Philadelphia police officers no longer will go to the scene of minor vehicle crashes, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Dispatchers will direct motorists to the nearest police station to file a report. The change, effective Monday, is designed to free up patrol officers for more important crime-fighting work. Police now respond to approximately 68,000 minor accidents every year, said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman. “We dispatch a vehicle to every single accident, whether it was a serious accident or your mirror fell off,” he said.
Police won’t be sent to fender-benders if motorists agree to exchange their driver and vehicle information, there are no injuries, and the cars can be driven from the scene. After motorists file a report, they will be given the District Control or “DC” number required by insurance companies to file a claim. The new process could be better for motorists, who often have a “long wait” for a patrol car to arrive following an accident, Vanore said.