Drivers could soon report car accidents online

81,000 collisions are reported in person each year, but a consultation is now open on whether to allow motorists to report accidents online

Car crash, insurance, write-off, accident

A new public consultation has opened on whether drivers should be allowed to report car accidents to the police online, rather than having to attend a police station in person.

The law currently states that if drivers are involved in an accident and are unable to exchange details with others involved, they must attend a police station within 24 hours and inform officers of their collision.

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Official figures reveal 130,000 personal injury accidents are reported to police each year, and while the majority are logged by officers at the scene, around 26,000 are subsequently reported at police station counters. A further 55,000 collisions, involving only damage to property, are also reported each year.

The Government says that allowing those incidents to be reported online rather than in person would “lessen the burden on motorists” and also “free up police resources”. If the changes are approved, motorists would still be able to attend police stations in person, should they wish.

Launching the 12-week public consultation, Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “The current system [for reporting accidents] is out of date; it takes up considerable amounts of time and increases queues for reporting crimes. The ability to report accidents online will make the whole process quicker and easier for both drivers and the police.”

What to do after a car crash

Norman also announced a new app for police officers to use on their handheld devices, dubbed the Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRASH) would be rolled out, making logging accidents easier for police. The new system would mean that: “highways authorities will also be able to access accurate and up to date information, meaning councils can better plan safety improvements and in a shorter time.”

Do you think the system for reporting accidents is out of date? Let us know below...

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