February 26, 2014
Las Vegas Police Will No Longer Respond To Fender Benders

Las Vegas police will be re-prioritizing what type of traffic calls they will be responding to come March 3. The average traffic accidents will no loner be a top priority for the Las Vegas police responders. So that means if you end up in a fender bender, chances are, you'll probably be responsible for exchanging insurance information, filing your own reports and for keeping a calm and level head.

According to CNN, police won't respond to minor traffic related accidents unless there is an injury involved. The report stated that the Las Vegas Police "just don't have time anymore." Police say that they spend 250 hours responding to minor traffic incidents such as fender benders. This is reportedly time that they say they could be using for "bigger cases".

CBS Las Vegas reported that the Metro Traffic Bureau has changed its tactics stating that 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." Captain Mark Tavarez oversees the traffic bureau and told reporters the following:

"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. We had 114 traffic fatalities in Metro's jurisdiction last year. We need to focus on bringing those numbers down."
With the changes to come starting on the third of March, Tavarez says that motorists will need to know how to handle these sort of minor traffic accidents. He stated that drivers will have to exchange personal information, vehicle and insurance information and Tavarez even suggests using cell phones to take pictures of the vehicles before moving them.

In the case that one of the drivers involved in the accident refuses to turn over their personal or vehicle information, CNN stated that a police officer will then respond to the scene. The Las Vegas Police acknowledged in a press release that this new policy change may not be ideal for all citizens, and many seem to be agree. Dena Gaskin told CNN affiliate KLAS the following:

"People are going to be over exaggerating, understating the accident, and the procedure of the accident isn't going to be reported correctly because of a lack of police involvement."
CNN stated that Las Vegas police officials have said that they aren't the first to carry out such a procedure. "San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities have similar policies," said Tavarez.

[Image by Cliff via Flicker]