(Las Vegas, KXNT)- From a lack of police reports to the expected “he said, she said” argument, motorists around Las Vegas have a lot of questions after Metro annouces they will no longer be responding to non-injury collisions.
The new program, meant to free up officers towards enforcement efforts, will officially start March 3rd. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is following the lead of several other major cities who have already implemented a similar program. Those police departments include Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. San Diego Officer Mark McCullough says his department has been doing this for 5 years and, for the most part, have found success.
“People were so used to calling police when they were in a crash. The police would just assist them to exchange information. After a while, once these drivers realized that’s all they had to do was clear the roadway and exchange information, it became a lot easier,” explains Officer McCullough. “It initially did free up our officers to focus on bigger priorities.”
The biggest question still lingers. What happens to the insurance process with no police report?
It’s a question State Farm Insurance spokesperson Victor Rodriguez says they’ve been getting since Metro made their announcement.
“We based everything on the police report to determine what we needed to do next, but now we are going to have to rely on our customers, ” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez admits the insurance process could get a little more lengthy with no police report involved, but it will not hinder the timeliness of getting your vehicle repaired. As for the “he said, she said” argument, Rodriguez says their company is fully equipped to handle these types of scenarios.
” We have an investigative unit and that’s why it’s important for our clients to call their agent right away. If we have to send someone to do the investigation, we are going to do that, ” ensures Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has repeated the same suggestions given by Metro. Exchange as much vehicle and insurance information as possible. Take pictures and video of the scene. Finally, make sure to gather witness information and phone numbers to provide to your insurance provider.
Officer Mark McCullough says if they had the personnel, they would definitely go back to responding to minor fender benders. One of the drawbacks of this new plan will be the occasional heated exchange between drivers who refuse to admit fault.
“Where we used to have one officer help at the scene, sometimes we now we have an officer or officers responding to a fight, a battery or an assault with a deadly weapon at the scene of minor collisions, ” says McCullough.
McCullough reiterates the same problem as Metro. With fewer officers on the streets, they have no choice.