I read recently how a descendent of Queen Victoria failed to stop after colliding with a cyclist outside London's Hyde Park.
Captain Nicholas Brandram, grandson of Princess Katherine of Greece - the last female descendant of Queen Victoria - was found by the court to have struck the cyclist with his Harley Davidson motorcycle on 6th March 2013. Mr Brandram represented himself in court and initially denied the allegations suggesting that he was unaware that a collision had occurred.
The court heard from the prosecutor how the cyclist’s back wheel was damaged as a result of the collision and that the motorcyclist left the scene without exchanging details.
Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that if an accident occurs in which damage is caused, the driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address and also the name and address of the owner and the identification marks of the vehicle.
Mr Brandram identified that he was a decorated former British Army Captain who had served in Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. He told magistrates of his glittering military career and added that he was an "upstanding member of society".
Beyond that, Mr Brandram conceded that "if I've caused damage I take full responsibility for that" and he pleaded guilty to a count each of driving without due care and attention and of failing to stop after a road accident. He received five penalty points on his licence, a £200 fine and compensation costs of £105.
Noting that someone may often not show signs of injury at the very time at which a road traffic accident occurs, it would seem entirely reasonable in compliance with the Road Traffic Act 1988, to stop if you think for any reason that you may have been involved in a collision to speak to any third party and consider if any damage has been caused.
By Barry Sutton, personal injury team