Charges: Fail to Stop Following Accident where Person Seriously Injured Section 61(3) of the Road Safety Act; Fail to Render Assistance where Person Seriously Injured; Careless Driving Section 65 of the Road Safety Act
Facts: The client was driving his ute to work towing a tandem trailer. He accidentally tapped a cyclist whilst overtaking, and the cyclist came off his bike. The car behind the client’s car then drove over the cyclist, destroying his bike and breaking the cyclist’s leg. The client kept driving, not realising that he had caused a serious accident.
Results: The matter was case conferenced and the prosecutors were urged strongly to withdraw the first two charges concerning knowingly leaving the scene of an accident.
To prove the first two charges the prosecutors had to establish knowledge. The client had given a record of interview where he denied knowledge of the accident. It was conceivable that the client had not felt any contact with the bike. Further, witnesses did not say the client had hit his brakes following the accident or modified his driving in any way. These matters were all supportive of the defence position that the client was not aware of any accident. The prosecutors agreed and withdrew the first two charges.
Following the client’s plea of guilty to the careless driving charge the Magistrate imposed a good behaviour bond with no suspension of licence. Had the client pleaded guilty to either of the first two charges he would have been looking at a mandatory licence disqualification of 2 years. He was a builder by trade, so this simply wasn’t an option.