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Plans for online accident reporting could save fleets time and money

Department for Transport plans for drivers to have the ability to report road traffic accidents (RTAs) online have gone under public consultation and could bring a number of benefits for fleets.

DfT plans for drivers to be able to report road traffic accidents (RTAs) online

DfT plans for drivers to be able to report road traffic accidents (RTAs) online

Currently drivers must report RTAs in person at a police station or to a police constable but the consultation would allow police forces to offer drivers the option of submitting accident reports by other methods.

The proposals, which were announced at the Police Federation’s Roads Policing Conference and would require changes to Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, could ease the load on officers’ time and make things easier for the public and fleets.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, welcomed the proposals, saying: “On first look we believe that reporting collisions online could save drivers and fleets a lot of time, hassle and money. The key issue will be whether those savings will be fed back in the form of lower premiums. IAM RoadSmart is collating a full response including a survey of drivers opinons which will help shape our final response.”

However, Jayne Willetts, of the Police Federation of England and Wales, lead on roads policing, expressed concerns over how this could operate in practice, commenting: “Traffic officers play a vital role in collision investigation and we would not want to see that role diluted in any way.

“There are a lot of factors to consider to make this process efficient for the greater good of all involved – the right parties need to be able to feed into the consultation. As the representative voice for 122,000 officers it is important that we be allowed to feed into that process.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.