Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Collision Reporting:
6, Will the police still come to investigate my collision, even if no one was hurt? What if I want them there to witness the condition of my car or the position of the vehicles involved in the collision?
8. What should I do with my vehicle after a collision occurs? If I'm in the middle of the road, should I try to move it to the side, or do the police need to see my car in the exact position when the collision occurred?
15. What if I give my Driver's Licence and insurance information to the other driver and he or she loses it and later claims I did not provide the information. Will I be charged with failing to provide the information?
Collision Reporting Centres (CRC) provide police agencies with a more effective way to deal with collisions that do not involve injuries or criminal violations. Rather than dispatching a Police Officer to the scene of a minor collision, the involved drivers are instructed by communications to bring their vehicles to a designated CRC where a Special Constable will assess the damage and complete a collision report.
Police organizations have reached the conclusion that partnerships with the private sector are a necessity. A Reporting Centre is staffed by Special Constables who obtain information on behalf of the police service industry, and whose function is the streamlining of collision reporting.
In Cobourg, the Reporting Centre is located within the Cobourg Police Service Headquarters building, located at 107 King Street West in the Town of Cobourg (Intersection of King Street West and Hibernia Street).
Members of the public who are involved in a motor vehicle collision, or experience a minor event where an insurance claim will be made, are asked to come to our police headquarters to complete the appropriate self-reporting form. Assistance is available from Special Constables at headquarters for that task. If the Reporting Centre is open at the time of the report, the claimant is asked to speak to the Special Constable in charge of the Centre.
In most cases, claimants are advised to attend police headquarters when the Reporting Centre is open as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours). However, claimants may attend at other times, in accordance with the situation. The hours of business are as follows:
Daily from 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM.
The majority of claims handled by the Reporting Centre involve motor vehicle collisions. The Cobourg Police Service will continue investigating such collisions, when there is injury or death, criminal activity (including alcohol), one or more of the vehicles are federally, provincially or municipally owned, one of the vehicles is transporting dangerous goods or hazardous conditions are involved, or there is damage to private, municipal or highway property, or unwilling exchange of information and/or disputes between involved parties.
Police will attend to assist with traffic problems. In addition, police will investigate the collision when the circumstances are such that it would be a serious hardship to ask the claimants to attend police headquarters. Vehicles involved in the collision are photographed, and claimants are provided with copies of all necessary documentation in connection with their claim.
You should contact police immediately if your collision involves:
•Danger to motorists at the scene of the collision
•Any criminal activity, such as impaired driving or stolen vehicles
•A government vehicle of any kind
•A vehicle which is transporting dangerous goods
•Damage to third-party property, such as a parked car where the owner is not at the scene
•Damage to private, municipal or highway property
•A pedestrian or cyclist
•An uncooperative driver
Furthermore, the Highway Traffic Act states that all motor vehicles collisions must be reported to police if they:
- involve injury or death,
- where there is damage to highway property,
- and/or where the combined damage exceeds $2000
Will the police still come to investigate my collision, even if no one was hurt? What if I want them there to witness the condition of my car or the position of the vehicles involved in the collision?
With property damage collisions, it should not be necessary for a police officer to note the on-scene condition of your car or its position on the road. Legislated rules for no-fault and fault determination do not require confirmation from a police officer. Your vehicle condition and damage will be inspected and noted by a Special Constable at the reporting centre or police station.
- Check to determine if the police must investigate the collision, as mentioned earlier.
- If it is safe to do so, remove the vehicle from the roadway.
- Exchange information with the other involved persons, including independent witnesses. Obtain names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance and vehicle particulars.
- As soon as possible, attend with your vehicle to the Reporting Centre.
- Bring your documentation with you to the Reporting Centre, i.e. driver’s license, ownership, and insurance.
What should I do with my vehicle after a collision occurs? If I'm in the middle of the road, should I try to move it to the side, or do the police need to see my car in the exact position when the collision occurred?
If the vehicles can be safely moved and there are no injuries or fatalities involved, remove the vehicles from the flow of traffic and contact the local police service for instructions on how to proceed.
What if I don't have a cell phone or any access to a phone to contact the police at the time of the collision?
Exchange information as required with the other driver(s) involved in the collision and proceed to a location where you can contact the police.
There are no official guidelines for determining the total cost of damage to all vehicles or property at the time of a collision. Where the motorist is uncertain whether the cost of damage exceeds $2000, it is recommended he or she reports the collision.
Is there a time period I have to report the collision to the police or to go to a collision reporting centre?
You should report to the police as soon as possible, or when directed by the police and/or communications centre. At that time you will be informed about the reporting procedures for the police in that area, including the time frame to report to the location specified by the police service.
Phone the police communications centre whenever a collision occurs. Advise them of all important information about the collision, such as injuries and driver condition if impairment is suspected. You will be directed where to go so the report on the collision can be completed or if you should stay at the scene of the collision and wait for a police officer to attend.
When reporting to police, they will inform you of exactly what your options are in terms of reporting the collision.
Contact the police service in the jurisdiction where the collision occurred. They will advise you of the policy in place to deal with this issue.
What if I give my Driver's Licence and insurance information to the other driver and he or she loses it and later claims I did not provide the information. Will I be charged with failing to provide the information?
Laying a charge is at the discretion of a police officer who is required to prove the charge with supporting evidence. However, if you also report the collision at the location identified to you by the police as soon as possible, or when directed by the police, you would have shown responsibility and would not likely be charged.
Collisions involving property damage only, where the total cost of damage to all vehicles exceeds $2000, can be self-reported. Police will attend all collisions involving: injuries or fatalities; damage to public property; hazardous or dangerous goods; where there is a possibility the driver is impaired, or where circumstances warrant police attendance.
Reporting Centres are intended to provide a service to the public within the context of community policing. We are all familiar with the do more with less theory. Police services are not immune to pressures facing everyone else.
In order to free our resources to deal with emergencies and serious incidents, it is necessary for the public to assist us by attending the Station and completing reports for minor incidents. In most instances where an insurance claim is a factor, there are substantial delays in having such claims processed by the insurer.
Reporting Centres, because of their affiliation with the insurance industry, have had considerable success in reducing the average number of days required in the preliminary handling of a claim. In addition, employees of Reporting Centres provide information and advice to claimants, and the digital photographs are helpful in settling claims without acrimonious arguments as to the extent of the damage.
The Reporting Centre employs professional individuals who are members of the Cobourg Police Service who have received extensive training in their area of responsibility. The persons responsible for the operation of the Collision Reporting Centre are Special Constables.
Special Constables of the Collision Reporting Centre assist many citizens in completing reports, whether or not the claimants are interested in having the Centre process their claim. In other words, our citizens are assured of assistance from the Cobourg Police Service when they attend police headquarters for self-reporting purposes.
Special Constables of the Cobourg Police Service will be pleased to answer your questions.
You may contact them during business hours at:
Phone: 905-372-6821 OR Fax: 905-372-9470