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Traffic Police - Action to be taken in the Eve of an Accident PDF Print

It is defined in Section: 161(1) of the Motor Traffic Act

01. (a). If a motor vehicle meets with an accident on a highway, it is the duty of the driver to attend to the following

  • immediately stop the vehicle;
  • Furnish his name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, the distinctive number of the vehicle and other particulars relating thereto, if requested so to do by any person to whom, or by the owner or person in charge of the property or the animal to which, the injury has been caused, or by any Police Officer or Grama Seva Niladhari;
  • In any case where the person to whom injury has been caused so requests, or if he is unconscious or if the injury caused to that person appears to endanger life, take that person immediately to a hospital or to a medical practitioner, and thereafter report the accident forthwith to the officer in charge of the nearest Police Station ; and
  • In every case not referred to in paragraph (iii), report the accident forthwith to the officer in charge of the nearest Police Station.

(b). The owner of the motor vehicle, whether or not he was present at the time of the accident, shall on demand by any Police Officer or Grama Seva Niladhari, furnish all information in his possession as to the name, address, description, antecedents and whereabouts of the driver of the vehicle and of every person in the vehicle at the time of the accident.  Every such owner who, in compliance with any such demand, gives any information pertaining to his knowledge is false or in any particular misleading, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(c). Every, person, other than the driver, who was in the vehicle at the time of the accident shall ;

  • Furnish his name and address and all such information as may be in his possession as to the names and addresses of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle and the distinctive number of the vehicle and other particulars relating thereto, if requested so to do by any person to whom, or the owner or person in charge of the property or animal to which, the injury has been caused, or by any Police Officer or Grama Seva Niladhari ; or
  • Within twenty-four hours of the accident communicate his name and address and the fact that he was in the vehicle at the time of the accident to the officer in charge of a Police Station.


02. Where in any accident due to the use of a motor vehicle on a highway any injury is caused to any person, and the driver of the motor vehicle on being requested so to do by a Police Officer or a Grama Seva Niladhari, or by the person who has been injured or any other person acting on his behalf, does not at the time produce the certificate of insurance or of security relating to that vehicle 

(a) The driver shall, as soon as possible, and in any case within twenty-four hours of the occurrence of the accident, produce such certificate for inspection at the nearest Police Station;
Provided, however, that no person shall be deemed to have contravened the provisions of this subsection by reason only of his failure to produce such certificate, if, before the expiry of a period of five days from the date on which the production of the certificate was so required, he produces the certificate in person at such Police Station as may have been specified by him on that date;

(b) The owner of the motor vehicle shall give such information as may be required by a Police Officer for the purpose of determining whether or not the vehicle was being driven in contravention of the provisions of section 99 at the time when the driver was required to produce the certificate.

i.   Duties of the Police When an Accident is reported.
ii.  Information to be recorded.
iii. Immediately to proceed to the scene of accident.
iv. Dispatch injured to the hospital without delay.
v. To make observations and to take down the sketch of the accident and to clear for traffic or to divert traffic.
vi. Commence investigations and record all evidence.

04. Settlement of a Trivial Accident

If the inquiries or damages caused are of minor nature and damages are of trivial nature and if parties are willing to come to a settlement it should be allowed.
However, the Police have the right to file a plaint for rash and negligent driving.  If the damage caused involved Govt/Public property Police will take legal action.
Police will take action to release such vehicles involved in minor accidents without delay having tested mechanical condition of the vehicles, and all other accidents where damages caused are heavy Police will get the RMV to examine the vehicles and release vehicles.


05. Prosecutions in Accidents

In all accidents, Police will take action when there is sufficient evidence to prosecute offenders other than trivial accidents.
In certain trivial accidents if parties are willing to come to a settlement where slight negligence on the part of the offending driver is surfaced, action would not be taken to prosecute.  However power of prosecution in Courts is vested with the Police. 
In all serious accidents Police should file plaints having consulted Hon. A.G. in prosecuting offending drivers. 


Fatal Accidents:
In all fatal accidents files will be submitted to Hon. A.G. seeking advice to file plaint against the offending driver.
In certain cases Hon. A.G. would initiate action in High Courts and in some cases in Magistrate Courts all depending on the gravity of the accident.
Parties are summoned by warning to appear in Courts by Police or issue of summons by the respective Courts.


Issue of Certified Copies:
Issuance of certified copies of complaints will be as follows:

  • To the complainant 
  • Suspect Drivers
    Reference I.G.’s Circular No. 1834/05 dated 01.05.2005 issue of certified copy for one page is Rs.25/= 
    On application it will be issued without delay by the O.I.C. of the Police Station and a receipt on General 172 will be issued.
    The same will be issued to the following:
      Insurance Companies 
      On filing of plaints on a request made by an Attorney for the defendant. 
      As ordered by Courts 
      When an inquiry is held by the Govt. Department.


Services Provided by Traffic Headquarters:

  1. Educational Programs on traffic Road Safety
  2. Providing of Pilot/Escorts for VVIP/VIPP and for other major events. 
  3. Assist to select Drivers for Govt. and private sector organizations and selecting them for their promotions. 
  4. Conducting of Traffic impact assessments. 
  5. Advance motoring course for drivers and riders conducted for Armed forces and for Public and private sector. 
  6. Providing of pilots for transport of Heavy vehicles 
  7. Providing of accident data for research 
  8. Issue of all -Isaland speaker permits 
  9. Conducting of Cycle races and Marathons at National level 
  10. Advise on traffic related problems 
  11. Training of Traffic wardens (School/Adults) 
  12. Providing of Traffic demonstrations and Traffic stalls to promote road safety  


Services Provided by Police 

  1. Issue of certified complaints ( Rs. 25/- per page)
  2. Finger Print       ( Rs. 125/- per a report )
  3. Issuing of Loud Speaker permit per month -Rs. 250/- for a Police  Division/District/Station 
        i. PCC/PSMM/PSS/ -  Rs. 750/- per day 
       ii. IPP/SII  -  Rs. 1000/- per day 
       iii. CII    -  Rs. 1500/- per day 
  4. Hiring Charges
       i. Lorry   -   Rs. 5000/-
       ii. Bus    -   Rs. 6000/-
       iii. Light Vehicle   -   Rs. 4000/- 
       iv. Motor Cycle  - Rs. 1500/-


Bribery & Corruption:

It is an offence under the Bribery & Corruption Act to offer, accept or solicit a bribe.  Any complaints should be immediately informed to 011-2584872 and also to the Commissioner of Bribery & Corruption, No. 36, Malalasekara Mawatha, Colombo 07.


Inspector General of Police - Pujith Jayasundara

Pujith Jayasundara
Inspector General of Police

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