NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Starting Monday, August 22, if you get into a minor crash in Nashville, Metro police won’t be showing up.
The department rolled out a new program that will allow drivers the ability to report their crashes through an online portal.
With hundreds of cars on the road here in Nashville, it’s only a matter of time until an accident occurs.
“I have a lease car for my daughter and she was involved in an accident, and she called to have someone come out and they didn’t show up,” said John Abbott.
Abbott’s daughter experienced a minor accident, but after he says police never arrived, the process to iron things out took much longer than expected.
“It took us months to get it settled,” he said. “It was clearly the other person’s fault, but it took us months going back and forth with the insurance company because no police officer arrived to kind of estimate what had happened or kind of make a determination.”
But now, a new program will allow minor crashes to be handled by drivers.
“We think it’s going to be a big help,” said Captain Brian Williams.
“It’s going to allow officers to focus on higher priority calls, but it’s also going to be a benefit to those involved in crashes that don’t have to wait for a prolonged period of time to stand on the side of the road or in a parking lot,” said Williams.
The program is only for property damage crashes and they have to meet the following certain criteria:
- The parties have agreed to share their driver’s license, vehicle & insurance information and agree on the circumstances of the crash
- There are no injuries
- No involved vehicle is blocking a roadway due to inoperability
- The crash does not involve a hit-and-run
- The crash does not involve a DUI or other criminal matter
“I like it,” said Steve Lykins. “It’s easier, it’s quicker. The police are really busy and have more important things to deal with.”
For now, it’s something most drivers are in favor of.
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“It doesn’t tie up our police in doing something that is more important than just a minor fender bender, there’s somebody that needs them so I think that’s probably a very good idea,” said Wanda Hardy.
But given what Abbott’s family has just experienced, right now he’s cautiously optimistic.
“I think that if it’s very minor maybe, but you still need some kind of documentation to be safe,” he said.
According to Metro police, the Department of Emergency Communications will determine whether the traffic crash call qualifies for the program.
If so, the dispatcher will transfer the caller to a dedicated 800 line. Afterward, the caller will be prompted to enter their cell phone number and they’ll be sent a link to begin the report.
Upon completion, the system will route the reports to the MNPD’s Records Division, where the driver(s) and their insurance companies can get copies as needed.
Williams says since the online portal launched Monday morning, they’ve already had six reports filed.