Starting Monday March 18, motorists in Staten Island will be able to report their property-damage-only vehicle collisions directly to the DMV, instead of waiting for police to respond.
The department is implementing a pilot program on Staten Island wherein motorists involved in vehicle collisions with only property damage will be responsible for exchanging information, preparing their own report of motor vehicle accident and forwarding it to the DMV as per the instructions on the form. Police communications technicians will connect the caller to a pre-recorded message explaining that the police will not respond and the motorist will be provided with further instructions.
The New York City Police Department recently released the following information to guide drivers if they are unfortunately involved in a vehicle collision.
First and foremost, your safety is the number one priority. If you are involved in a vehicle collision:
• Shift your vehicle into “park.”
• Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.
• If you cannot move your vehicle, or if medical assistance is needed, dial “911” and follow the operator’s instructions.
If your vehicle is operable, and no one in your vehicle has suffered any injuries, you should move to secure location. This can be the nearest shoulder or the median. Once your vehicle is in a safe area you may exit to assess the situation. Following these guidelines will:
• Protect you from oncoming traffic
• Allow safe passage for other motorists not involved
• Provide easier access for emergency responders to reach you, if necessary.
COLLISIONS WITH MINOR PROPERTY DAMAGE (per the new program)
If you are involved in a vehicle collision that only results in property damage motorists are not required to report the incident to the police. If there is only property damage, motorists are only responsible for exchanging their driver’s license information, insurance and vehicle registration with all other motorists involved. For insurance purposes, a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident should be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This form can be found online at dmv.ny.gov/forms.mv104.pdf once the program has begun.
Motorists should note that A Report of Motor Vehicle Accident must be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of a collision, if the collision caused damage over $1,000 to the property of any one person. Failure to file the report within 10 days can result in suspension of your driver’s license.
Leaving the scene of a collision before exchanging your information with other motorists is illegal under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Additionally, you are required to remain on the scene and contact the police immediately after a vehicle collision when:
• Any person is injured or killed;
• A domestic animal is injured or killed
• A parked vehicle, or any other property is damaged, and the owner cannot be located.
• Suspected criminality (e.g. allegations of intoxication, etc.)
• A city-involved vehicle collision
• Motorist is unwilling to exchange information
trafficstats.nypdonline.org – Offers statistics on the total collisions, type of collisions, injuries, fatalities, etc. Information can be broken out by borough and precinct
www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/traffic-data/traffic-data-collision.page – Offers location info for the sight of collisions, including intersection, bridge, tunnel, or highway.
nycvzv.info – Offers collision breakdown and safety/danger areas for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists that can be viewed easily on a map.
By Michael Reilly, NYS Assemblyman, former District 31 Community Education Council President and former NYPD Lieutenant.