Dangerous Driving: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 16th October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many drivers were prosecuted in (1) 2015, and (2) 2016, for failure to stop after a collision.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of drivers prosecuted for offences of failing to stop at the scene of a road traffic accident.

The offence of failing to stop at the scene of a road traffic accident is created by Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which imposes obligations on drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles who are involved in road accidents.

Although it is not possible to identify the number of people charged with particular offences, records are held by the CPS showing the overall number of offences in which a prosecution conducted by them commenced in the magistrates’ courts. The table below therefore shows the number of offences, rather than defendants, charged by way of Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 during 2015 and 2016. It should be noted that a single defendant may be charged with more than one offence.

2015

2016

Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 { 170 }

9,825

9,056

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

It should further be noted that failures to stop at the scenes of traffic accidents are specified proceedings. These are offences which the police prosecute in order to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and ensure swifter justice. The CPS will only prosecute a specified offence in cases where a not guilty plea has been entered. It may also be the case that the CPS will prosecute this offence when the defendant is charged with other more serious associated offences (for example, failing to stop and dangerous driving or driving under the influence of alcohol). The figures in the table above do not include those specified cases prosecuted by the police.

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