ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department has stopped responding to minor traffic accidents due to the coronavirus. Officers will still report to hit and run accidents, accidents where someone is injured or where safety is a concern.
Last week, the city announced via its Atlanta311 Facebook page that police officers will no longer respond to non-injury accidents. Motorists will now fill out an online form.
The action is being taken in an effort to reduce officers' possible exposure to the coronavirus. But some motorists worry about what might happen with emotions running high after a crash and no officer present.
With the policy change, personal injury attorney Tom Kirkbride said drivers must now become their own crime scene investigator.
"They're the one that's going to have to evaluate if the scene's safe. Do I need to move the vehicle? Where's a safe spot to move the vehicle? Is anyone injured in the other cars?" he said.
With no officer on scene to mediate and document what happened, Kirkbride told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes it's important to discuss with family members what to do on the scene of a non-injury car accident.
Kirkbride said motorists would move vehicles off the roadway, if safe to do so.
Be polite. Don't admit fault and be sure to exchange information and take pictures.
"Take pictures of the car. Take pictures of the driver. Take pictures of the scene because this may be your only chance to actually put this whole package together. You never know where this is going to go later on, it could result in a criminal case later on you never know," Kirkbride advises.
The online accident form can be found here.
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