tag number himself. Furthermore, Hartford denies coverage on the basis that Blackburn failed to satisfy an affirmative duty to notify the police of the incident.
The only Pennsylvania case directly addressing this issue is Binczewski v. Centennial Ins. Co., 354 Pa. Super. 229, 511 A.2d 845 (1986). In that case, the superior court, interpreting an identical definition of "uninsured motor vehicle," found that "nothing in the insurance policy imposes a duty upon [the insured] to actively question [sic] the driver of the vehicle which struck her 'when the driver almost instantaneously drove away and left no information.'" Id. 511 A.2d at 847 (quoting lower court opinion at 2-3). Similarly, Blackburn's policy imposed no duty on him to question the driver of the vehicle that struck his car. Nonetheless, Blackburn attempted to ascertain the woman's name, address, tag number, and insurance information. She remained entirely uncooperative, leaving Blackburn with no means to contact either her or her insurance company later. Hartford cannot deny coverage on the ground that Blackburn was unsuccessful attempting to do something that his insurance policy does not require him to do.
Nor does the law impose a duty on Blackburn to interrogate the other driver. On the contrary, the woman whose vehicle struck Blackburn's car had a legal obligation pursuant to Pennsylvania's Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.S.C.A. § 101 et seq, to provide Blackburn with her name, address, and vehicle registration number, whether Blackburn solicited this information or not. See id. at § 3744(a). If Blackburn were injured, she had a duty to remain at the scene of the accident until she had fulfilled the requirements of section 3744. Id. at § 3742. The fact that she did not comply with the law is no fault of Blackburn's.
Although the insurance policy at issue in Binczewski required that persons seeking uninsured motorists coverage notify the police if a hit and run driver were involved, 511 A.2d at 846, there is no indication from the portion of the policy with which Hartford provided me that Blackburn was under any such obligation. Hartford certainly cannot now impose this responsibility retroactively.
Under the insurance policy issued by Hartford, Blackburn qualifies as a covered person struck by a "hit and run vehicle whose owner or operator cannot be identified." The other driver "almost instantaneously drove away and left no information" that would enable Blackburn to locate her or to ascertain whether she had motor vehicle insurance. I therefore find that Blackburn was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Blackburn's response to Hartford's motion for summary judgment asks only that I deny that motion and order the parties to submit to arbitration, but does not include a cross-motion for summary judgment. In granting Blackburn's request, I find that no issues remain for me to resolve.
Accordingly, summary judgment will be entered in favor of Blackburn. An order follows.
AND NOW, this 13th day of January, 1989, it is hereby ordered that the summary judgment motion of plaintiff, Hartford Insurance Company, is denied, and summary judgment is entered in favor of defendant, Zachary Blackburn. It is further ordered that the parties shall submit to arbitration pursuant to the terms of the insurance policy.