What would you do if you were involved in a car crash?
We all know that you should stop to make sure that no one is hurt, and exchange details with the other driver. But chances are that if you’re involved in a major crash, you will be feeling shaken, shocked and perhaps not thinking straight.
Some people even do the unforgivable by panicking and driving off – and one Sydney taxi-driver is facing the Downing Centre Local Court after he hit an elderly lady and then left the scene.
Taxi Driver Charged After Hit and Run
It is alleged that Dr Mark Farhad, a taxi driver and lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, was driving through Crows Nest in Sydney at about 11am on Tuesday, 18 August 2015, when he hit an elderly woman who was trying to cross the road. He allegedly then made the fateful decision to leave the scene. Tragically, the woman died as a result of her injuries.
The taxi company easily narrowed down possible drivers as Dr Farhad was just one of 15 taxi drivers in the area at the time of the collision. They contacted Dr Farhad later that afternoon, who they say reported feeling “confused and traumatised”.
Dr Farhad was arrested at the taxi depot later that evening. He was granted bail in Central Local Court and is due to face a Magistrate in the Local Court at the Downing Centre in mid-October.
In order to secure his release from custody, he had to pay a $10,000 security and surrender his passport.
Dr Farhad has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, negligent driving causing death as well as failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death.
In the meantime, he must report daily to his local police station and is not allowed to drive paying customers in his taxi, although he is allowed to drive himself and his family around.
What Does the Law Say About Hit and Runs?
Section 52AB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) makes it an offence to leave the scene of a serious accident.
A person is guilty if they were:
1. Driving a vehicle that was involved in a crash involving the death of another person;
2. They did this knowing (or when they ought to have known) that their vehicle was involved in an impact causing death or grievous bodily harm to another person; and
3. They failed to stop and give necessary assistance.
It is an offence if the crash caused grievous bodily harm rather than death, but the maximum penalty is lower.
What are the Penaties?
The maximum penalty for failing to stop and give assistance if the crash involved the death of another is 10 years imprisonment. If the victim suffered grievous bodily harm instead of death, the maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment.
Although the maximum penalty is prison, courts can impose a number of sentences and less than half of all people who are guilty under section 52AB of the Act go to prison.
Courts can impose a wide range of alternative penalties, including a suspended prison sentence, community service order, good behaviour bond or fine.
Leaving the scene of a traffic accident is never a good idea, and can lead to serious consequences. If you need legal advice about a traffic case, an experienced lawyer will be able to inform you about the most appropriate path and the likely outcome.