3. Duty to report
Now consider this situation: a driver drove in the middle of the night in some country side and collided with a lamp post. This driver stopped; but there was obviously no one there for him to give particulars to; he therefore left the scene. Did this driver breach the duty to stop and to give particulars?
In this particular case, certainly the law would not be so unreasonable as to impose on this driver the duty to stop and wait indefinitely in the middle of the night for someone to come along and ask him for his particulars. Instead this driver should comply with section 56(2A) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), which requires that if “the driver of the vehicle for any reason does not give the particulars mentioned in subsection (2), he shall report the accident in person at the nearest police station or to any police officer as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 24 hours after the accident.” Therefore, the driver in this situation must report the incident in person to a police as soon as reasonably practicable.
Further, section 56(3) of the same Ordinance also stipulates a similar duty to report accidents that involve injury to any person, unless the driver “is incapable of doing so by reason of injuries sustained by him in the accident”.
1. Mr. C’s vehicle accidentally collided with another vehicle. Both drivers stopped, got out of their vehicles and quarreled. In the heat of the incident, the driver of the other vehicle did not ask Mr. C to give particulars, but did tell Mr. C to remain at the scene to wait for the police. Mr. C, who had to attend an important meeting, then left the scene. The other driver, however, managed to remember the registration mark of Mr. C’s vehicle and reported the same to the police. The police had no difficulty in locating Mr. C in his office within just one hour. During the interview with the police, Mr. C told everything in detail to the police. Under such circumstances, what are Mr. C’s liabilities (if any) under section 56 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong)?