Hello, new user here, I did some stupid the other day and was wondering what I should do or what the potential consequences could be.
I was exiting an underground parking lot where I had to insert a parking slip into a machine to get the mechanical arm to raise. I then mashed the accelerator a bit too hard and unfortunately my wheels were turned toward the guard pole. It knocked my mirror off and gave my car a nice scratch along the side. I panicked and was so embarrassed I didn't even check the damage to my vehicle or the pole.
I'm sure someone saw me, not sure they d care enough to report it, probably just laughed at the idiot who messed up his ride. The fact remains I damaged the pole and am on camera doing it.
Now I m over thinking this and am online looking at potential penalties. I should have just saved myself the worry and reported it. I'm scared I'm going to get hit with a fail to remain, fail to report, careless driving or something.
Should I report this even though it's been almost 3 days? Whats the worst that can happen if I don't? Any input would be appreciated.
It sounds like the accident happened on private property, if that is true then you won't be facing any charges under the Highway Traffic Act. The Criminal Code charge of Failing to stop at the scene of an accident also doesn't seem to apply since it was a single car accident with no other vehicles or people involved. If you caused significant damage to the pole in the parking lot the owner of the lot might have a civil claim against you, however unless you did major damage they probably won't bother tracking you down. Things might be a little stickier with your insurance company since many have a rule saying you have to report all accidents you are involved in to them. However, since there was no other vehicle involved and thus no other driver to report the accident to their insurance company the odds of your insurance company hearing about this accident are pretty low. Of course if you make a claim to the insurance company to get your car fixed they will then find out about the accident so you may just wish to pay cash out of pocket to get your car repaired. If this had happened on a public street or if another car or person had been involved then you would have had a duty under the HTA and the CC to remain at the scene of the accident and report it to police.
Actually, the requirement to report accidents applies everywhere, even on private property. Recent case law (R v. Hajivasilis) has clarified this. If the accident results in any injuries and/or $1,000+ damage (vehicles and property included), you must report that accident.
Thanks for posting that Stanton, looks like the Court of Appeal has made it clear that accidents on private property must indeed be reported. I think I got confused between HTA section 200 which covers fail to remain at the scene of an accident which only applies on a highway vs section 199 which covers reporting an accident which is applicable everywhere. So to the OP if the damage caused is more then $1000.00, even if you took the bulk of the damage, then you are supposed to report it. Now whether anybody will actually come after you over this is a different question, but you will have to decide for yourself what your risk tolerance on that is.
What exactly did you hit? Was it one of those concrete/steel posts (bollards) they put up to keep you from accidentally driving into their equipment? If so, I'd highly doubt they are going to waste their time pursuing this.
Stanton wrote:Actually, the requirement to report accidents applies everywhere, even on private property. Recent case law (R v. Hajivasilis) has clarified this. If the accident results in any injuries and/or $1,000+ damage (vehicles and property included), you must report that accident.
I think Hajivasilis actually stands for the opposite proposition. In that case, the charge was failing to report under s. 199(1). The collision happened in a private parking lot. JP Cremisio reviewed the relevant case law and then concluded (at paragraph 19): "Relying on the jurisprudence which I have quoted, I am satisfied that the accident in this matter occurred on a private property, and not on a highway, and that the provision of Section 199(1) of the Highway Traffic Act do not apply." He then dismissed the charge.
I'd also point out that Hajivasilis is just a decision of the Ontario Provincial Offences court, and thus is not binding on other JP's, but the cases reviewed in that case from higher courts are and they seem to support JP Cremisio's conclusion.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
The matter was actually reviewed by the Ontario Appeal Court late last year:
Many provisions of the HTA are by their terms limited to "highways". Other provisions, however, are not so limited. Nothing in the overall structure of the HTA or its purpose compels the reading of the word "highway" into sections in which it does not appear. Section 199 is one such section. I would hold that the reporting requirement in s. 199 generally applies even if the accident does not occur on a "highway" as defined in the HTA.
http://canlii.ca/en/on/onca/doc/2013/20 ... nca27.html
Yes, you're right. Now I remember reading this case earlier this year. Thanks!
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
Thanks for your responses guys.
I'm a new driver and I've definitely learned from this incident. I'm just glad it happened with a guardrail and not another vehicle.
I've since went back and although there is noticeable damage(parking lot is pretty new so the pole was mint before I hit it..), by the time someone who would care notices it, I'm hoping it's not serious enough to look back on the security cameras. If there's ever a next time I will definitely do the right thing and report it. It's just not worth it to run from something, especially something a fresh coat of paint would solve!(Not mentioning the damage to my vehicle but that ones on me..).
I was just so embarrassed, this kind of behavior is uncharacteristic for me and I hated the thought of being in the same category as a hit and run driver.
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