Edmonton’s collision reporting centres are changing how they operate after icy, snow conditions led to hundreds of minor crashes on city streets earlier this week.
Tow trucks arriving at the centres with damaged vehicles will now be a priority at the centres, which opened at the end of September as a way to relieve police resources at sites of minor collisions in the city. The change was made after slick conditions on Wednesday resulted in hundreds of fender-benders.
Instead of reporting collisions at Edmonton police detachments or waiting for officers at the crash site, drivers who are involved in minor incidents are now to report them at one of two reporting centres in the city.
Lineups and long delays were reported at the centres on Wednesday, as the first snowfall of the season blanketed the Edmonton region. It was the first real test of the new collision reporting centres.
At the north centre, the wait time peaked at about 90 minutes. Now, tow truck drivers bringing in damaged vehicles will not have to wait in line. Instead, someone will come out right away to take pictures of the damaged vehicle. That way the tow truck driver can leave for a body shop.
Some tow truck companies charge by the hour or kilometre, and waiting in line could cost the driver hundreds of dollars more.
“They’ll go to these spots, there will be a person outside, they’ll get photographs,” said Lee Harris, regional manager of the collision reporting centres.
“The photographs themselves take four to seven minutes, depending on how extensive the damage is. Once they’re done, we’ll complete our side of things and the tow operators are free to go.”
The centres are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Drivers involved in a collision after hours will be taken to an impound lot.
— with files from Sarah Komadina, Global News.