penalty for failing to report an accident is usually a fine of between $90 and $500, and three demerit points.
One defence to the offence of failing to report an accident is that you did not think the damage was over $1000. There must be no injuries resulting from the accident to use this defence. If the total amount of damage is close to $1000, this argument might be successful.
The law also requires that you remain at the scene of an accident, or that you immediately return to the scene. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are legally obligated to give your name, address, phone number and insurance information to people who ask for it. Under the Criminal Code it is a serious offence to leave the scene of an accident. The penalties for failing to remain at the scene include a fine of between $200 and $2000, seven demerit points, a maximum of six months in jail, and a suspended licence for up to two years.
There are several defences that you could use to defend yourself against a charge of failing to remain, but they are difficult to use. If you did not know that the accident occurred, you can use this as a defence. This is especially useful if you were indirectly involved in the accident. However, the court is usually skeptical of this defence. If you have been identified as the driver of a vehicle that failed to remain at the scene of the accident, you can argue that it is not certain that you were the driver. It can be difficult to correctly identify the driver of a vehicle that leaves the scene of an accident. You can try using this defence to raise some doubt about whether it was actually you who did not remain at the scene. It is also difficult to use this defence successfully.
Failing to remain at the scene of an accident is a serious criminal offence. If you have been charged with this offence, you should contact a lawyer for assistance. You can obtain more information about the offence of failing to remain at the scene of an accident from the Criminal Law section of Legal Line .