First responders on site investigating an auto incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Vancouver Island police happy they can sweep minor auto accidents to side of the road

Police can now avoid paperwork, make getting traffic going the priority in minor crashes

The B.C. government’s announcement that police are now free to sweep minor traffic accidents to the side of the road and get traffic moving is described as “very forward thinking” by Vancouver Island officers on the ground.

This comes after B.C. decided to update the threshold for mandatory reporting of property-damage-only collisions (PDOs).

“Having traffic back up because of a minor collision where nobody was hurt doesn’t help anyone – and worse, it can lead frustrated drivers to take steps that are unsafe,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “[This] increase in the damage threshold for these kinds of crashes is long overdue and will allow people and police officers to move damaged vehicles out of the way without delay.”

ALSO READ: Central Saanich Police stop impaired driver doing 108 km/h in a 50 zone

Before, if damage exceeded $1,000 for motor vehicles, $600 for motorcycles or $100 for bicycles, the attending officers had to complete a special form before the end of their shift.

The reporting threshold is now $10,000 per PDO, regardless of vehicle type, in the expectation that traffic will be allowed to flow quickly, after provincial highways are unblocked.

“The value of vehicles has increased exponentially since those values were set,” said Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Const. Meighan de Pass. “Even a molded plastic bumper these days can cost over $1,000 so almost all accidents needed paperwork, slowing traffic.”

The threshold increase went into effect Friday.

ALSO READ: More than 63,700 seriously injured in B.C. workplaces, tallying over $4 billion in costs over 10 years

Police will continue to file a mandatory, written report with ICBC for every crash they attend that results in death or injury.

“Police officers will continue to attend collisions involving minor property damage at their discretion – for example, if questions arise about driver impairment or who’s at fault,” said Chief Const. Neil Dubord, chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police traffic safety committee. “However, lifting the threshold for mandatory, written reports when officers do attend will help clear crash scenes much more quickly. In turn, it may lower risks for those working at the scene and motorists alike.”

The reporting threshold increase is expected to save time for police officers and ICBC. Most PDO reports are because of collisions involving passenger vehicles.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

Qualicum Beach craft beer festival to showcase local brews, spirits

Event will feature 20 Vancouver Island breweries and distilleries

Vandals wreak havoc on Parksville flower beds

‘Senseless’ act causes thousands of dollars in damage

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read