Duty of Driver etc. of Vehicle that is not a Motor Vehicle if Accident Occurs

– section 61A of the Road Safety Act 1986

duty of driver of vehicle that is not a motor vehicle if accident occurs

 

This offence occurs when you drive a vehicle like a bus or tram, and an accident occurs. And you fail to stop, help or provide your name and details to the other party.

Examples of Duty of Driver etc. of Vehicle That is Not a Motor Vehicle If Accident Occurs
  • A tram driver fails to stop at a stop sign and hits a car.
  • A bus driver fails to look in his mirror and hits a cyclist. The bus driver does not offer the injured cyclist assistance.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Duty of Driver etc. of Vehicle That is Not a Motor Vehicle If Accident Occurs?
  • You did not cause an accident.
  • The accident occurred because of something you are not responsible for.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions that are asked in cases like this:
  • Did you do anything that could have caused an accident?
  • Can they prove that you caused the accident?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum) or a level 6 fine (600 penalty units maximum).

This sort of charge would be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

“Did you cause an accident?”
What is the legal definition of Duty of Driver etc. of Vehicle That is Not a Motor Vehicle If Accident Occurs?

A person drove a vehicle which was not a motor vehicle at the time that an accident occurred. And failed to either stop, render assistance, provide their name and address to the other party or to report the accident to police.

The Law

The section that covers this offence is section 61A of the Road Safety Act 1986.1

prison penalty sentencing

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

Depending on the seriousness of the offence you could either get a fine or imprisonment. If someone is seriously injured or dies as a result of your actions then you are more likely to get a prison sentence.

Other Important Resources

 


[1] Road Safety Act 1986 – Section 61A

(1) If owing to the presence of a specified vehicle an accident occurs whereby any person is injured or any property (including any animal) is damaged or destroyed, the driver of the vehicle—
(a) must immediately stop the vehicle; and
(b) must immediately render such assistance as he or she can; and
(c) must at the scene of the accident as soon as possible give his or her name and address and also the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and the identifying number of the vehicle (if any)—
(i) to any person who has been injured or to the owner of any property which has been damaged or destroyed; or
(ii) to a person representing the injured person or the owner of the property; and
(d) must at the scene of the accident as soon as possible give those names and addresses to any police officer who is present; and
(e) if any person is injured and no police officer is present at the scene of the accident, must as soon as possible report in person full particulars of the accident at the police station that is most accessible from the scene of the accident if that station is open and, if it is not open, at the next most accessible station; and
(f) if any property is damaged or destroyed and neither the owner of the property nor any person representing the owner nor any police officer is present at the scene of the accident, must as soon as possible report in person full particulars of the accident at the police station that is most accessible from the scene of the accident if that station is open and, if it is not open, at the next most accessible station.
(2) If a specified vehicle, which has been left standing on a highway, moves of its own accord from the position in which it was left and is involved in an accident whereby any person is injured or any property (including any animal) is damaged or destroyed, the person who left the vehicle so standing must as soon as possible after becoming aware of the accident comply as far as the circumstances permit with the requirements of subsection (1).
(3) If—
(a) as a result of an accident involving a specified vehicle a person is killed or suffers serious injury; and
(b) the driver of the vehicle knows or ought reasonably to have known that the accident had occurred and had resulted in a person being killed or suffering serious injury; and
(c) the driver of the vehicle does not comply with the requirements of subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b) in relation to the accident—
the driver is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum) or a level 6 fine (600 penalty units maximum).
(4) If—
(a) as a result of the accident a person is killed or suffers serious injury then a person who contravenes subsection (1)(c), (1)(d) or (1)(e) is guilty of an offence; or
(b) as a result of the accident a person is otherwise injured then a person who contravenes any provision of this section is guilty of an offence—
and liable for a first offence to a penalty of not more than 40 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 4 months and for a subsequent offence to a penalty of not more than 120 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 months and not more than 1 year.
(5) If no person is killed or suffers injury as a result of the accident then a person who contravenes any provision of this section is guilty of an offence and liable for a first offence to a penalty of not more than 2·5 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 7 days and for a subsequent offence to a penalty of not more than 5 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not less than 7 days and not more than 14 days.
(6) If a person who is convicted or found guilty of an offence against any provision of this section has at any time been convicted or found guilty of an offence against another provision of this section or any previous enactment corresponding to any of those provisions, the conviction for, or finding of guilt of, the offence against that provision is to be taken to be a conviction for, or finding of guilt of, a subsequent offence.
(7) The specifying by subsection (3) of fault elements for an offence against that subsection is not intended to affect the question of whether fault elements are required for any other offence against this section or any other provision of this Act.
(8) In this section, “specified vehicle” means a vehicle that is not—
(a) a motor vehicle; or
(b) a non-motorised wheel-chair; or
(c) a motorised wheel-chair that is not capable of a speed of more than 10km per hour.