New Arkansas law requires minimum wait after wrecks

| 8/1/2007

A new law in Arkansas requires drivers involved in wrecks to remain at the scene for at least 30 minutes. The new rule took effect earlier this week.

Gov. Mike Beebe signed the bill this spring. It is intended to keep people at the scene of any wreck that results in injury, death or damage to vehicles, in case a law enforcement officer is en route. It includes an exception for drivers who need to leave the wreck scene to render assistance.

Rep. Chris Thyer, D-Jonesboro, said he offered the bill after being told a story about a man involved in a car wreck who left his driver’s license and registration with the other driver and then drove home. When officers arrived at his house, he was drinking a cocktail, the Arkansas News Bureau reported.

“My bill put some sort of time frame in there so that when police or a county sheriff are en route we’re going to require the people involved in the accident to stay to respond to any police questioning or anything like that,” Thyer told the News Bureau.

Arkansas law requires drivers in crashes to render aid but it didn’t place a time limit on the length of time people stay at the scene. The new law mandates a 30-minute wait time.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Arkansas in 2007, click here.