bump in a pub car park..

scheming_gypsy
scheming_gypsy Posts: 18,410 Forumite
Anybody know the law on accidents in a pub car park? just had a call from a friend who pulled into a pub car park to nip to the takeaway.. As she came back to her car 2 girls came over to say a big 4x4 had just reversed into her car and drove off laughing.
She went into the pub and they have CCTV and said they've be able to check it to see what happened and should be able to get the reg number. She phoned the police but they said that as it happened on a private car park there's nothing they can do. is that right or does that mean i can trash somebody's car in a pub car park and nothing can be done? or did the copper she speak to give her a load of cack?

If that is the case and she has the registration number is there anyway she can trace the car to launch a civil claim?
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Comments

  • Markyt
    Markyt Posts: 11,864 Forumite
    A quick google suggests the police have no power on private car parks (may exclude supermarkets) and the Road Traffic Act does not apply. Your friend will have to make it a civil case - maybe their insurance company can help trace the car from the reg?
  • scheming_gypsy
    scheming_gypsy Posts: 18,410 Forumite
    that's what i thought at first but then a search pulled up lawontheweb.co.uk that states the police can stop you for drink driving in a public place, including a pub car park which seems to indicate that a pub car park isn't actually private land.


    although after i told her that and that the police have to attend if there's a possibility of driving under the influence she called them back and spoke to somebody else who clearly didn't like working on a Friday night. they said they'd send somebody to the pub tomorrow.
  • Oscar
    Oscar Posts: 922 Forumite
    The definition of a road under the Road Traffic Act is

    Any way other than a waterway over which the public have a right of access and includes pathways and bridleways.

    So as the public have a right of access to the pub car park then it is covered under the Road Traffic Act. The police are fobbing you off in my opinion.

    It could be that this will not be a priorty call as the accident has already happened and the offending vehicles registration is not to hand so will be left to follow up enquiry at a later (quieter time) time.

    But all the same an enquiry should be made and if by the offending drivers actions it is obvious they knew that they had struck and damaged another vehicle, then the driver when identified should be charged with failing to stop and failing to report a road traffic accident. The penalties for this I am sure are the same as if they were drinking and driving as this and no insurance is often the case for these drivers failing to stop at the time.
    :j
  • scheming_gypsy
    scheming_gypsy Posts: 18,410 Forumite
    cheers Oscar, i originally told her to phone back in the morning when there's a chance of speaking to somebody else. Then phoned her back after looking at the lawontheweb website. A private car park to me is one you have to pay to use and / or has gates, if it has public access and no restrictions then it's a public car park.
    As she was told about the incident she has 2 witnesses and they said they could see her car move.
    When talking to the pub landlady she was told that the CCTV picture isn't great but the police can zoom in to see registrations better than they can a 'the police have done it before' so it sounds like they're just being lazy as it's a Friday night.
  • Markyt
    Markyt Posts: 11,864 Forumite
    Oscar wrote: »
    The definition of a road under the Road Traffic Act is

    Any way other than a waterway over which the public have a right of access and includes pathways and bridleways.

    So as the public have a right of access to the pub car park then it is covered under the Road Traffic Act. The police are fobbing you off in my opinion.

    The public don't have any 'right' to access a private car park - they are granted permission by the owner. Thats why the RTA doesn't apply.
  • WNBRich
    WNBRich Posts: 73 Forumite
    You're wrong, MarkyT, and the Road Traffic Act 1988 does apply to public places.
    The issue is whether this car park is a public place. The police should be advised formally of the incident, and also, obviously, the insurance company. They should be given details of all possible eye-witnessses, together with the fact that there is possible CCTV evidence in existence. The officer in the case should have his attention drawn to the fact that allegations of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident can be prosecuted even if they occur in a car park. The officer should obtain evidence to prove that this was a public place eg. unlimited access to the car park, or whether only a special class of persons were admitted.
    Hope that this confirms the correct position. Keep battling on, it's worth pursuing it.
  • scheming_gypsy
    scheming_gypsy Posts: 18,410 Forumite
    cheers WNB unfortunately the CCTV wasn't that clear but the landlady said she's sure she sees it parked there often so will keep her eye open for them again.
  • oldbill1969
    oldbill1969 Posts: 249
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    WNBRich wrote: »
    You're wrong, MarkyT, and the Road Traffic Act 1988 does apply to public places.
    The issue is whether this car park is a public place. The police should be advised formally of the incident, and also, obviously, the insurance company. They should be given details of all possible eye-witnessses, together with the fact that there is possible CCTV evidence in existence. The officer in the case should have his attention drawn to the fact that allegations of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident can be prosecuted even if they occur in a car park. The officer should obtain evidence to prove that this was a public place eg. unlimited access to the car park, or whether only a special class of persons were admitted.
    Hope that this confirms the correct position. Keep battling on, it's worth pursuing it.

    You are quite correct that the act applies to public places. I can go further and confirm that it will be a public place as customers who frequent the Pub are members of the Public; not a special group of persons subjected to any form of screening process which might have endowed them with some special charateristic, this was the test applied to an accident that occurred in the foyer of the boarding area of an airport involving an electric buggy
  • Markyt
    Markyt Posts: 11,864 Forumite
    WNBRich wrote: »
    You're wrong, MarkyT, and the Road Traffic Act 1988 does apply to public places.
    The issue is whether this car park is a public place.

    Um. yes, thats what I said - if the car park is private, as the police have said, then the RTA doesnt apply. If it is a public space, then it does.
  • poe.tuesday
    poe.tuesday Posts: 1,858 Forumite
    I don't know if this is of any help but my mother got sent a letter from the police stating that she had bumped into another car in a car park, it was a small car park behind a supermarket, it was also a free car park.

    apparently she bumped into another car and the other car owners saw the damage, they didn't wait for my mum to come back to her car, they drove off and went to the police who then in turn got in touch with my mum.
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