Accident reporting set to go online

coloured motorcycle helmets

Published on 21 February 2018 by Robert Drane

Motorcyclists involved in a road accident may soon be able to tell police about the incident online, via an app or over the phone under government proposals.

The Department for Transport has launched a consultation asking for views on potential new ways to report traffic accidents to police, with the aim of making life easier for motorists and motorcyclists who must report the incident to police within 24 hours if they do not do so when it happened.

Launching the consultation, Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “In the past few years, we have removed the need to hold a paper counterpart to a driving licence, and the need to display a paper tax disc on a vehicle. Almost all car and motorcycle driving tests are now booked online. So I am keen that we remove the need to report road traffic accidents in person.

“The current system is out of date. The ability to report accidents online will make the whole process quicker and easier for both drivers and the police.”

More than 140,000 road traffic accidents involving a personal injury are reported each year in Britain, most of them to a police officer at the scene. But around one-fifth – some 28,000 accidents – are reported at a police station, along with an estimated 55,000 damage-only crashes.

Details of the consultation, which closes on 24 April, can be found here, with the government’s response to the consultation findings due to be published by the end of July. Changes to the way accidents are reported would involve amending Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transport has also announced it is developing a system for recording accidents, to be made available free to police forces.

With the new Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRASH), officers will use an app on a handheld device to record accident details at the scene.

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