The driver of every vehicle involved in an accident must:
- Stop at the scene of the crash.
- Give their name and address, the name and address of the vehicle’s owner, and the vehicle's registration number (or any other information necessary to identify the vehicle) to any other driver involved, any person injured (or their representative) or the owner of any property that has been damaged.
- If you have not obtained details of the other driver, or have not given details to each person mentioned above, or if a vehicle is towed away, the accident must be reported to police as soon as possible within 24 hours after the crash, except in exceptional circumstances
- If there is more than $3000 damage to property (unless the only property destroyed or damaged is property owned by the driver) the accident must be reported to police as soon as possible within 24 hours after the crash, except in exceptional circumstances.
[Australian Road Rules 1999 s 287; Road Traffic (Road Rules – Ancillary and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1999 (SA) Reg 30]
For example, if you have a minor crash where the total damage is less than $3000, no-one is injured and both drivers provide their details, then there is no obligation to report it to police. Most drivers will require a report however for insurance purposes. SAPOL now has an Online Collision Reporting system to allow drivers to report crashes totalling less than $3000 in damage where no one has been injured. When assessing the damage that has been caused, this includes damage to other property (such as a fence) as well as the car(s) involved. If the only damage is to the driver's car, then there is no requirement that the accident be reported. However, it is advisable to report an accident even when it may not be necessary.
Police can require the drivers to give details of the day, time and place of the crash, details of other drivers and vehicles involved in the crash, and details of injuries and damage resulting from the crash. the names of the people involved and of witnesses and details of injury and damage. Police can ask about vehicle speeds and positions before and at the time of impact, but if you think this information may incriminate you, you do not have to answer. See Answering Questions about what questions you must answer and Arrest and Questioning for further information.
If someone is killed or injured then the driver of every vehicle involved in an accident must [Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 43]:
- stop immediately at the scene of the accident
- immediately give all possible assistance
- within 90 minutes of the accident, present themselves to a police officer to give particulars of the accident and submit to any test for alcohol or drugs
Duty to inform Allianz when the accident involves injury or death
As soon as practicable after an accident involving injury or death, contact the insurer, Allianz (ph: 1300 137 331). They will send forms which must be filled in and returned. It is an offence not to provide this written notice of the accident to the insurer [Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 124].
Duty to remove debris
There is also a general obligation on a driver to remove any debris from the road after an accident. If the driver is injured in the accident and cannot do this personally, anyone who removes the vehicle from the scene must clear the road.
See also Offences and Duties after Accidents.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.