HALIFAX – Halifax Regional Police have launched a new way of reporting vehicle collisions they say will streamline the process and provide important real-time statistics on accidents.
The Halifax Collision Reporting Centre, which is located at the police headquarters on Gottingen Street, is part of a one-year pilot project. Drivers who are involved in minor accidents can drive their vehicles or have it towed to the location.
Staff from Accident Services Support International Ltd (ASSI) will help drivers take photographs of the damage, fill out a report electronically and file it directly to the insurance company.
“What we do is we fast track that whole process for the consumers so it results in a faster turnaround in the repair of the car,” said ASSI president Steve Sanderson. “It allows the consumer to come in at their own convenience and report within 24 hours.”
The service is subsidized by the insurance companies and Sanderson says they currently have about half of the province’s insurers on board.
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There are also plans to install the software in police vehicles so the data can be accessible to officers on location.
Prior to the launch, police filled out an extensive form by hand. Data on accident locations, weather conditions and circumstances were manually put into a spreadsheet.
“Up to this point, getting that data into the hands of our officers has been very, very difficult,” said Deputy Chief Bill Moore.
“This is going to help us speed up getting that data so if we see an area that has a lot of accidents going we can liaise with our friends at HRM Traffic right away and say ‘Is it an engineering issue? Is it an enforcement issue? Is there something that needs to be done?'”