When do you report a car accident to the Police in Australia?

Each state of Australia has slightly different criteria for reporting a car accident to the police; there are however, some criteria that is consistent in each state and territory.  Failure to report a car accident in these instances can lead to some serious penalties including jail time. 

You must report an accident to the police if you answer yes to any of the following Critical Criteria:

- Death or injury to any persons requiring medical attention from a qualified ambulance officer, nurse or doctor.

- There is a hazardous environment or threat to public safety, such as a fuel spill or power lines down.  This also includes traffic congestion.

- Suspected involvement of drugs and/or alcohol by anyone involved in driving a vehicle.

- A driver fails, or has failed, or is refusing to provide required details such as licence details.

- A driver with an impairment or disability requires police assistance.

Other situations where it is good idea to report the accident to police includes:

- Where someone at the accident scene is demonstrating aggressive or threatening behaviour.

- If you are unsure of what to do in the event you do have an accident.

Where you answer no to all of the Critical Criteria but there is damage to property

There are different rules in each state and territory. A summary is below:

QLD – $ value not specified, however if you have returned to your unattended vehicle and very minor damage has been caused by an unknown vehicle, and the other driver has already left the scene without exchanging details, then in this instance you must report the matter to a police station.

VIC – no $ value specified on Victorian police website, however if there is any property damage and the owner (or Police) are not there, then you must report the crash to the nearest open police station.

SA  You must report the incident to the police (within 24hrs) if there is property damage belonging to the driver or the damage exceeds $3,000. 

WA – where any property is damaged the driver must report the accident to a police officer.

TAS – as long as the accident occurred in Tasmania and no vehicles were towed or carried away you can report the accident to  Traffic Crash Reporting System (TCRS)without the need to report to a police officer.

NT  where any property is damaged the driver must report the accident to a police officer. 

ACT - As long as the accident occurred in the ACT and no vehicles were towed or carried away you can report the accident to Report a collision online. 


Always remember to have the right insurances in place!

So many people are unaware that Motor Comprehensive Insurance or Third Party Property Damage insurance products DO NOT cover the injury component.  

You need to ensure you have a form of Compulsory Third Party (CTP) or sometimes referred to as "green slip" in place. This insurance provides compensation for people injured or killed when your vehicle is involved in an accident. It DOES NOT cover property damage.

Depending on the state your car is registerd in, your CTP may be a part of your vehicle registration fees; or you may need to source your own CTP policy before registering your car each year. CTP insurance does not cover damage to property, damage to vehicles or theft or fire. 

If you are involved in an accident, you also need to consider your insurance obligations. These will be outlined in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDF). Make sure you understand these to ensure a smooth claiming experience. 

Employees who Drive as part of their work

At SOS we highly recommend you have a Vehicle Policy in place to ensure you are meeting all of the appropiate WHS and compliance obligations to your workers. This needs to cover items such as vehicle maintenance, driver fatigue, risk assessments, drugs and alchohol, incident reporting, infringement 

If you need a hand sorting out your insurances than we can point you in the right direction.

And if your company lacking a strong Vehicle Policy, then we can help with that too!

Otherwise, Happy Motoring!