Pilot Program in Staten Island for Self-Reporting Minor Accidents

Published on 3/9/2019

If you ever got into a minor fender bender in New York City’s five boroughs, you know that it can take a long time for the police to show up. Some clients have told me that they had to wait hours and were ignored when they flagged passing police officers. The NYPD is now testing a new pilot program in Staten Island that would do away with the police coming down at all for minor accidents.

This pilot program in Staten Island states, for small property-only car accidents, the police will answer the phone and instruct motorists to exchange information and then file the relevant reports on their own. The NYPD will not come down to the accident scene. If this program works, it will be expanded to the rest of the city.

Please note this new program does not change any laws. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, the police do not have be called for all accidents. If there are no injuries and the motorists agree to exchange information then they can do as much. Until now the police would come down anyway if called but now that is coming to an end.

I am curious if this will work. I feel without a police presence motorists will take advantage and make up all kinds of stories about what happened. Lying to a police officer is perjury and a criminal offense. Lying to an insurance company is fraud and also a criminal offense. However, the nature is for people to be more cautious of lying to a police officer. In addition, someone who is inclined to lie about the circumstances leading up to the accident, will have more time to plan and think about how to scheme by claiming a false narrative.

Either way, never leave the scene of an accident unless you are directed by the police on the phone, and you have given the other driver all your information. Failing to do as much will result in serious, perhaps criminal charges. The Benjamin Goldman Law Office often handles Leaving Scene of Accident tickets. If you are facing such charges, get in touch with us for a free consultation.

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