There are some upcoming changes to know about when it comes to reporting accidents in Alberta. As it stands, when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you must report the incident to the collision centre if there are injuries, death, or if there is combined property damage of $2,000 and over. However, starting in January 2024, the Government of Alberta is changing the mandatory reporting threshold for accidents.
What is the new threshold for reporting an accident?
Starting on January 1, 2024, you will have to report car accidents that have a damage value of $5,000 and above to the police, rather than the current $2,000 threshold. Collisions which cause injury and death still must be reported regardless.
Transportation minister Devin Dreeshin announced the move in an effort to save time and money for Albertans, as well as police resources. He also said that the intent was to reflect the rising costs with inflation of repair services for vehicles. This change comes in addition to the recent move to have a private company mange collision reporting.
The prior rate of any accidents causing damage of $2,000 or more has not been changed in over 10 years. The last change was in 2011, when the prior threshold of $1,000 was changed to $2,000. In future, the increases to collision reporting will be changed according to inflation rates, which are determined based on Statistics Canada’s consumer price index.
When should I report an accident to police?
All motor vehicle accidents must be reported to reporting centres except in certain instances. In the following instances, the accident should be reported directly to the Edmonton Police:
a. If someone is injured and requires transportation to the hospital from the accident scene
b. Damage to property that can be of concern from a safety perspective
c. If a driver doesn’t have the proper documents, including registration, insurance, or license or if there is suspected criminal activity like impaired driving
d. Vehicles that involve federal, provincial, or municipal vehicles
e. Collisions where hazardous or dangerous goods are being moved
f. If a party fails to remain at a scene
g. If one of more vehicles isn’t drivable
What should you do if you are involved in an accident? Regardless of the new threshold, there are certain steps you should take at the scene of an accident. You should make sure to remain at the scene of the accident, and exchange information with the other driver. You should also be sure to report the incident to your insurance company.
If you have been injured in an accident, you may want to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, who will be able to look at the facts of your specific case and provide advice regarding any potential claim you may have.