Metro Police to launch program to report minor crashes online
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Police is launching new program that will allow drivers involved in many minor car crashes to self-report driver information and collision details through an online portal starting on Monday, Aug. 22.
The system, developed by Lexis-Nexis, will route the completed report to Metro Police’s Records Division from where the involved parties and their insurance companies will be able to receive copies as needed.
“As the city has grown and the demand for police services has increased, calls must be prioritized according to immediate public safety needs,” Police Chief John Drake said in a news release Wednesday. “During peak call volume times, most property damage crashes, particularly those not blocking major thoroughfares, are lower priority calls in the classification hierarchy. This can sometimes mean long wait times, something we hope to dramatically reduce with this new program.”
Motorists involved in property damage crashes, including those in private parking lots, are eligible to self-report through the new system as long as:
- The parties have agreed to share their driver license, vehicle and insurance information, and agree on the circumstances of the crash;
- There are no injuries;
- No involved vehicle is blocking a roadway due to inoperability;
- The crash does not involve a hit and run;
- The crash does not involve a DUI or other criminal matter;
Property damage crash calls received by the Department of Emergency Communications 911 dispatchers will triage a driver’s call to decide if the collision will qualify for the program. If so, the call taker will transfer the caller to a dedicated 800 line where they will be prompted to enter their cell phone number and will receive a text with a link to begin the report.
After successful submission, the parties will receive a report number through which they or their insurance carriers will receive a copy.
The new self-reporting system will be for minor crashes only. Officers will respond to the scene of crashes if it involves injury or death or where one of more parties may be impaired crashes resulting from the commission or a crime, hit and run crashes on public roadways, and a crash that involved a serious disturbance, to include violent arguments or confrontations between the parties.
Insurance companies rely on those crash reports to determine who is at fault in a crash and who must pay for the damage, according to Imperial Insurance Agency owner Howard Cook.
“I’ve seen some instances where people have called the police to report an accident and maybe hours go by and they eventually leave,” Cook said. “I’m glad they have taken some steps to make it more easy to self-report the accident.”
Cook said without a third party on the scene of every crash, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your car if you are in a minor wreck, that includes taking lots of photos and video of the crash scene and damaged cars. He also suggested installing a dash camera or something else that can prevent an incident from being word against word.
“I’m more scared with the human error factor in reporting accidents by people who are already upset, confused, frazzled as the scene,” Cook said.
Fraudulently completing a crash report, or knowingly providing false information on a report, is a violation of Tennessee law.
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