Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1602 CRS imposes a duty to stop for drivers involved in an accident involving damage to one or more vehicles. If the collision occurred on a traveled road, the drivers also have a duty to move the cars to a safe place with no oncoming traffic if possible. Drivers who fail to stop at the scene of an accident can be prosecuted for hit and run.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
CRS 42-4-1602. (1) The driver of any vehicle directly involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident, except in the circumstances provided in subsection (2) of this section, until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of section 42-4-1603. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. Any person who violates any provision of this subsection (1) commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.
(2) When an accident occurs on the traveled portion, median, or ramp of a divided highway and each vehicle involved can be safely driven, each driver shall move such driver’s vehicle as soon as practicable off the traveled portion, median, or ramp to a frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location to fulfill the requirements of section 42-4-1603.
CRS 42-4-1602 requires that drivers immediately stop following a car accident that results in vehicle damage. The drivers involved have a duty to exchange their names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, insurance information, and to show their license (upon request). They must also contact the police with the location of the accident and wait until they arrive and complete their investigation.1
If the accident occurred on a road, the drivers involved in the accident should – if possible – move the vehicles to an untraveled area such as a:
- frontage road,
- nearest suitable cross street, or
- other suitable location2
People who leave the scene of an accident causing only property damages face hit and run charges in Colorado. A class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, hit & run causing property damage carries:
- 10 to 90 days in jail, and/or
- A fine of $150-$3003
- CRS 42-4-1602 – Accident involving damage – duty. CRS 42-4-1603. CRS 42-4-1606. See also People v. Manzo (Supreme Court of Colorado, 2006) 144 P.3d 551 and People v. Hernandez (Supreme Court of Colorado, 2011) 250 P.3d 568.
- CRS 42-4-1602.
- CRS 42-4-1701.