Survey Results “Hit and Run”

Thank you to all who came to the defensive driving class this past weekend!!! It was another successful class with many satisfied students! Our survey was “HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE HIT A VEHICLE AND INTENTIONALLYNOTLEFT A NOTE?” The results were very surprising.

83% of people said that YES they have hit another vehicle and left the scene without leaving a note.

17% of people said that they had never hit someone’s vehicle and NOT left a note.

Yes I know, the wording may throw you off a little but in short, if someone hits your vehicle, chances that they leave a note are very slim. Yet another reason why carpooling is a viable option.

RULE: DMV says that you have to make a reasonable attempt to find the owner, and if you can not find that owner than you should leave a note with at least your name and your phone number. Take a picture that shows the damage. If you do not hear from that person within 24 hours then call the police. EXCEPTION: If you cause EXTREME damage to a vehicle such as the vehicle is assumed to be non drive-able, then you would need to call the police at that time.

To get specific and look at penalties than continue reading below. This excerpt was taken from http://koehlerlaw.net/dui-dwi/fleeing-scene-of-accident/

Virginia

Motorists involved in a traffic accident in Virginia are generally required to wait at the scene until police arrive to investigate. There are certain exceptions to this requirement. If, for example, the motorist is injured and requires medical treatment him/herself, the “driver shall, as soon as reasonably possible, make the required report to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency and make a reasonable effort to locate the person struck, or the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with, or the custodian of the damaged property, and report to such person or persons his name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number.”

If the vehicle or property that is damaged is unattended, the driver should make a “reasonable effort” to identify and notify the owner/custodian. Failing this, the driver should leave a note or other form of communication that includes driver identification and contact information and report the accident in writing to State or local police within 24 hours. The written report should include the date, time, and place of the accident and the driver’s description of the property damage.

If the driver fails to stop and/or report the accident, any person who is 16 years of age or older who is with the driver at the time of the accident also has a duty to report.

The penalty for this offense depends on the severity of the accident and the degree of damage to either person or property. If the property is unattended and the damage is estimated at less than $250, the person is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $250. The person will also be assessed three demerit points on his/her license by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

If the accident results in damage only to property estimated at $250 to $1,000, the person will be subject to punishment as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $2,500. The offense can also result in a suspension by the court of the driver’s operating privileges for up to 6 months.

If the accident results in injury or death to any person or if the property damage as a result of the accident is greater than $1,000, the driver can be found guilty of a Class 6 felony. Class 6 felonies are punishable by imprisonment of 1 to 5 years, confinement in jail for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Virginia Code

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