Getting information about the other party
The Road Rules say that a person involved in an accident must stop and provide their details to any person injured in the accident, or any person with property damage in the accident.63
If you are involved in a traffic incident or an accident, it's a good idea to get:
- Name, address and telephone number of the other party;
- Driver's licence number of the other party;
- Licence plate number of the other vehicle, if applicable; and
- Details of the other party's insurance company and policy, if applicable.
If a driver refuses to give you their contact details and you have been injured the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will identify the driver’s insurance company based on the registration number (the licence plate) of the vehicle.
Do I have to call the police?
You must report an accident to the police within 24 hours if:
- someone has been injured in an accident; or
- a vehicle has to be towed; or
- a party has failed to provide their contact details.64
What will the police do?
A collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle is the same as any collision between two vehicles. How the police will respond depends on the seriousness of the incident.
If the driver of a car is unknown and the incident or injuries are serious, the police may release a “look out” notice to locate the car involved in the incident as quickly as possible.
For road rage and minor incidents involving a car, the police may call the other driver to get their version of events. At this point, the police may then decide that no further action will be taken, especially if there are no independent witnesses to any wrongdoing, or they may issue a court attendance notice, a fine or other form of reprimand.
The factors that determine whether a collision is deemed to be minor or major are whether:
- there were any injuries or fatalities
- the driver/rider was affected by drugs or alcohol
- any vehicles needed to be towed.
It’s important to be aware when making a police report that you may be required to go to court at a later stage. If you are a witness, you don’t need a lawyer and won’t have to pay anything to go to court.
If you think the police are not taking your report seriously enough, tell them that you want to make a statement and you are prepared to go to court as a witness if necessary.
If you are charged by the police you should get legal advice. If you are fined by the police you can get more information at LawAccess - Fines.
What if I am unhappy with the police's response?
Complaints about the police can be made to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.
Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) also has a legal advice service for people in NSW who have complaints about the police. You can call RLC on (02) 9698 7277.
Gathering information about the accident
If possible, at the time or soon after the accident, take photographs of the damage to your bike and any other vehicles involved in the accident and any glass or marks on the road which can be used to show the impact, speed, force and direction of the accident.
It’s also a good idea to make a record of how the accident happened, and what the conditions were like at the time of the accident (such as weather, light, traffic, etc) while it is fresh in your memory.
It’s also helpful to record a physical description of the other party involved in the accident.
What if I'm in an accident involving an animal?
If you hit and injure an animal, then the accident must be reported to the police or to the animal’s owner.
By law, if you are in an accident involving someone’s pet or a wild animal (apart from a bird), then you must do whatever you reasonably can to ease the animal’s suffering.65
If you are in an accident involving an animal and the owner of the animal was negligent, then they will be responsible for the damage caused in the accident.
Working out whether the owner was negligent will depend on the type of animal involved and the circumstances of the accident.