Duties on Accident
Where injury is caused to a person or property in a public place and a vehicle is involved, certain obligations arise. If the vehicle is not stationary, the driver must stop the vehicle. The driver or other person in charge of the vehicle must keep it at or near the place of occurrence for a reasonable period of time in all the circumstances.
The obligations apply to driver of the vehicle involved regardless of whether or not it caused the injury. Obligations may apply to the person in charge of the vehicle.
The driver shall stop the vehicle if it is not stationary. If injury has been caused to any person or a person appears to require assistance, the driver must offer this assistance.
The insured or the person using the vehicle is to give notice to the insurer where they may become liable to pay under the insurance policy. The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland must be notified in respect of vehicles temporarily in the state.
The driver must keep the vehicle at or near the place of the occurrence for a period which is reasonable in all the circumstances. The driver or if he is killed or incapacitated, the person then in charge shall give he required information to a member of an Garda Siochana or other person entitled to demand such information.
The driver of the vehicle or if he is killed or incapacitated, that person in charge must give on demand the appropriate information to a member of an Garda Siochana or if no member is present to a person entitled to demand the information.
Also entitled to demand the information is the injured person or if that person is killed or incapacitated, the other person for the time being having charge of the person so injured by reason of family relationship employment or otherwise. In the case of damage to property the owner of the property or the person in charge of the property is the relevant person
If injury is caused to property other than that of the owner of the vehicle or for any reason he, or a person in charge of the vehicle, does not give the appropriate information to a person entitled to demand it, the person, unless he has already given the appropriate information to the Garda Siochana must report the occurrence of the event as soon as possible and if necessary shall go to the nearest convenient Garda station and give on demand the appropriate information to the member.
The required information is details of the name and address of the user and the owner of the vehicle the registration, and insurance details. Where the information is not provided at the scene, it must be reported to a Garda station.
If injury is caused to property other than that of the driver of the vehicle or if for any reason he is killed or incapacitated and the person then in charge of the vehicle does not give the information at that point then he unless he has given it to a member of an Garda Siochana, he must report the occurrence as soon as possible to Garda Siochana and if necessary go for that purpose the nearest convenient Garda station and give on demand the appropriate information to the member
In the case of injury to a person, that person or where he is killed or incapacitated any other person for the time being in charge of the person so injured by reason of family relationship or in the case of damage to property, the owner of the property or person having charge of it or where there is no person entitled above, any one person who is present when the injury was inflicted and who is not the employer or in the employment or company of the person required to give the information, may so require it.
Where a member of an Garda Siochana has reasonable grounds for believing an injury has been caused to a person or property in a public place ,a vehicle was involved and he is not aware of the place with the vehicle is being kept may require the owner to state where the vehicle is being kept. The owner must comply.
A member of an Garda Siochana may arrest without warrant a person whom he believes is committing an offence in contravention of the above requirements, where injury was caused to a person, a vehicle was involved in the occurrence of the injury and the person concerned is believed to be the driver. The required information is the name and address of the owner, identification marks (registration plate), name and address of the driver.
A person may be required to give a breath specimen after an accident. Failure or refusal is subject on summary conviction to a fine of up to €5,000 and imprisonment up to 6 months of both.
Where a member of an Garda Siochana has reasonable grounds for believing that an injury has been caused to persons or property in a public place and a vehicle was involved and the member is not aware of the place where the vehicle is being kept, he may require the owner to state the place where the vehicle is being kept. The owner must comply. Failure is an offence.
Where a member of an Garda Siochana has grounds to believing that a vehicle was involved in an accident causing injury, he may, where he has reasonable grounds for believing the vehicle is being kept at any premises apply for a warrant to enter and search the premises. He may apply to the District Court or a Peace Commissioner for a warrant to search the place and take possession of the vehicle.
Contravention of the above requirements is subject on summary conviction to a fine of up to €2,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
If this occurs in circumstances where the person intends to escape civil or criminal liability and he knows that injury was caused of such a nature as to require medical assistance the person is subject on conviction on indictment to a fine up to €10,000 and/or up to 7 years imprisonment.
Where the person knows that the person injured is dead or is reckless as to whether death has resulted, he is subject on conviction on indictment to a fine up to €20,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment or both.
Where a person is convicted of the above offences summarily there is a mandatory disqualification of one year. There is the possibility of longer mandatory disqualification in the case of certain related offences. It may be subject to a requirement to produce a certificate of competency certificate of fitness or both, in order to obtain at the driving licence again.
When a vehicle has been involved in an accident in a public place, the Minister may appoint an authorised person to investigate the accident. The persons who are appointed may enter at any reasonable time on premises where the vehicle is situate. He may carry out investigations, examinations and tests as are necessary. He may do all that is necessary for the purpose of the investigation.
The investigator may require the attendance of persons by summons to be examined. They must produce documents requested and answer questions put. The investigator reports to the Minister concerning the causes and circumstances of the accident and makes recommendations.
The Minister, following consideration of the report may order a public enquiry in relation to the matter. Persons holding the enquiry may also summons witnesses and require persons to attend and bring documents. They may be examined under oath. Obstruction or failure to cooperate is an offence. The person holding the enquiry may certify the offence to the High Court which may examine the matter and take steps to punish the witness in the same manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the high court. Reports under the provision may not be used in evidence in legal proceedings arising out of the accident.
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