Motorists could soon be able to report road collisions online under new plans to ease the burden on drivers and police, the DfT has announced.
At present, motorists are required to report a collision in person at a police station within 24 hours of it happening.
Jesse Norman, transport minister, will unveil the new system later today (30 Jan) in a speech at the National Roads Policing Conference.
Mr Norman will tell delegates: “The current system is out of date. It takes up considerable amounts of time and increases queues for reporting crimes.
“The ability to report accidents online will make the whole process quicker and easier for both drivers and the police.”
The proposals are the subject of a 12-week consultation, which if supported will allow police forces in England, Scotland and Wales to adopt online reporting – although people will still be able to register incidents at a police station.
According to the DfT, more than 130,000 personal-injury accidents are reported to police each year with most recorded by an officer at the scene.
Around 20% are reported at police stations while a further 55,000 damage-only crashes were also reported over the counter in 2015.
Chief constable Anthony Bangham, roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “We always welcome ideas which enable the public to be better served.
“On line collision reporting will greatly benefit members of the public and also enable officers to deal more quickly with their collision reports, meaning they can spend less time on paperwork and more time on police work.”
Mr Norman will also announce details of an updated system for officers to record collisions, which is being developed by the DfT.
The new Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRASH) will see officers use an app on a handheld device to fill in details, and an accurate location, at the scene of a collision.
Designed to save police time, the new CRASH system will allow highways authorities to access accurate and up to date information – meaning councils can better plan safety improvements and in a shorter time.