A fine line when reporting an accident

DOUGLASDALE - Face a fine of R1 000 when reporting accidents late.

A window of 24 hours is all that is provided for parties involved in an accident.

Police officers at Douglasdale police station have been asked to crack the whip on late reports after accidents.

The Road Traffic Act of 1989 have been dusted off at the station, where the regulation of R 1000 fines for late accident reports will be issued.

Police can also fine R500 to people reporting accidents who drive without a valid driver’s licence, permit a person who drives a car without a driver’s licence or learner drivers not accompanied by a licensed driver.

These fines serve a two-fold purpose. It narrows the window for insurance fraud, and ensures safer roads.

Warrant Officer Balan Muthan said they were aware that circumstances surrounding accidents are different, but reporting it should be top priority.

“You can report an accident anywhere in the country, it doesn’t have to be in the area where it happened,” he said.

Hospitalisation or doctor’s letters would be accepted when an accident is reported late, but this documentation needed to be brought to the police station.

“Of course this rule applies to everybody, but if there is proof you weren’t able to report the accident in the 24-hour period, you can still claim from your insurance.”

Accidents with two parties involved require both parties to report it. In instances of hit-and-runs it is still in the hands of the victim to report the accident, especially if they were able to note down registration numbers of other vehicles involved.

“We can open a case, and investigate it. We could track the number plates,” Muthan said.

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