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Filing an Accident Report Online

There's a new way to file an accident report.
If you get into a fender bender, you might not have to wait for police to get there.

Filling out an accident report.. is now just a mouse click away.

"I'm sure it does catch some people off guard."

Corporal Jerry Neufeld says filling out an accident report on the web has been around for about a year, but they say not a lot of people have heard about it.

Here's how it works.
 
If no one in the accident is hurt, or none of the vehicles involved need to be towed, Neufeld says people involned exchange information, just as if an officer were on scene.

Neufeld says, "they would make that exchange and then go back to their residence or work and fill out the rest of that paperwork and then send it to DPS in Austin."
 
Police want to make it clear, if anyone involved wants police on scene tey'll still come out.

But it might take longer than people are willing to wait.

We asked Nuefeld if this was putting too much trust in people. 

"It is putting trust in them, but it's not that difficult to be able to determine what happened in most wrecks, not all, but most.  The officers not going to be able to prove it anymore than what they can prove right them because he wasn't there."

Neufeld says a lot of people are surprised an officer doesn't have to be on scene, but he expects it will catch on once more people hear about it.

"Rather than going to a minor fender bender where there's no injuries, no wreckers needed, we can go to more priority calls.  I think the public would rather us respond to those as quickly as we can"

Neufeld tells us about 80% of people involved in minor traffic accidents still wait for officers to get to the scene.

Only about 20% choose the online option.

Corporal Neufeld wants to remind drivers that officers can't issue citations unless they are on scene.

Amarillo police tell us you can also fill out theft reports, harassment reports, and simple assault reports online.

For a link to the accident report, head over to http://police.amarillo.gov/?page_id=54



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