Providing False or Misleading Information Laws and Penalties in NSW

Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.

 

A police hunt is underway for an unlicensed driver who allegedly struck a six-year-old boy in a four-wheel-drive in Melbourne’s north, leaving the child with a broken arm.

According to reports from Victoria Police, the incident took place around 8:30pm on Tuesday 9 March 2021, when a 20-year-old male driver behind the wheel of a Nissan Patrol was driving through Brush Road in the suburb of Epping.

It is understood that at the time, a young boy exited a vehicle that was parked along the road and began to walk to the front of the vehicle.

He continued to walk onto the road, at which point, the Nissan Patrol, displaying the NSW registration plates DCA86E, drove past and allegedly hit the boy.

The driver stopped at the scene, however, when speaking to the young boy’s carer, went on to provide false and misleading details.

In particular, the male driver said his name was Frank and gave registration information that was misleading.

He then advised the carer that he was, in fact, unlicensed, before driving off to avoid police arrival.

 

Driver Described as “Of Poor Character” as Greensborough Highway Patrol Members Now Appealing for Witnesses of Incident

Following attendance at the scene by authorities and the commencement of an investigation, police discovered the personal details given by the driver were incorrect.

Additionally, checks revealed the NSW registration plate attached to the vehicle belonged to another vehicle.

“He’s pulled over, he’s given details … from there he’s said he was unlicensed, his car was displaying false plates and he’s driven off before police have arrived,” Greensborough Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Eric Harrison said, addressing the incident.

“He’s obviously had the decency to stop there, but he’s given false details which is of poor character.

“I don’t think there is much more to it than the fact that he’s unlicensed and I think that’s probably why he’s driven off without remaining.”

Greensborough Highway Patrol members are now appealing to the public for witnesses in the hope to track down the offender, which has seen full support from the community.

“Disgraceful individual who should never have been on the road. Hope you find him soon VICPOL and he’s named and shamed,” one person has since said of the search, with another echoing the sentiment by remarking, “What a cowardly act!”.

“I hope someone gives this swine what he came for. Poor little guy, I hope he’s ok no thanks to this lowlife,” another person declared in frustration, as others noted, “You’re not supposed to leave the scene of a collision before emergency services arrive if injuries have been sustained” and “This behaviour isn’t accepted within the four-wheel-driving community from what I’ve seen”.

Others have offered advice in dealing with such situations, saying, “Tip when getting details at an accident… As the other party tells you their number, DIAL it to make sure it’s legal and their phone rings. Dog act not to give correct details”.

The male driver has been described by authorities as Caucasian in appearance, with untidy hair and a short beard, while an image released of his Nissan Patrol shows to large round lights attached to its bonnet.

Meanwhile, the young boy was transported to the Royal Children’s Hospital to undergo X-rays on his arm.

Fortunately, his injuries are minor.

Legal Consequences of Providing False or Misleading Information in NSW

In NSW, it is against the law to provide false or misleading information in specific circumstances, such as during vehicle accidents.

This is made clear in section 307B of the Crimes Act 1900, which advises that a person is guilty of an offence ifthe person gives information to another person being a public authority, or person who’s exercising or performing a power, authority, duty or function under or in connection with a law of the state, or if the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the state if:

  • The person does so knowing that the information is false or misleading, or omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading.

The offence is taken very seriously, which is reflected in its maximum penalty of two years in jail, or a fine of $22,000, or both.

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