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1. Duty to stop

Probably every sensible driver involved in an accident will stop and check what has happened.  But what about those non-sensible drivers? Section 56(1) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong) provides as follows:

 

Where, owing to the presence of a vehicle on a road, an accident occurs whereby-

 

  1. personal injury is caused to a person other than the driver of that vehicle; or
  2. damage is caused to-
    1. a vehicle other than that vehicle or a trailer drawn thereby;
    2. an animal other than an animal in or on that vehicle or a trailer drawn thereby; or
    3. any other thing not being in or on that vehicle or a trailer drawn thereby,

the driver of that vehicle shall stop.

 

In other words, a driver must stop whenever there is an accident causing damage to another vehicle or anything (for example, if you crashed into a lamp post), irrespective of whether any other person is injured.  But what exactly is meant by “stop”?  How long should a driver “stop” in case of an accident?  What should the driver do after “stopping”? While section 56(1) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong) does not define “stop”, section 56(2) of the same Ordinance provides that in the case of such an accident, a driver shall

 

if required, give to any police officer or to any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring the following particulars-

 

  1. his name and address;
  2. the name and address of the owner of the vehicle; and
  3. the registration or identification mark or number of the vehicle.

Reading sections 56(1) and 56(2) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong) together, we can safely assume that to “stop” means to stop and to remain at the scene of the accident for a period long enough for anyone to obtain the necessary particulars from the driver.

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