Clearing car accidents too quickly could have consequences

When a major collision occurs, the next steps taken can be very important for peoples' safety and any police investigations. Many British Columbia residents hope that car accidents are cleared off the road sooner, particularly in the case of minor collisions. However, there are concerns that wreckage being cleared too quickly can hinder investigations and prevent the proper collection of evidence to document exactly what happened.

In British Columbia, car accidents with over $1,000 in damage require an investigation from police officers. The police produce MV6020 forms from these investigations, which support insurance claims and help hold dangerous drivers accountable. However, these reports are also sent to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia who then use the data to identify patterns, such as driving behaviours or unsafe intersections.

A resolution before the Union of B.C. Municipalities proposes raising this limit to car accidents with over $10,000 in damages in order to open up roads more quickly following a collision. The resolution also seeks to authorize firefighters to be able to complete car crash investigations in order to free police officers up for more pertinent calls. Since fire departments are called to arrive at every car accident scene regardless, this would not be an additional strain on resources and may actually save money for municipalities.

While some injuries suffered during car accidents are immediately apparent, others are not apparent until later on. Additionally, British Columbia residents may be injured severely in accidents that do not technically cause significant property damage. While future tests of this new $10,000 cap may mean that investigations are not always done in these cases, a personal injury lawyer is always a good resource to help answer questions and advocate for accident victims and their families.

Source: timescolonist.com, "Clearing car crashes faster could backfire: officer", Katie Derosa, Sept. 6, 2017

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