Fleeing the scene of a vehicle collision if you are involved is a criminal offence – even if it’s just a scratch!
You have to report any crash, no matter how minor, to a police station within 24 hours.
You also need to exchange information with the other motorists involved.
The law on crashes
Section 61 of the National Road Traffic Act says that the driver of a vehicle, on a public road at the time of the collision, whether any person is killed or injured or suffers damage in respect of any property or animal shall immediately stop the vehicle; must estimate the nature and extent of any injury sustained by any person, and assist any injured people at the scene.
The word animal includes horses, ass, mules, sheep, goats, pigs, ostriches or dogs.
They must then estimate the nature and extent of any damage sustained. The best way is to take pictures.
All the people involved in the collision – whether they, their vehicle or animal they control – must give her or his name and address, the name and address of owner of the vehicle driven by him or her and, in the case of a motor vehicle, the registration.
If a person involved will not or cannot give information, call the police. Everyone has 24 hours to report to the police about the accident. All the information has to be supplied.
People involved may not take any intoxicants unless administered by medical practitioner.
A traffic officer may check people involved in a collision with a breathalyser for intoxicants.
No person should move any vehicle involved in an accident in which another person is killed or injured until movement of the vehicle has been authorised by a traffic officer or the vehicle completely obstructs traffic and after the vehicles position has been completely marked on the road.
Remember that no person may move a vehicle without permission of the owner or any other person who is the lawful operator of the vehicle, including the police in an emergency.
In any prosecution for a contravention of any laws, rules and guidelines of this section, it will be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the accused was aware of the fact that the accident had occurred, and that he or she did not report the accident or provide information as ordered by law.