Drivers could soon be able to report accidents online, making it quicker and easier, under new proposals by the Department for Transport.
Many police forces already allow victims to report crimes online and this could be extended to crashes in a bid to modernise the service, Roads Minister Jesse Norman will tell the National Roads Policing Conference today (30 January 2018).
The move would lessen the burden on motorists who have to report a crash in person within 24 hours, cut the need for people to take time off work and also free up police resources. People will still be able to report crashes at police stations.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman, who is today launching a consultation into the plans, will say:
Our roads are among the safest in the world, in part due to the outstanding work of traffic officers.
However, the current system is out of date; it takes up considerable amounts of time and increases queues for reporting crimes.
The ability to report accidents online will make the whole process quicker and easier for both drivers and the police.
Collision Reporting and Sharing System animation
More than 130,000 personal-injury accidents are reported to the police each year with most recorded by an officer at the scene. But around 20% of these are made at police stations. A further 55,000 damage-only crashes were also reported over the counter in 2015.
Jesse Norman will also announce an updated system for officers to record crashes, which is being developed by the Department for Transport and will be free for all police forces.
The new Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRASH) will see officers use an app on a handheld device to fill in details of accidents at the scene with accurate locations.
This will not only make the process quicker and save police time, but highways authorities will also be able to access accurate and up to date information, meaning councils can better plan safety improvements and in a shorter time.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, Roads Policing Lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said:
We always welcome ideas which enable the public to be better served. On line collision reporting will greatly benefit members of the public and also enable officers to deal more quickly with their collision reports, meaning they can spend less time on paperwork and more time on police work.
If supported in the 12-week consultation, police forces in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to adopt online reporting.