(Las Vegas, KXNT)-Calling the police to come out to your minor fender bender has been the norm for Las Vegans who feel it best to have an officer there to write up a report, issue a citation…or even keep the peace between heated drivers, but those days are just about over.

Starting March 3rd, Metro is implementing a new program that will keep traffic officers on the streets, focusing on enforcement.  They will no longer respond to property damage collisions.

“We lost 30 traffic personnel in the last 18 months.  Our traffic bureau just doesn’t have the officers to keep responding to these calls.  On average, a minor property damage call takes 1 hour 36 minutes each to handle. That’s time these officers could be on the streets enforcing our traffic laws, ” explained Captain Mark Tavarez, who oversees the traffic bureau.  “We had 114 traffic fatalities in Metro’s jurisdiction last year.  We need to focus on bringing those numbers down.”

In addition to not responding to these calls, substations will no longer take accident reports.

Drivers will need to know how to react in a minor collision situation.  They will need to exchange personal, vehicle and insurance information with the other driver involved.  Captain Tavarez also recommends using your smartphone to take pictures of the vehicles before you move them.

When questioned what will happen when insurance providers request a police report, Captain Tavarez says under Nevada statute, a police report isn’t required.  He says properly documenting the property damage will help the insurance adjuster figure out who is at fault.

“The Nevada Revised Statute does not require a police report for a traffic accident.  In fact, it places the responsibility on the driver of the vehicle to report the accident to the DMV.  You report it on a form called an SR-1, which can be found online.  Those are required within 10 days of the accident, ” stated Captain Tavarez.

There are some exceptions to the new program.  For example, if there is a serious injury, Metro will respond.  However, the same doesn’t necessarily apply for somebody who is complaining of minor neck pain.  If there are injuries, you are instructed to call 311 or 911.  Medical personnel will be sent out to assess the situation.

Also, Metro says if your car needs to be towed, an officer will be sent out to provide protection.    The new program starts on March 3rd.

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