Fail to Report Accident

About

Fail to Report AccidentWhen a driver is involved in an accident and there is personal injury or damage in excess of $2,000, the accident must be reported to the police forthwith. The accident may occur anywhere, including on private property.

Forthwith means,

  • right a way,
  • as soon as possible,
  • within a reasonable time,
    • having regards to all of the circumstances.

Person in Charge

The person responsible for reporting the accident is the “person in charge of the vehicle”.

This is usually the driver of the vehicle, but can include the owner or another person who has the care or responsibility for the vehicle.

Every person in charge of a motor vehicle who is indirectly or directly involved in an accident shall:

  • if there are personal injuries or damages exceeding $2000,
  • report forthwith to the nearest police officer, and
  • furnish the officer with information concerning the accident as maybe required.

Driver Unable to Report

Where a person is physically unable to report the accident, another occupant shall report the incident to the police as soon as practicable.


Police

The police officer shall obtain:

  • the particulars of the accident,
  • the names of the persons involved,
  • the extend of the personal injures or property damage

and any other information as may be necessary to prepare a written report.

Related charges: Fail to Remain, Careless Driving

Insurance Implications

Drivers convicted of fail to report an accident will see insurance rates increase dramatically.

A conviction for fail to report is considered a “major insurance” violation, increasing the insurance thousands of dollars per year.


Accident Claim

Usually the conviction comes with an insurance claim for damages to another vehicle.

Most insurance companies will not repair damages to the insured’s vehicle if they are convicted of fail to report.  As the driver will have violated a condition of the insurance policy.


Drivers Record

Once the driver is convicted of a traffic ticket, the court sends a notice to the Ministry of Transportation.

Upon receiving the record of conviction from the court the Ministry of Transportation then adds the conviction to the driving record.

Driving abstracts are available to anyone who has the drivers licence number for a fee payable to the Ministry of Transportation.

Therefore the way the insurance company will finds out about the charge is;

  • the other driver fills a claim
  • the insurance contact you about the claim, and
    • learns of the incident
  • upon conviction of fail to remain
  • the driver calls and
    • tells the insurance company that they received a ticket

Each insurance company is a private company with their own set of rules and standards.

Drivers need to keep their driving records clear.


Fines

The out of court fine for failing to report an accident is $100.00.


Summons to Appear

Where a police officer issues a summons to appear in court before a judge, the fine can be increased to $1000.00.

Where the police charge a driver with failing to report they will usually issue them a summons to appear in court, there is no out of court fine for this charge.

The summons commands the driver or their agent (paralegal or lawyer) to appear in court before a Justice of the Peace (JP) on a date specified on the summons.

The judge decides the amount of the fine.  A victim fine surcharge will be added to the fine set by the justice.


What is the Victim Fine Surcharge?

  • The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.
    • It is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
  • The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
    • For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge.
    • Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent.

Penalties

The penalty for fail to report accident is $110.00 and 3 demerit points.

Where the police officer has given a summons to appear the justice can increase the fine to $1000.00

The ticket will also dramatically affect insurance rates for 3 to 5 years.

Demerit Points

Fail to Report an Accident tickets have 3 demerit points.


Demerit Point Interviews

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre.

You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview.

Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.


Suspensions

There is no licence suspension for failing to report an accident, only a fine.


Unpaid Fine Suspensions

Where a fine has been imposed and the driver does not pay that fine, the licence will be suspended.

Where the licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court


Demerit Point Suspensions

The accumulation of demerit points can also result in a licence suspension.


Legal Definition

Duty to report accident – Highway Traffic Act section 199.1

199 (1) Every person in charge of a motor vehicle or street car who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries or in damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation, report the accident forthwith to the nearest police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (3).

Officer may direct person to report accident at another location

(1.1) If, on reporting the accident to the nearest police officer under subsection (1), the person is directed by the officer to report the accident at a specified location, the person shall not furnish the officer described in subsection (1) with the information concerning the accident but shall forthwith attend at the specified location and report the accident there to a police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (3).

Where person unable to report

(2) Where the person is physically incapable of making a report and there is another occupant of the motor vehicle, the occupant shall make the report. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 199 (2).

Duty of police officer

(3) A police officer receiving a report of an accident, as required by this section, shall secure from the person making the report, or by other inquiries where necessary, the particulars of the accident, the persons involved, the extent of the personal injuries or property damage, if any, and the other information that may be necessary to complete a written report concerning the accident and shall forward the report to the Registrar within ten days of the accident.

Report of police officer

(4) The report of a police officer under subsection (3) shall be in the form that is approved by the Minister.

Case Law

Regina v. Berg, 1956 CanLII 540 (ON SC)
1956-07-04 | 9 pages | cited by 2 documents
highway — motor vehicle — title — obiter dicta — accident
KINNEAR Co.CT.J. :—This is an appeal from the conviction of the appellant at Cayuga on March 8, 1956 by His Worship Magistrate T. G. Street under s. 110(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1950, c. 167, as amended by 1954, c. 35, s. 14, for failing to report an accident. […] The subsection as amend ed reads as follows : “Every person in charge of a motor vehicle who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries, or in damage to property apparently exceeding $100, report the accident forthwith to the nearest provincial or municipal police […] This is in contrast to what “every person in charge of a motor vehicle who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident” is to do by way of reporting the accident under s. 110(1). […]

 


R. v. Pearson, 1960 CanLII 167 (SK PC) | Fail to Report Accident
1960-05-19 | 6 pages | cited by 2 documents
accident — nearest police officer — driver of a motor vehicle — report — windshield
[…] Automobiles — Failure to Report Accident to Police Officer Forthwith — Vehicles Act, 1957, S. 153 (1)—“Nearest Police Officer” — Accident on Sunday — “Forthwith” — Reasonable Time Varying with Seriousness of Accident. […] at 9:00 o’clock was a report forthwith within the meaning of the Act. Neither counsel for the Crown nor the defence quoted any case to me in which the meaning of the word “forthwith,” has been interpreted in its use in the said sec. 153, nor was I able to find any interpretation of “forthwith” in the said section. […] The Act required that the person seizing the liquor shall “forthwith lay an information under oath.” In that case it was held that the information laid on February 16, 1921, met the requirements of the word “forthwith” in the section as the word “forthwith” must be construed to mean within a reasonable time. […]

 


Toronto (City) v. Ennis, 2019 ONCJ 758 (CanLII)
2019-10-02 | 21 pages
motor vehicle — driver — parking lot — ibid — damage
[…] 199.(1) Duty to report accident- Every person in charge of a motor vehicle or street car who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries or in damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation, report the accident forthwith to the nearest […] He shared them with the officer at the Collision Reporting Centre. [98] Mr. Inacio’s evidence that he attended at the Collision Reporting Centre shortly after the accident was corroborated by his “Self Reporting Collision Report” and “Fail to Remain Collision Form”, dated June 5, 2017 (Exhibit 1). […] -Fail to Report: [117] I find that Mr. Ennis failed to report the accident, and that the damage which resulted was above the (then) $1000 threshold. […]