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

Editorial: Move to shorten parking times in downtown Duncan a miscalculation

Parking in downtown Duncan is a longstanding problem.

T-Birds make the leap into rugby provincials

Strong first half helps Cowichan beat Belmont Bulldogs

LAKE FLASHBACK: Water troubles and hopes for a full-time theatre take centre stage this week

Lake didn’t want meters, and Youbou didn’t want publicly owned water while Players wanted Brown House

75th Anniversary Run remembers Second World War tragedy on Mount Bolduc

Transport was provided by ATV through the members of Cowichan Valley ATV Club

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has been mulling B.C.’s constitutional reference cas

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read