DRIVING TABOO: The ‘moral code’ being ignored on Coast
HERVEY Bay resident Malcolm Quinn isn't angry that his car was hit on a busy roundabout last Friday morning - he's bewildered and disappointed that the driver didn't stop after the accident.
Mr Quinn made a "non-confrontational" Facebook video on his way to the airport after the collision in a bid to find the driver and resolve the situation, and he wanted to check if they were okay.
He said there was no CCTV camera to capture traffic on the roundabout at the intersection of Boat Harbour Dr and Main St.
Mr Quinn's Facebook post was viewed more than 1500 times and shared, but the driver of the other car remains unknown.
"It's one of those taboo moral codes that you just don't do. You don't drive off after you've hit someone's car,'' he said.
"I think that it's one of those no-go zones for social responsibility."
The damage to his car was "four or five times" the cost of the excess, Mr Quinn said. The bonnet, side panel and bumper have to be replaced, but his insurance will cover the repairs.
"The accident happened around school drop-off time so you can imagine how busy it was.
"I proceeded as normal through the roundabout and someone came through in front of me from Main St.
"I was unable to avoid that collision, and then they'd gone off on their merry way. I proceeded up the road and came back but the driver had left, which I do understand in the heat of the moment.
"I don't have any malice toward the driver at all. It's just easier to drive off than deal with matters of insurance.
"I'd just like to know that the person is okay. My car hit their driver's side back door - were there kids in the car?"
Leigh Nancarrow, Senior Constable and Acting District Crime Prevention Coordinator based at Hervey Bay Police Station, said it was "really important" for drivers to remain at the scene of an accident and check if anyone was injured.
"It is the responsibility of the drivers to check if medical attention is needed,'' she said.
"Any sort of crash can get the adrenalin running and sometimes when we attend everyone will be fine, but the next day you might get some soreness because the adrenalin has left the body."
Snr Const Nancarrow recommended people see a doctor if they experienced soreness or pain in the days after an accident.
She said police should be called if damage to property and vehicles exceeded $2500, when a vehicle needed to be towed, or when there was injury or death.
Police should also be called if anyone involved failed to stop or if a driver did not give their details.
She said people were responsible for leaving their contact details if there had been an accident in a carpark.
"Just leave a first name and contact number and take down the details of the car and, if you do the right thing, it doesn't have to become a police matter."
People would flee the scene of an accident for varying reasons, Snr Const Nancarrow said, including feeling unsure about what to do or because they were worried about the ramifications or police involvement.
Caldwell Insurance manager Paul Graham said he had "definitely" noticed an increase in incidents where people had fled the scene of an accident. He said his business talked to people in situations like Mr Quinn's at least once every three weeks, and sometimes daily.
Mr Graham said about 25 per cent of people had no insurance cover at all.
"Not everyone takes off but too many do, and often it's because they don't have insurance.
"If you've got a hit-and-run situation you need to find some details from the person who's taken off so, if you can spot that rego number, then perfect.
"But you'll have to pay the excess if you don't have that," Mr Graham said.
"That's the only way the insurer can get the excess back."
He said there was often confusion over the difference between insurance types, especially CTP insurance which many people believed covered damage to their car.
"CTP or compulsory third party insurance covers personal injury such as whiplash to the driver or passenger as part of the car's registration."
CTP insurance, he said, did not cover damage to either of the cars involved.
Comprehensive Insurance covers repairs to your car, as well as the other car.
Third Party Fire and Theft covers the other vehicle if you are at fault, but not your vehicle. However, you are insured for theft.
And Third Party Property Damage, which costs about $150 annually, covered damage to the other car.