Faster fender-bender clearing will keep traffic moving

Mike Farnworth
Mike Farnworth

POLICE will be free to clear minor crash scenes quickly and get traffic flowing again as B.C. updates the threshold for mandatory reporting of property-damage-only collisions (PDOs).
“Having traffic back up because of a minor collision where nobody was hurt doesn’t help anyone – and worse, it can lead frustrated drivers to take steps that are unsafe,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Today’s increase in the damage threshold for these kinds of crashes is long overdue and will allow people and police officers to move damaged vehicles out of the way without delay.”
Currently, officers who attend a PDO must complete a written report before any vehicles can be removed from the road if damage exceeds $1,000 (for motorcycles, $600; for bicycles, $100). By increasing the reporting threshold to $10,000 per PDO, regardless of vehicle type, government expects that provincial highways will be able to be unblocked more efficiently.
“The North Shore transportation action plan produced by the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project identified the need to expedite incident-clearing on our highways,” said Bowinn Ma, North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA, who led the project. “Along with the improved highway maintenance and collision-clearing contract and new digital signs to provide drivers with real-time traffic condition information, these updated regulations will help get the North Shore moving more quickly after a traffic incident.”
The threshold increase is effective Friday, March 8, 2019. Police will continue to file a mandatory, written report with ICBC for every crash they attend that results in death or injury.
“Police officers will continue to attend collisions involving minor property damage at their discretion – for example, if questions arise about driver impairment or who’s at fault,” said Chief Const. Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police traffic safety committee. “However, lifting the threshold for mandatory, written reports when officers do attend will help clear crash scenes much more quickly. In turn, it may lower risks for those working at the scene and motorists alike.”

Quick Facts:

* The reporting threshold increase also is expected to save time for officers and ICBC.
* Most PDO reports relate to collisions involving passenger vehicles.
* The update to the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations stems from a resolution advanced by the District of North Vancouver and adopted last year by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.