Road traffic incidents
A road traffic incident (RTI) is an incident involving a vehicle that has caused damage, injury to persons/animals, other vehicles or property.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 (section 170) explains this fully.
If you're a driver involved in an RTI, no matter how minor, you must:
- give the name and address of the driver to anybody who may need it
- give the name and address of the owner of the vehicle to anybody who may need it
- give the registration number of the vehicle to anybody who may need it
- provide evidence of your insurance details if anybody has been injured in the collision, or if anybody has just grounds to require them.
If you can't provide any of the above information or there is nobody able to request the information, you can report the collision by calling 101 or in person to a police station as soon as possible and in any event within 24 hours of the accident.
If the incident happened in a public place, for example, a car park, or if there are no lines of enquiry, for example, no vehicle registration number of the offending party, you can still record the incident by calling 101.
We won't investigate your case, but we'll give you a reference number for your records.
If someone has been injured
All collisions where someone has been injured need to be reported to us, including collisions involving cyclists.
Details should be exchanged between all involved parties.
If there was no police attendance you should report the collision in person to a police station front counter within 24 hours of the collision. Nobody can do this on your behalf.
You should bring the following information/documentation if available:
- the date and time of the collision
- the registration and make of your vehicle
- the registration and make of any other vehicles involved
- contact details of the other person, or people, involved in the collision
- contact details of any witnesses to the collision
- contact details of anyone who was injured and details of their injury
- insurance certificate
- MOT certificate
You'll be provided with a reference or incident log number after reporting the matter.
You should also report the matter to your insurance company who may wish to see your reference/incident log number.
How we’ll deal with your collision
If an officer attended the incident
If an officer attended the incident they’ll probably have given you their collar/warrant number and name.
If you report the collision at a police station
If you report the collision at a police station, there will be a delay before our Collisions Unit processes your case and make a decision as to how the matter will proceed.
We may send you paperwork or we may ask you to provide a witness statement, which is your account of the collision in your own words.
If you get any paperwork, please complete it and return it as soon as possible.
If you've provided details of potential witnesses, we’ll also contact them to provide a witness account.
If you’ve taken any photographs and/or have dashcam/CCTV footage of the collision, please include this evidence on a USB stick, SD card or DVD with your witness statement. Please keep the original copies, as you may have to produce them for any civil claim.
The Collision Unit or the investigating officer will initially make contact with you and give you their contact details.
It might take several weeks to investigate your case, but you can email the Collisions Unit if you have a query about its progress.