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Obligations in a Collision

Sec. 252 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada states that every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft that is involved in an accident with another person or vehicle and, with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle give his name, address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

The punishment can be as high as 5 years imprisonment or, when someone dies as a result of the collision, it can be life imprisonment!

Provincial Legislation concerning a collision

Section 69 of the Traffic Safety Act is the defining section dealing with hit and run accidents in Alberta and states what the requirements a driver of a vehicle involved directly or indirectly in an accident on a highway must comply with:

  • Remain at, or immediately return to the scene of the accident
  • Render all reasonable assistance and
  • Produce in writing to anyone sustaining loss or injury, to any police officer and to any witnesses all or such of the following information as is requested:
    • The person’s name and address
    • The number of the person’s operator licence
    • The name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle
    • The licence plate number of the vehicle
    • The financial responsibility card issued in respect of that vehicle (insurance document)

If someone strikes a parked car they are obligated to leave written notice in a conspicuous place (under the windshield wiper usually) :

  • name and address of the driver
  • driver’s licence number of driver
  • licence plate of the MV

If an accident results in damage to property on or adjacent to a highway, the driver must take steps to locate the owner and supply:

  • the name and address of the driver
  • the number of the operator’s driver’s licence
  • the licence plate number of the vehicle

In all of the above examples the Traffic Safety Act states that if the driver is incapable of providing the required information, another occupant must. If that is not done, the owner of the vehicle must provide the information upon learning of the collision. If the driver is alone, rendered incapable and is the registered owner of the vehicle, he or she must provide the information as soon as possible.

Penalties can range as high as $2000.00 or six months imprisonment, or both.

If the vehicle involved in the hit and run collision is identified via a licence plate the registered owner can be charged under Section 160(1) of the TSA which states:

If a vehicle is in an offence, the owner of that vehicle is guilty of an offence.