Thousands drivers have been prosecuted in the last four years for failing to give their details after a collision, according to data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
If you are involved in an incident which results in damage to another vehicle or injury to another person, the law requires you to stop and exchange personal details such as your name, address and insurance details with “any person who has reasonable grounds to request them”. If you don’t do this at the scene then you must go to a police station within 24 hours and report the incident and hand over your details.
However, figures from the DVLA obtained via a Freedom of Information request by Select Car Leasing, show that around the country many drivers are failing to do so and then being tracked down by police.
If you are charged with failing to exchange details you could be hit with an unlimited fine, up to 10 penalty points on your licence and even a prison term in the most extreme instances.
London and Glasgow top the list of the 20 cities with the most drivers given an endorsement for the AC20 offence (failing to give particulars or to report an accident within 24 hours). Since 2016, 399 drivers in London have been hit with some form of punishment, while 269 in Glasgow have received the same treatment.
Manchester (148), Birmingham (112) and Northampton (106) were also among the cities with most offenders but the data also shows some other cities had far more offenders per head of population.
While London’s figure equated to 4.44 drivers per 100,000 people, in cities such as Lincoln, Aberdeen and Northampton there were closer to 50 per 100,000. At the other end of the scale, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bradford saw around nine drivers per 100,000 people punished.
Mark Tongue, company director of Select Car Leasing, said: “It’s bad enough being in a crash, worse still to have the person either refuse to give their details before leaving the scene or giving over false information to cover their tracks.
“This offence also covers things such as hitting someone’s empty car, thinking no-one has seen you, and then fleeing without leaving a note.
“At the lowest level we’re talking about selfish, unscrupulous behaviours that push up the cost of car insurance for us all – and leave victims absolutely seething with rage.
“And at the other end of the spectrum, a small minority of motorists are leaving the scene despite other parties suffering injury, which is simply unforgivable. ”