Q. I was on my bike, filtering through traffic on my BMW GS1200. I had my metal panniers on so it’s pretty wide. As I went past a beaten-up old Ford Escort, the driver moved to the right by about a foot, clipped my nearside pannier and nearly knocked me off. We pulled up at a bus stop, where the driver went bonkers. He said I smacked into him and demanded I gave him my name and address. I told him to do one and rode off. I wasn’t bothered as my pannier was looking fine and there was only a little dent in his door of his already battered motor. The issue I now have is the police have sent me a notice of prosecution for failing to stop, and failing to report an accident. This can’t be right can it? It was his fault and there was only a little dent. No court will convict me will they?
A. I wish I could give you different advice but alas Mr Escort driver was entitled to ask for your details. Whilst it was only a little dent the law is clear: If there is any damage or personal injury following a road traffic accident and someone asks you for your details you have to give them. If you don’t and ride off and it is reported, then you can expect to be summonsed to Court. If convicted both the offence of failing to stop and failing to report an accident carry a sentence of 5-10 points; or possibly disqualification; or possibly 26 weeks in prison for really serious cases. All of that is in addition to a fine and court costs.
White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column. www.whitedalton.co.uk