Halifax Regional Police say the new Halifax Collision Reporting Centre will make it easier for drivers to report an accident, file a claim and get their vehicles fixed.
The new collision centre was launched Wednesday in partnership with Accident Services Support International Ltd. (or ASSI) — an Ontario comapny that’s been operating collision reporting centres in Ontario and Alberta for over 21 years.
The centre will allow drivers who have an accident to come in to the police station, report the accident, have an officer assess the damage to their vehicle, and make a claim to their insurance company. In cases where that insurance company is partnered with ASSI, they’ll leave with a cheque for repairs. About half of the insurance companies operating in Nova Scotia have signed on, and ASSI president Steve Sanderson says he expects more to be on board by the end of the one year pilot project.
Deputy police chief Bill Moore made the announcement at police headquarters on Gottingen St.
“From the citizen’s perspective, it’s going to provide them with the ability to get much faster service from the insurance companies,” said Moore. “From a policing perspective, it allows us to do very in depth analysis of the various aspects of traffic accident reporting.”
Rather than filling out a paper form after each accident, as officers have done previously, ASSI employees will fill out a computerized form, and every section of that form will go into a database, allowing police to pick out specific aspects for analysis.
“So we can take any one or combination of those fields and start doing analysis,” said Moore. “So time of day, age of an individual, location in the city, type of interaction… Any of those we can slice and dice any which way we like to be able to look at trends, or commonalities between accidents.”
Moore says before now, if police wanted to analyze data, they’d have to manually input the data into an Excel spreadsheet, and then create a formula. Now, data will be immediately available after a report is filed, allowing for real-time analysis.
Sanderson stressed that his company’s reporting system is more efficient for everyone involved. He says it is easier for the driver, cuts down on the use of police resources, and makes things easier for insurance companies.
“The faster you open a claim, the faster you close it, and the more administrative dollars they save,” he said. “And it helps stabilize premiums too.”
Insurance companies will pay for the service, costing police and taxpayers nothing.