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Motor Traffic (Prosecution)

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Stanley Steward, of Fordham, Essex, who, while driving a motor-car at night, upset a cycle and sidecar, both the occupants of which were thrown out and one seriously injured; whether he is aware that Steward drove away in the darkness without rendering assistance, but was fortunately identified by a lamp which fell off his car in the collision, and subsequently fined for driving to the common danger; that, though the magistrate had power to fine Steward for dangerous driving, he had no power to punish him for the cowardly act of running away and leaving his victim lying unaided in the high road; and is he now prepared to reconsider his previous decision, and to introduce legislation inflicting special penalties for any such attempt to escape detection by flight?

This case has not been brought to my notice, but from the facts stated by the hon. Member it appears that the driver of the motor-car in question might have been charged with causing bodily harm by driving to the common danger. On a conviction for this offence imprisonment up to two years may be imposed and no doubt the Court in passing sentence would have regarded the offender's conduct after the accident as an aggravation of the offence.