The laws that relate to traffic accidents in Tasmania are the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, the Police Offences Act 1935, the Traffic Act 1925 and the Road Rules 2009. The steps that a driver must take after a traffic accident are similar to those that apply in the other States and territories.
All of the drivers involved must stop immediately and stay for as long as is necessary to do everything that is required of them. They are required to help any person who is injured in any way that they can. Emergency services (000) should be called if someone has been seriously injured or killed or if the accident scene is dangerous. Every driver must give their details to every other driver involved, and to any person whose property has been damaged, the owners of the vehicles, or a person who has been injured.
The details that must be exchanged include the names and addresses of the drivers and the names and addresses of the owners of the car, the licence plate numbers and the vehicle registration numbers. They must also provide these details to the police if they are requested to, as well as details of the place, time and nature of the accident, the names of any witnesses and of any other persons involved and details of any injuries or damage. The drivers’ details must also be given to the police if for some reason they could not be provided to all of the other persons involved in the traffic accident. This should be done at the scene of the crash, or if that isn’t possible, within 24 hours.
The accident has to be reported to the police if anybody is injured or killed, or if any of the vehicles had to be towed or carried away. It should also be reported to the Motor Accident Insurance Board (MAIB) if any person is injured. This can be done by completing a Notice of Accident form.
A crash does not have to be reported to the police if every driver and the owner of any property damaged have exchanged details, provided that no-one was killed or injured and no vehicle had to be towed or carried away. However, sometimes a report needs to be done for insurance purposes. In that case it may be done on-line at the Tasmania police report a crash website.
If the police are unaware of who was the driver of a vehicle that was involved in an accident and which may have been involved in the commission of an offence, the owner of the vehicle must provide all information needed to identify the name and whereabouts of the driver or any other occupant of the vehicle. This demand for information may be made orally or by serving a notice of demand on the owner. If the demand is made orally, the police must then serve the notice of demand as soon as possible after the oral demand.
If the owner does not know the information required then they must take all reasonable steps to find it out and then must give it to the police within 7 days. The penalty for not complying with this is a fine of up to $7,000.00. A person is not guilty of failing to give the name and address of the place of residence of the driver of the vehicle if they can prove that they did not know, and could not reasonably have found out that information. A driver who is involved in a crash and does not give the required particulars to everyone entitled to them is guilty of this offence and faces a maximum penalty of $2,800.00.
A driver who is involved in a crash must stop immediately and stay at the scene of the crash and give any assistance which may be necessary or practicable in the circumstances and which they are able to give. The penalty for failing to do so is a fine of up to $11,200.00, a jail term of up to 2 years, or both. The driver is not guilty of this offence if they leave the scene of the crash for the purposes of seeking medical, police or other emergency assistance in regard to the accident. It is also a defence if the driver was unaware that the accident had occurred.