The Arrive Alive website received an interesting request for assistance about uninsured vehicles and the removal of such vehicles from an accident scene:
Subject: What do uninsured drivers do?
To whom it may concern what is the current legislation regarding uninsured drivers
As there was a car accident in the road where I live… car v pole…Obviously pole won… Drivers insurance and AA expired…The driver eventually called his dad and had a plan made
But it left me with the question of uninsured poor drivers…
What happens in the situation were the driver can’t afford to pay towing fees and the vehicle is unmovable on its own power and is now a hazard in the road
Does traffic tow the car?… if so where to and do they charge fees for impounding it?
Any answers that you can give me would be a great help as I have first aid training. I feel it is my responsibility if I arrive on the scene of an accident to be well informed and not quite sure where else to look.
This is always a difficult scenario – and perhaps a good reason on why it is important to have car insurance in place!!We would like to share a few important bits of advice for motorists when their vehicles have broken down. Most important is to keep in mind that motorists should not be forced into making an ill-considered decision. Even though many operators might arrive at the accident scene – it is still his decision on who should assist in the recovery of his vehicle.
The National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 stipulates in Section 61(3) that ‘…no person shall remove a vehicle involved in an accident, except for the purpose of sufficiently allowing the passage of traffic, without the permission of the owner, driver or operator of such vehicle or a person who may lawfully take possession of such vehicle.’
The following suggestions will assist insured motorists [and some uninsured]:
- If you are an AA member, contact the AA to arrange the tow. The AA uses only certain towing companies that comply with a code of conduct and service levels. You also have recourse if something goes wrong.
- Only use the services of the first SATRA or UTASA member to arrive at the scene of an accident. You have the right to choose to use a SATRA or UTASA member, who is bound by a contractually enforceable code of conduct, and protects you, the consumer, from being charged above market related rates.
- If your vehicle is insured, contact your insurer or broker and ask for information on the procedure to follow – have this available in your vehicle at all times.
- If you have insurance cover that includes towing charges, call the emergency towing assistance number (usually on a sticker provided by the insurance company).
- If you make use of a roadside assistance product. Make sure you know your rights: in almost all cases you or your insurer will be liable to pay the costs of towing an accident-damaged vehicle.
- Make sure that the accident-damaged vehicle is delivered to a repairer approved by your insurer or, if you are not insured, make sure to collect your vehicle as soon as possible to prevent the accrual of storage charges.
View additional suggestions on the Arrive Alive website and “Vehicle Recovery and Road Safety”