Road Accident Advice
The police in Gloucestershire aim to give the best possible service to anyone who is involved in a road accident.
The role of the Police at an accident
The police do not routinely record or attend all accidents because often it is sufficient for drivers to speak directly to their insurance company.
When the police do attend, their job is to:
- Protect the scene from any further accidents.
- Ensure any injured people are looked after and treated by the appropriate emergency service.
- Direct the traffic through and around the scene safely.
- Examine the accident scene, determine how the accident happened and decide if any offences have been committed.
- Record all accident details where injuries occur or drivers make allegations about or against others.
- Identify witnesses who will help determine the cause of the accident.
- Help in the recovery of the vehicles away from the scene.
How you can help
- Ensure that injured people receive help.
- Make sure that you or anyone else at the scene are not creating an unnecessary hazard.
- Make and keep notes about how the accident happened while the events are still fresh in your mind.
- Keep a note of registration numbers and details of other people involved, including witnesses, and bring them to the attention of your insurance company and the police, if they attend.
- If possible you should exchange names and addresses and obtain insurance details from any other drivers involved at the scene of the accident.
- Draw a rough sketch of the accident scene. This will help your insurance company.
- If you are asked to produce your documents at a police station, please do so within seven days.
- Inform your insurance company as soon as you can. They will advise you about the arrangements for the repair of your vehicle, and where applicable, they will act on your behalf to claim costs from other drivers.
- If you have been asked to leave the scene without obtaining full details of the other parties involved, further information will be made available from the police as soon as the initial enquiries are completed.
Investigation and prosecution
- The police do not automatically record full details of every road accident.
- Where possible we will keep you informed of the results of our investigations.
- If you did not make a written statement at the time of the accident and one is later needed you may either be interviewed by a police officer or you will receive a statement questionnaire by post, which should be completed and returned promptly.
- If someone is killed as a result of an accident, the inquiry carried out by the police is much more detailed. The officer dealing with the accident will liaise directly with the Coroner and a Family Liaison Officer will be appointed to support bereaved relatives.
- It should not be assumed that a driver will be prosecuted as a result of the investigation. If it appears that a driver may have committed an offence then a prosecution may take place.
- The Crown Prosecution Service will decide whether anyone will be prosecuted.
- In some cases the Driver Improvement Scheme may be recommended as an alternative to prosecution. The scheme consists of a course of driving classes to improve driver skills.
- If the Crown Prosecution Service decide not to prosecute you can still take civil action against the other driver if appropriate. You should seek advice of your insurance company or solicitor.
The media is important because publicity can encourage witnesses to come forward. They can also help communicate important messages about road safety. The police in Gloucestershire respect your privacy and we do not routinely name anyone who is injured in a road accident.
You should send the following details to your insurance company as it will help them process your claim.
- Date of accident
- Time of accident
- Location of accident
- Road condition
- Name of officer attending scene
- Make of vehicle
- Registration number
- Driver's name
- Driver's address
- Damage to vehicle
Police officers who attend accidents are not responsible for dealing with requests for further information. Any such requests should initially be made through your insurance company and then in writing to the Police Accident Unit.
You should allow at least 10 days from the date of your accident before making any enquiries.
Collision Admin Unit
Criminal Justice Department
Gloucester Central Police Station