Dangerous Driving and Failing to stop at an Accident

201410.21
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In a recent Court of Appeal Case the court considered the case of a man who whilst driving, collided with a motor cyclist who was thrown over the road and seen by the motorist who hesitated at the scene and then drove off. The driver had entered the intersection after the light had turned red.

The High Court, in King v The Queen, observed that driving will be considered ‘dangerous’ for the purposes of the section if it involves a serious breach of the proper conduct of a vehicle upon the roadway, such that it is potentially dangerous to those who may be upon or in the vicinity of the roadway. Obviously some breaches will be more serious than others.

The court found that “by their very nature, collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians are likely to cause serious injuries with lasting consequences. The objective seriousness of the offence must be informed by what a reasonable driver in the position of the offender would have apprehended were the likely consequences of the accident. The applicant in this case felt a forceful impact against his vehicle, and saw somebody ‘fly over’. Any reasonable person in his position would have realized that the injuries sustained by the victim were likely to be serious, as indeed they were. His failure to stop therefore represents a significant failure to discharge his obligations to his fellow road-users. It was a serious example of failing to stop after an accident.”

The Court found that the sentence imposed of 3 years 2 months with a non- parole period of 2 years was not manifestly excessive.

For more information, see:

Dangerous driving causing Death or Serious Injury; see Crimes act:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca195882/s319.html

 

Duty of driver of motor vehicle if accident occurs;  see: Road Safety Act:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rsa1986125/s61.html