Starting in mid-January, anyone who has a minor accident in Cobourg will be required to report it within 24 hours to a new Collision Reporting Centre set up at the Cobourg Police Station. Special Constables will man the centre, take photos of the damage, apply the “Damage Reported to Police” sticker, assist with contacting family and/or insurance company and assist with completing a report. Vehicles will be required to park on the East side of Hibernia next to the police station (see photo below). Cobourg Police see this as a way to improve efficiency since police will now only “investigate collisions at the scene that involve injuries, suspected criminal activities, severe damage (vehicle is not drivable or requires a tow truck), hazardous goods or conditions are involved, unwilling exchange of information and/or disputes between involved parties, unknown circumstances are involved or damage to private property”.
The Cobourg Police Service said that they will partner with Accident Support Services International Ltd. (ASSI) on the upcoming implementation which they said will be “located at the Cobourg Police Service Customer Service Centre” (otherwise known as the Cobourg Police Station!). Further that “the Collision Reporting Centre is intended to provide a service to the public within the context of community policing and a continuance of the Cobourg Police Service’s model of ‘Tiered Policing’” and that “in order to free our resources to deal with emergency and serious incidents, it is necessary for the public to assist us by attending the station and completing reports.”
Note that even if you don’t plan to make an insurance claim, in Ontario, if you’ve been involved in a minor collision with a total combined value of $2000 in damage, by law you have to file a collision report.
The Police announcement also said:
In most instances where an insurance claim is a factor, there are substantial delays in having such claims processed by the insurer. Reporting Centres, because of their affiliation with the insurance industry have had considerable success in reducing the average number of days required in the preliminary handling of collision claims. In addition, Special Constables will provide information and assistance to claimants, and the digital photographs taken during investigations are helpful in settling claims without acrimonious arguments as to the extent of the damage.
The Cobourg Police Service Collision Reporting Centre will provide enhanced value to the public in the reporting of motor vehicle collisions. The self-reporting and one-on-one interview process simplifies the reporting process, and adds value to the customer service aspect. Police and Insurers will now have real-time access to collision data and reports through ASSI’s Microsoft award winning Collision Reporting & Occurrence Management System (CROMS). All collision data captured is used for analysis and focused policing initiatives. Citizens will have the convenience of a safe, convenient location where they can attend to complete their report.
More details such as operating hours will be available when the centre opens.