In an effort to streamline services, Edmonton Police Service will no longer have drivers report minor crashes at stations or call police to a scene.
Instead, EPS is opening a collision reporting centre in both south and north Edmonton where motorists will file a report, including pictures, insurance information, and personal contacts.
The offices at 15750 116 Ave. and 5805 87A St. are scheduled to open in late September and are expected to free up three officers right away, and as many as 15 in the near future.
McFee said officers process about 34,000 crashes annually, a “considerable amount of administrative work.”
“They can be some of the most time-consuming tasks our people perform, and they happen daily. Usually when traffic is at its heaviest, creating safety issues and frustrations for motorists,” McFee said.
“[The] centre allows officers who would otherwise attend other collisions to attend higher priority calls for services and by moving the process from roadside and our front counters to a dedicated space staffed with experts.”
The offices will be operated by Accident Support Services International Ltd. (ASSI) — a company that serves as a middle man between police and insurance providers — at no cost to police or the public.
Drivers will have to report crashes at these two locations within 24 hours.
“Damage to vehicles will be photographed and included in the collision report, which can be forwarded directly to the driver’s insurer at their request,” ASSI president Steve Sanderson explained.
“We take 11 pictures; we photograph the damage, we photograph the backseat for baby seats, we photograph the steering wheel to see if the airbag’s been deployed.”
ASSI has 41 centres across Canada, including in Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.
Major collisions – those involving a fatality or criminal element, or which require EMS response – should still be called in to 911.
Collisions must be reported to police if the vehicles have a combined damage of more than $2,000.
Police will also continue to attend crashes as required by legislation – such as in the case of a suspended driver – and when the crash involved dangerous goods transportation or resulted in extensive damage.
Once the reporting centres are open, EPS station front counters will not take reports for all other minor crashes.
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