Coincidentaly I came upon an accident this afternoon which had not long happened . As there were several locals in attendance, I assume local as they were obviously on foot with their house doors open , I drove past. I didn't see the accident & all the wounded appeared to be walking. Should I have stopped in both the legal & moral sense?

Nice big smiley 'like'!

Brian I am really pleased we were of some help and that you did the sensible thing. One of the problems with not stopping is that the other drivers can try to give you some responsibility in the accident and if you are not there to answer ......

Because it always seemed prudent for work, I did a first aid course many years back. The same principle was taught. I completely agree with how you see it, it is one thing to have laws but there are always exceptions to how they can be followed, children top that list, pet dogs come next...

Anyway, I am grateful how Dominique and you responded earlier so phoned the gendarmerie and explained. Expecting an earful and a demand I break the speed limit to get there, in fact I got a sympathetic ear. Because the driver who caused it instantly said he was late for an appointment and therefore had to hurry, he admitted culpability so as far as they are concerned it now passes on from them to the procurator to decide what to do. They do not need any statements. He then asked if I was OK and if it had really affected me that I should see my doctor.

If anything, the gendarme made me feel much better and relaxed about it all. He did not even take my name or phone number, all the better.

It makes quite a good talking point actually, would I have stopped? Depends on if there were other cars in the vicinity and if my children were with me.

I recently did a French Red Cross first aid course and their advice (which caused me a few issues) was to stop your car in front of the accident to avoid causing a hazard behind the accident, very sensible. Secondly, you should evacuate anyone in your car to the side of the road. Our argument was that, that, would be impossible with small children - the trainer said that was the law. Several of us were concerned that in this scenario, we would drive on rather than expose our children to danger at the side of the road.

Glad to hear there were no serious casualties and hope you feel better too.

Well both of you are right. It was for large part a guilt feeling that made me put it up but also something to release the shock of seeing it. Not speaking for myself particularly, but I can see how easy it is to not stop now. I think it is easier to go into it after the event whereas at the time the impact of seeing it happen makes everything very vague. In terms of responses I mean. If I could 'rewind' the tape, metaphorically, I would stop and after the first calls would have called my therapist to try to fit me in later. Easy said a few hours on. I still shudder thinking about it. It really is scary and I do not scare easily at all.

Anyway I have now heard that nobody was badly hurt. The Audi driver has a few bumps and what I think sounds like whiplash but otherwise it was the vehicles damaged. The foolhardy driver will almost certainly be a few points and some Euros down and may not repeat the same error in the future.

Brian, I know you said you should have stopped but it is a legal obligation and how would you feel if everyone just drove past, especially if you had had your daughters with you in the car? I certainly wouldn't be telling everyone on a public forum. It's known in English as 'the Good Samaritan' law.

Do you realize that it is against the law to not stop? It is called 'Non assistance a personne en danger'. Interestingly it is a law left from the occupation, as the French tended to ignore Germans in need of help. I do hope that you do not get in any trouble, but perhaps asking Catharine to remove that thread would be good. 20 000 000 denunciaters in France.