2007 California Vehicle Code Chapter 1. Accidents And Accident Reports
CA Codes (veh:20000-20018)
20000. The provisions of this division apply upon highways and
elsewhere throughout the State, unless expressly provided otherwise.
20001. (a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident
resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in
the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the
scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections
20003 and 20004.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a person who violates
subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state
prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine
of not less than one thousand dollars (,000) nor more than ten
thousand dollars (,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(2) If the accident described in subdivision (a) results in death
or permanent, serious injury, a person who violates subdivision (a)
shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three,
or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor
more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand
dollars (,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars (,000), or by
both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court, in the interests
of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce or
eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.
(3) In imposing the minimum fine required by this subdivision, the
court shall take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay
the fine and, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in
the record, may reduce the amount of that minimum fine to less than
the amount otherwise required by this subdivision.
(c) A person who flees the scene of the crime after committing a
violation of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of
Section 192 of the Penal Code, upon conviction of any of those
sections, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed,
shall be punished by an additional term of imprisonment of five years
in the state prison. This additional term shall not be imposed
unless the allegation is charged in the accusatory pleading and
admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact.
The court shall not strike a finding that brings a person within the
provisions of this subdivision or an allegation made pursuant to this
(d) As used in this section, "permanent, serious injury" means the
loss or permanent impairment of function of a bodily member or
20002. (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident
resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall
immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not
impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.
Moving the vehicle in accordance with this subdivision does not
affect the question of fault. The driver shall also immediately do
either of the following:
(1) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that
property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the
vehicle involved and, upon locating the driver of any other vehicle
involved or the owner or person in charge of any damaged property,
upon being requested, present his or her driver's license, and
vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person
in charge of that property. The information presented shall include
the current residence address of the driver and of the registered
owner. If the registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at
the scene, he or she shall also, upon request, present his or her
driver's license information, if available, or other valid
identification to the other involved parties.
(2) Leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property
damaged a written notice giving the name and address of the driver
and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the
circumstances thereof and shall without unnecessary delay notify the
police department of the city wherein the collision occurred or, if
the collision occurred in unincorporated territory, the local
headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(b) Any person who parks a vehicle which, prior to the vehicle
again being driven, becomes a runaway vehicle and is involved in an
accident resulting in damage to any property, attended or unattended,
shall comply with the requirements of this section relating to
notification and reporting and shall, upon conviction thereof, be
liable to the penalties of this section for failure to comply with
(c) Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding
six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars (,000),
or by both that imprisonment and fine.
20003. (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident
resulting in injury to or death of any person shall also give his or
her name, current residence address, the names and current residence
addresses of any occupant of the driver's vehicle injured in the
accident, the registration number of the vehicle he or she is
driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to
the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided
with, and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer
at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any
person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including
transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured
person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical
treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that
transportation is requested by any injured person.
(b) Any driver or injured occupant of a driver's vehicle subject
to the provisions of subdivision (a) shall also, upon being
requested, exhibit his or her driver's license, if available, or, in
the case of an injured occupant, any other available identification,
to the person struck or to the driver or occupants of any vehicle
collided with, and to any traffic or police officer at the scene of
20004. In the event of death of any person resulting from an
accident, the driver of any vehicle involved after fulfilling the
requirements of this division, and if there be no traffic or police
officer at the scene of the accident to whom to give the information
required by Section 20003, shall, without delay, report the accident
to the nearest office of the Department of the California Highway
Patrol or office of a duly authorized police authority and submit
with the report the information required by Section 20003.
20006. If the driver does not have his driver's license in his
possession, he shall exhibit other valid evidences of identification
to the occupants of a vehicle with which he collided.
20008. (a) The driver of a vehicle, other than a common carrier
vehicle, involved in any accident resulting in injuries to or death
of any person shall within 24 hours after the accident make or cause
to be made a written report of the accident to the Department of the
California Highway Patrol or, if the accident occurred within a city,
to either the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the
police department of the city in which the accident occurred. If the
agency which receives the report is not responsible for
investigating the accident, it shall immediately forward the report
to the law enforcement agency which is responsible for investigating
On or before the fifth day of each month, every police department
which received a report during the previous calendar month of an
accident which it is responsible for investigating shall forward the
report or a copy thereof to the main office of the Department of the
California Highway Patrol at Sacramento.
(b) The owner or driver of a common carrier vehicle involved in
any such accident shall make a like report to the Department of
California Highway Patrol on or before the 10th day of the month
following the accident.
20009. The Department of the California Highway Patrol may require
any driver, or the owner of a common carrier vehicle, involved in any
accident of which a report must be made as provided in Section 20008
to file supplemental reports and may require witnesses of accidents
to render reports to it whenever the original report is insufficient
in the opinion of such department.
20010. Whenever the driver of a vehicle is physically incapable of
making a required accident report, any occupant in the vehicle at the
time of the accident shall make the report or cause it to be made.
20011. Every coroner shall on or before the tenth day of each month
report in writing to the Department of the California Highway Patrol
the death of any person during the preceding calendar month as the
result of an accident involving a motor vehicle and the circumstances
of the accident.
20012. All required accident reports, and supplemental reports,
shall be without prejudice to the individual so reporting and shall
be for the confidential use of the Department of Motor Vehicles and
the Department of the California Highway Patrol, except that the
Department of the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement
agency to whom the accident was reported shall disclose the entire
contents of the reports, including, but not limited to, the names and
addresses of persons involved or injured in, or witnesses to, an
accident, the registration numbers and descriptions of vehicles
involved, the date, time and location of an accident, all diagrams,
statements of the drivers involved or occupants injured in the
accident and the statements of all witnesses, to any person who may
have a proper interest therein, including, but not limited to, the
driver or drivers involved, or the guardian or conservator thereof,
the parent of a minor driver, the authorized representative of a
driver, or to any named person injured therein, the owners of
vehicles or property damaged thereby, persons who may incur civil
liability, including liability based upon a breach of warranty
arising out of the accident, and any attorney who declares under
penalty of perjury that he or she represents any of the above
A request for a copy of an accident report shall be accompanied by
payment of a fee, provided such fee shall not exceed the actual cost
of providing the copy.
20013. No such accident report shall be used as evidence in any
trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident, except that the
department shall furnish upon demand of any person who has, or
claims to have, made such a report or upon demand of any court, a
certificate showing that a specified accident report has or has not
been made to the department solely to prove a compliance or failure
to comply with the requirement that such a report be made to the
20014. All required accident reports and supplemental reports and
all reports made to the Department of the California Highway Patrol
by any peace officer, member of the Department of the California
Highway Patrol, or other employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles
and the Department of the California Highway Patrol, shall be
immediately available for the confidential use of any division in the
department needing the same, for confidential use of the Department
of Transportation, and, with respect to accidents occurring on
highways other than state highways, for the confidential use of the
local authority having jurisdiction over the highway.
20015. (a) No traffic or police officer shall include in any
counter report of a property-damage accident, as defined in this
section, any determination by the peace officer of fault of the
reporting person, including, but not limited to, inattentiveness.
This section does not apply to a determination which is the result of
an examination of the physical evidence of the accident at the site
of the accident by the traffic or police officer or the result of an
express, knowing admission of the reporting person if the basis for
the determination is also included in the report.
(b) As used in this section, "counter report of a property-damage
accident" means any report of an accident involving one or more
vehicles which meets the following criteria:
(1) The accident reported caused damage to property, but did not
cause personal injury to or the death of any person.
(2) The report is prepared at an office of the California Highway
Patrol or local law enforcement agency.
(3) The report is written or recorded by, or with the assistance
of, a peace officer.
20016. Any peace officer, any member of an organized fire
department or fire protection district, any employee of the
Department of Transportation assigned to maintenance operations, or
any member of the California Highway Patrol may transport or arrange
for the transportation of any person injured in an accident upon any
highway to a physician and surgeon or hospital, if the injured person
does not object to such transportation. Any officer, member, or
employee exercising ordinary care and precaution shall not be liable
for any damages due to any further injury or for any medical,
ambulance, or hospital bills incurred in behalf of the injured party.
20017. Any peace officer who knows, or has reasonable cause to
believe, that a pesticide has been spilled or otherwise accidentally
released, shall report the spill as required in Section 105215 of the
Health and Safety Code.
20018. Every law enforcement agency having traffic law enforcement
responsibility as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 830.1 and
in subdivision (a) of Section 830.2 of the Penal Code may develop,
adopt, and implement a written policy for its officers to provide
assistance to disabled motorists on highways within its primary
jurisdiction. A copy of the policy, if adopted, shall be available
to the public upon request.
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