Traffic Accidents in Western Australia
In Western Australia (WA), anyone involved in an accident must stop at the scene, and help anyone who is injured. They must give their name and address and the name and address of the owner of the car they are driving to anyone who has been injured or whose property is damaged and to any police.
Legislation in WA
In Western Australia, drivers must immediately report a traffic crash that occurs on a road or any place commonly used by the public, such as a carpark, if the incident resulted in injury to any person. They must also do so if the total value of all property damaged is more than $3000.00, or if the person in charge of the property is not present. If the police don’t attend the scene it can be reported at a police station or online . The police can be called on the Police Assistance Line (131 444). If they are not attending, the vehicles must be moved from the road. The laws that cover traffic accidents are the Road Traffic Act 1974, and the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943.
Offences relating to police investigation where no death or injury results
The driver must give their details to the police. If they refuse or give false details there is a penalty for a first offence of $300.00. For a subsequent offence the penalty is $600.00. Any witness or possible witness to the accident must also give their particulars to the police if requested. If they refuse, or gives false particulars there is a fine of $200.00. If the police are not called and there is more than $3,000.00 in property damage then the accident must be reported immediately. If it is not, the penalty is $400.00 for a first offence, $800.00 for a subsequent offence.
It is a defence to a charge of failing to report an accident if the driver believed that the property damage was less than $3,000.00, and the owner of the property or someone on their behalf was present at the scene. It is also a defence if the driver was unable to make a report because they were injured in the accident. The person responsible for the vehicle must give any information they have which may help identify the driver if the police don’t know who it was. If they don’t, the penalty for a first offence by an individual is $1,200.00 and $2,400.00 for a subsequent offence. The penalty is $5,000.00 for an offence by other than an individual. If the owner gives false information the penalty for a first offence by an individual is $1,200.00 and for a subsequent offence, $2,400.00. For an offence by other than an individual the penalty is $5,000.00.
Offence of failing to give details to other parties
If property is damaged the driver must stop immediately and give his or her name and address and the vehicle owner’s name and address to every other person involved in the accident. The penalty for failing to do so is $1,500.00. The court may also disqualify the driver for so long as they choose. It is a defence to the charge if the driver was unable to because they were injured in the accident, or they were unaware that the accident had occurred.
Offences relating to police investigation where death or injury results
If the driver doesn’t provide their particulars to the police in circumstances where death or injury has resulted then the driver faces a penalty of $1,500.00. It is a defence if the driver couldn’t do so because of an injury suffered in the accident. If the driver fails to immediately report the accident to the police and the accident caused a death, the penalty is 10 years imprisonment and a minimum 1 year disqualification. If the charges are dealt with via summary procedure then the penalty is 12 months imprisonment and a minimum 1 year disqualification. For a non-serious injury the penalty is 12 months imprisonment and minimum 1 year disqualification. If it is not known who the driver was, the vehicle’s owner must give the police any information which may help to identify the person who was driving. If they don’t, or if they provide false information the penalty is $3,000.00 or 12 months imprisonment.
Other offences where injury or death has been caused
If a person is injured, the driver must stop immediately and stay for as long as is necessary to give their details to everyone and to make sure any victim receives any assistance, including medical help, that is necessary and practicable in the circumstances. If they don’t and the accident leads to a death there is a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. If someone is seriously injured in the accident the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment. If the injury was not a serious injury the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, or if dealt with summarily, 3 years. The court may also disqualify the driver for as long as they choose.
It is a defence if the driver was unaware that an accident had occurred. If the driver doesn’t provide their particulars to the injured person there is a penalty of $1,500.00. It is a defence if the driver couldn’t do so because of an injury suffered in the accident. The driver and the owner of the vehicle must also advise the Insurance Commission of WA of the details of the accident and answer any questions from them, but only if an online police report wasn’t made.