Leaving the Scene of an Accident Can Cost You
An auto accident can leave anyone feeling disoriented, shaken up, and scared. What happens now? Many people worry about encountering the police. For some, they have never had to deal with the police before. In the moments immediately following an accident, some people panic. Their sense of self-preservation takes over, and they leave the scene without considering the consequences.
If you fail to remain at the scene of an accident, you could face harsh penalties under Ontario law. This type of offence is known as a “hit and run,” and the police take it very seriously.
Offenders who flee the scene of an accident can be charged in two ways, depending on the facts involved. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, “Fail to Stop at the Scene of an Accident” is a federal offence. “Fail to Remain at the scene of an accident” is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.
Under Ontario law, an individual involved in an auto accident is required to remain at the scene, render assistance if necessary, and provide his or her name, address, driver’s licence information, and insurance to the police or the person who sustained an injury. The driver must also report the accident to the police right away if the accident resulted in personal injury or more than $1,000 in property damage.
Because it’s not always easy or straightforward to determine if an accident caused injury or property damage, it’s best to always report an auto accident, even if you think it was minor. Individuals charged with an offence under Ontario’s hit and run law face up to six months in prison, the possible loss of their driver’s licence, and a fine ranging between $600 and $2,000. Motorists who fail to remain at the scene may also see a hike in their auto insurance rates.