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Staten Island Accident Response Policy Causes Problems, But It May Expand Anyway

New York is a large metropolitan area, which means that there is no way for police to respond to every accident. Because of this, New York law requires that a driver involved in an accident resulting in more than $1,000 in property damage or an injury or death be reported to the police within 10 days. The consequences of not filing a report go further than it possibly causing a problem with compensation. Failing to make the report could mean being charged with a misdemeanor. Usually, when an accident causes serious injury or death, the police will respond. However, as SI Live reports, New York is looking to roll out a program where police stop responding to accidents involving only property damage. 

The New York Police Department is planning to roll out a program they are using in Staten Island to other areas. In the program, the police do not respond to car crashes that involve only property damage. The program began in March 2018 and has been called a “success.” After implementation, response times on priority calls have decreased.

The program must be improved before it can be rolled out to the other four boroughs. 

Others are not so keen on the program. According to a source with knowledge of the towing industry, the number of calls for tows has rapidly decreased since the program began. Instead of contacting a tow truck, drivers are leaving the scene in mangled cars, with leaking fluid, and sometimes with airbags deployed. Police would normally contact a tow in this case. 

The program is also affecting insurance agencies. Without police reports, accident claims are harder to process, causing a case on one person’s word against another. 

There is currently no timetable as to when the program will be rolled out to the rest of the city. 

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