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Road Accidents – Callous Disregard

Potts Lawyers > Traffic Lawyers Brisbane & Gold Coast > Road Accidents – Callous Disregard

What the law says

Section 92 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act Queensland states:

(1) The driver of any vehicle, tram or animal involved on any road, or of any motor vehicle involved elsewhere than on a road, in an incident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any property (including any animal in the charge of any person) shall-

  • (a) immediately stop the vehicle, tram or animal; and
  • (c) if any person is injured-

(i)   remain at or near the scene of the incident and immediately render such assistance as the driver can to the injured person; and

(ii) make reasonable endeavours to obtain such medical and other aid as may reasonably be required for the injured person; and

  • (i)   if any property is damaged to an extent apparently in, excess of an amount fixed by regulation for the purpose of this paragraph and no police officer is present at the scene of the incident-as soon as possible report in person full particulars of the incident at the police station that is nearest to the scene of the incident; and
  • (j)   if any person is dead or apparently dead-exhibit proper respect for the person’s body and take whatever steps are reasonably practicable to have the body moved to an appropriate place.

(4) If in determining a complaint for an offence against subsection (1) in respect of an incident whereby any person is injured the court is satisfied that the defendant showed a callous disregard for the needs of the injured person the court shall impose, as the whole or part of the sentence, a period of imprisonment.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

The accused:

(1) Was a driver of

  • (a) a vehicle, tram or animal on any road, OR
  • (b) any motor vehicle anywhere other than a road; AND

(2) Was involved in an incident that

  • (a) resulted in injury to any person, OR
  • (b) resulted in death of any person, AND

(3) Failed to:

  • (a) immediately stop; OR
  • (b) Remain at the scene where a person is injured, render assistance to the injured person and arrange medical aid for that injured person; OR
  • (c) Report the accident to police as soon as possible where there was property damage over $2,500.00; OR
  • (d) Respect to body of a person who appeared dead and take all steps reasonably practical to have the body moved to the appropriate place.

(4) Showed callous disregard for the needs of the injured or dead person.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

Maximum penalty – a period of imprisonment must be imposed with a maximum of 1 year.

Penalty unit = $100.00

Which court will hear the matter

Under section 3(5) of the Criminal Code Act  Queensland this offence is classed a simple offence and therefore may be heard in the Magistrates Court pursuant to section 19 of the Justices Act Queensland.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

(1) The accused was not involved in the crash

(2) There was in fact no crash

(3) There was in fact no injury or death to any person

(4) The accused did in fact:

  • (a) stop and remain at the scene; and
  • (b) take all appropriate steps in the circumstances in respect to the injured or deceased person; and
  • (c) report the incident to police as soon as possible.

(5) Duress – example: there was a threat of harm against the accused or another person that the accused reasonably believe would be carried out if he/she did not flee the scene.

(6) Necessity – example: there was an extraordinary emergency (i.e. The driver was attending to other persons involved, whom he/she honestly and reasonably believed, required his/her attention first.)

(7) Insanity

(8) Identification i.e. the accused was not the driver

(9) Mistake of fact – example: The driver had an honest and reasonable, but mistaken belief that he/she was not involved in a collision at all or a involved in a collision that required him/her to:

  • (a) stop and remain at the scene;
  • (b) assist other persons involved; or
  • (c) report the accident to police.

(10)Other Lawful excuse:

  • (a) The driver was physically or mentally unable to assist the injured or deceased person

The driver was unaware the injured or deceased person was involved in the accident.

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