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City creating Collision Reporting Centre

It may soon be easier to report a crash in Grande Prairie. The City plans to open a Collision Reporting Centre this summer that can be used for reporting any in which there are no injuries or a need for criminal charges.

Starting August 23rd, collisions will be reported to the new office in the Eastlink Centre, which will replace the RCMP’s satellite detachment. Public Safety Superintendent Chris Manuel says it should make the process easier and faster for drivers.

“It takes you out of the lineup at the RCMP detachment where a variety of issues are being reported through the front counter. Their sole function is collision reports; that’s where their expertise will be.”

There will be parking stalls specified for people using the Collision Reporting Centre, and a space for tow trucks hauling vehicles. Pictures will be taken at the location, and a full report will be compiled.

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The model is already used by police in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge but will be the first for an RCMP detachment in Canada. Manuel says it will also vastly improve the city’s data collection.

“We’ll have that information within 24 hours where we can have a map and identifies where the collisions were, where the causes were. Today, if I wanted to know where collisions are occurring in the city of Grande Prairie and what the causes were it takes me up to 18 months to get that information back.”

Manuel explains that info can then be used to help the city make engineering and enforcement decisions.

The collision centre is a partnership with Accident Support Services International, which will be staffing the centre. It’s also funding by industry, which Manuel says is a benefit to the city.

“We’re able to reallocate several paid positions that were supporting taking collision reports and better utilize them for our policing operation.”

Manuel adds it could also help insurance companies, as the packages produced could save an appointment with an adjuster.

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