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Pennsylvania Leaving the Scene of an Accident
An accident is often not a big deal, but there are many reasons why some people would leave the scene of an accident. Many times it is because they are afraid of being found guilty of another crime, such as driving under the influence or driving with a suspended license. In those drivers’ minds it may make sense to ignore an accident they may have caused in order to prevent further prosecution.
Besides being the wrong thing to do, leaving the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania, commonly called “hit and run,” is a punishable offense. Under 75 Pa.C.S. $3742, $3742 and $3745, all drivers are required to notify the police department about any car accident, whether the driver was responsible or not for the accident. Even if the accident involved unattended property, the driver is expected to leave information. That notification should include insurance information and contact information.
When there are drivers for both vehicles at an accident, each driver must provide information concerning insurance, registration, and driver’s license to a police official. They should also remain at the scene in order to give a report to police officials. If police officials do not arrive, drivers are expected to report the incident with all of the required information at the nearest police station.
A summary offense of leaving the scene of an accident with unattended property is no-criminal and carries a fine of up to $300 and 90 days in jail. These hit and run offenses (75 Pa.C.S. $3745) typically involve vehicles with no one in it.
Leaving the scene of an accident in PA with injury to a passenger or the other driver is a first degree misdemeanor under 75 Pa.C.S. $3742. Hit and run with serious bodily harm is a third degree felony that requires a minimum of 90 days in jail. If the accident caused death, it is a third degree felony punishable by at least one year in prison and a fine of at least $2500. Drivers will also receive driving privilege suspensions of 6 months to one year.