Understanding Traffic Accident Laws and Responsibilities Across Australian States

By Michelle

Every state in Australia has legislation concerning what a driver must do following a traffic accident. These laws give precedence to the protection of persons involved in accidents, regardless of whether the incident led to death, injury, or damage to properties.    

This guide covers the specific legal responsibilities of the different states in Australia. At Onroad Driving School, your safety is our top priority.

New South Wales

In NSW, considerable responsibility is placed on drivers, motorists, or riders who cause a non-fatal accident that results in physical injuries to another person.  

There is a "stop and assist" legal obligation which obliges the driver and the rider to stop and assist in case of an accident. Such aids could range from dialling an emergency call to offering preliminary aid and maintenance until appropriate professionals come and assist victims.

The definition of "impact" includes situations like hitting a person on foot or a bicyclist, running into objects causing injuries to other road users, etc., as well as multi-vehicle collisions. The definition of these terms underscores the notion that an appropriate first-aid response should be rendered when one is likely to sustain a bodily injury as a result of an accident.

There are serious penalties for failing to stop and render aid following an injury-producing collision that is witnessed. The severity of an injury determines punishment while witnessing the offence means no penalty.  

The monetary fines attached to these cases confirm how seriously the NSW legal system takes matters whenever individuals do not live up to their duties towards helping after accidents resulting in injuries. The punishments are normally stiffer for repeat offenders.

Are you looking for the best Sydney driving school? Reach out to us at Onroad today!


The strict legal regulations of Queensland’s Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act address the rights and obligations of persons participating in such traffic conflicts as road damages, injuries, and fatalities. It is important to know about one’s obligations, what the police should prove, possible fines, and defences in case of being charged.

As stated in section 92 of the Transport Operation (Road Use Management) Act Queensland, any vehicle driver is expected to stop at the scene when any occurrence like an accidental collision leading to injuries, death, or property loss occurs.  

The prosecutor must show the jury that the person was involved in criminal matters; ran away from the crime scene and did not help anybody for example.  

Depending on the seriousness of an accident, penalties for the offences in Section 92 differ. The highest possible fine is 20 penalty units with a jail term of up to one year whenever the said death or injury involves any other person. The highest possible punishment is not more than ten penalty units or six months imprisonment in case of property damage involving even animals.

A reliable driving school will always ensure that you’re made aware of such important rules and regulations.


Statute 61 of the Road Safety Act 1986 makes leaving the scene of an accident a crime in Victoria. For this reason, such a law requires drivers to stop at or near the scene of an accident, assist another person, share their name and address, and report or request police officers' response when appropriate. Expert criminal lawyers usually handle these cases.  

Section 61 of the Road Safety Act 1986 provides that where a driver is involved in a collision of any type, they must stop at the scene, take reasonable steps to assist any person sustaining physical injuries, give way for the emergency services, and report the incident to the If one disregards these responsibilities. He can face the charges of failing to report an accident.

Our driving lessons also include educating you on the laws for your safety on the roads.

South Australia

In South Australia, there are stringent measures put in place for the protection of those suffering road accident injuries. These legally required duties have been described in Australian Road Rule regulations. These are responsibilities, and drivers must obey them or else be subjected to sanctions such as fines and jail terms.

According to the laws governing driving in South Australia, drivers are expected to stop at the place where an accident has occurred, disclose their details to others concerned with the incident, notify the police when necessary, and if possible remove rubbish from the road.

The penalties for causing a serious injury or death due to an accident are very severe. First-time offenders serve a minimum of fifteen-year prison term without parole, as well as ten years' revocation of their respective Driver's License. The subsequent offences have even bigger punishments, like life in prison and at least ten years of driving ban.

The defences for those charged with failing to comply with accident duties are lack of notice, honest belief, justifiable excuse, and acting in compliance. These defences may help in limiting the legal implications if one fails to observe his obligation following a road accident.  

Western Australia

Every accident in Western Australia brings legal obligations among all concerned parties regarding the safety and welfare of people and properties damaged due to accidents. At the accident scene, drivers are required to stop and lend a hand, give their particulars, and make the necessary reports depending on the severity of the impact.

In Western Australia, drivers must:

Stop at the Scene: Whenever there is an accident, drivers should stop at the site and render all possible aid to the injured victims.  

Provide Details: In every case of injury to any person or damage to any property arising from an accident on a public highway, the drivers concerned shall state their and, in some instances, the owner's names and addresses.

Report to Police: In some cases, there is a need to report to the police, for example when there are injuries sustained by anyone involved in the accident, the sum value of damage totals above three thousand dollars, or when the person who is in charged with the property is away.  

However, failure to adhere to these responsibilities attracts penalties such as fines or imprisonment. In addition, some particular offences cover instances where police investigations are brought under their coverage, particularly in injury or death scenes. It is important for Western Australian drivers who have been involved in accidents to know their duties and likely punishments.

Northern Territory

Section 174FA of the Criminal Code Act 1983 deems hit-and-run cases in NT to be a criminal offence. A hit-and-run offence occurs when one is involved in an accident involving death or serious physical injuries of another individual and fails to stop at the scene and take reasonable steps to offer first aid and inform the proper authorities of the accident and its place. This offence has severe punishments dependent on the outcomes of the accident.

The Hit and Run offence is defined by:  

Failure to Stop: Breaking the law happens when such a driver fails to stay till the situation is addressed. 

Failure to Provide Assistance: According to the existing law, the driver must offer aid to the victims.

Failure to Notify the Police: The driver must inform a police representative of the incident and give location details.

In the case of deaths, penalties in the NT for this offence are imprisonment of not more than ten years while in the case of serious injuries-up to seven years imprisonment. This is a serious crime and one should pay attention to this to avoid such penalties.


Some legislations in Tasmania govern traffic accidents and drivers have a legal obligation to do certain things after a traffic accident. The obligations contained therein bear a close resemblance to similar obligations in other Australasian jurisdictions as far as accident cases are concerned, for purposes of safety.

Drivers involved in accidents in Tasmania must:

Stop Immediately: Each driver of a vehicle involved in an accident shall immediately stop the respective vehicle, and while on-site until all is taken care of.   

Assist the Injured: It is also obligatory for the drivers to help any injured person they can.

Exchange Details: They should provide their contact information to each other. The information required for identification includes the name, and address of the driver, the name, and address of the owner, the license plate number, the registration number of the vehicle, and any other detail that will facilitate the identification of the vehicle(s).

Notify the Police: When required by the police or when not able to give details to all parties involved, drivers must provide this data to the cops. In addition, drivers should call the police in case they hit a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or other motorists; they should also notify the police if a car rolls over or leaves its lane illegally.  

Not complying with these duties attracts serious punishments such as paying huge fines and even a prison sentence. Individuals accused of traffic accident offenses in Tasmania might need to consult a lawyer to help them navigate through the legal labyrinth. We offer driving lessons with great attention to detail.


It's important to note that it's imperative to know these responsibilities, as well as possible excuses for those charged with automobile accident offences. Legal guidance may be required to pass through this web of complicated legal issues in a bid to realise the utmost success during trial. Join Onroad Driving School for a safer tomorrow on the roads!  

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