You may have seen in the news that Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls was hit with 5 points and a whopping £900 fine on the 5th August, 2014. But what did he do wrong? Quite simply, the MP for Morley and Outwood reportedly hit a stationery vehicle and failed to report it to the owners or the police.
What was Ed meant to do?
It’s simple really, if you cause damage or personal injury you are required to stop at the scene and leave contact details. Failure to do so is in contravention of Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. What is more, you are obligated to contact your local police station and report the incident to them as soon as is reasonably practical within 24 hours. Failure to do so is again in contravention of Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act.
Are the penalties fair?
Points for failing to report an incident like this vary between 5 and 10 meaning that Mr Balls was in fact, quite lucky. What’s more, the fines attached to these types of incidents have been known to reach £5,000 making Mr Balls £900 fine a mere drop in the ocean. We mustn’t deem the authorities of being unfairly lenient on Mr Balls in this case though as the reported damage was quite minor. It has been reported that he may not have been aware he had even caused damage to the other vehicle!