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

Police to sweep minor auto accidents to side of the road, get traffic moving

Good news for drivers as police given powers to sweep minor crash scenes to the side of the road

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 Sidney/North Saanich RCMP 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 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 was effected Friday, March 8, 2019.

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

Traffic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Langford residents concerns rise over proposal for two 11-storey buildings

Group calls for more green space, independent traffic feasiblity study

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

VIDEO: Dashcam footage shows Victoria police-involved crash

Video shows VicPD officer strike another vehicle at intersection

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read