The law defines a reportable road traffic collision as: an accident involving a mechanically-propelled vehicle on a road or other public area which causes:
- Injury or damage to anybody - other than the driver of that vehicle.
- Injury or damage to an animal - other than one being carried on that vehicle (an animal is classed as a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog).
- Damage to a vehicle - other than the vehicle which caused the accident.
- Damage to property constructed on, affixed to, growing in, or otherwise forming part of the land where the road is.
If they take place in a public place the police can investigate off-road accidents, for example, accidents in car parks, which, because they are open to the public, are deemed public places.
When to contact the police
You need to remain at the scene and contact the police via 999 following a road collision if:
- Someone has been seriously injured.
- The road or flow of traffic is blocked.
- Property has been damaged and the owner is not aware and it may cause danger to other road users.
- You suspect that the other party has acted unlawfully.
You will need to contact the police via 101 or report the accident in person, at a police station or to a police officer following a road collision if:
- Someone has sustained slight injuries
When not to contact the police
You do not need to contact the police if:
- When no-one has been injured.
- The road or flow of traffic is clear.
- No property has been damaged.
- There is no suspicion that the other party has acted unlawfully.
- All parties concerned have exchanged details including vehicle registration number, driver's name and address, vehicle owner's name and address, and insurance details if an injury has been caused to someone other than yourself.
Involved in a collision?
If you are the driver of a vehicle and are involved in a road traffic collision that meets the criteria listed above your legal requirements are:
- Stop and remain at the scene for a reasonable time.
- Give your name and address, vehicle registration number, and details of the owner (if different) to anyone with reasonable grounds for asking for these details.
- If you do not exchange details at the scene you must either report the accident online through the website, call 101 or report the accident in person, at a police station or to a police officer as soon as possible and within 24 hours in any case.
Notifying Insurance Companies
Generally-speaking, most insurance companies state that the insured driver must notify them if involved in an accident irrespective of whether a claim is to be made or not, or whose fault it was. They will normally send you a form for completion.
What if the other driver is not insured?
If, due to a road accident you suffer injury, loss or damage to your property, then this is normally covered by insurance arrangements.
Where the offender is not traced or not insured then compensation may be available from the Motor Insurers Bureau.
They can consider claims for:-
- Personal injury, loss or damage caused by an identified driver who is uninsured.
- Personal injury caused by an untraced driver (this doesn’t include damage or loss to property).
Requesting an Accident Report
Traffic Justice Unit
The Abstract Team are part of the Criminal Justice Department for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary and are based at the Traffic Justice Unit in Lowestoft. The team deals with all abstract requests for both Norfolk and Suffolk Collisions. The team offers the following services:
Providing names and addresses of all parties, in line with the Road Traffic Act 1988 and confirmation of date and location.
Basic Accident Report
Copy of collision report book including any statements and records of interviews contained within it.
Copies of witness statements and records of interviews contained outside of the accident book can also be requested along with photos, CCTV, Notice of Intended Prosecution Paperwork and Officer Interviews.
Suffolk Fatal or Life Changing Injury Accidents
Abstract requests for Limited Particulars and copies of the collision book and statements only are dealt with by the Abstract team. Any requests for further material should be sent to the Serious Collision Team at Suffolk via Pc 1563 Barry O’Neill at Serious Collision Investigation Team, Suffolk Constabulary, Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket, IP14 1NJ or via email at ‘Barry.O’Neill@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
A full list of our current charges and costs can be downloaded from the menu on the right, titled Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Abstract fees and charges.
It is important to note that not all collisions reported to the police will have a full report prepared. In many cases where all drivers have met their duties under the Road Traffic Act, there are no injuries and no substantive evidence of offences only a CAD log with basic details will exist.
Collision reports will not be released until the investigation is concluded.
The Abstract Team only accepts payment in the form of cheque made payable to the following:
Norfolk Accidents: Cheques made payable to ‘OPCC Norfolk’
Suffolk Accidents: Cheques made payable to ‘PCC for Suffolk’
Contacting the team
You can contact the team:
01473 613 888 Ext 5130
Traffic Justice Unit
Lowestoft Police Station
Old Nelson Street
The Traffic Justice Unit Abstract Team only deals with collisions within the counties area of Norfolk and Suffolk.