LAPD accepting online police reports for minor accidents

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department is changing procedures to try to save time for you and police when you get into a fender bender.

The LAPD responds to thousands of traffic accidents per year. Many are minor with very little damage and no injuries. It takes an officer about two hours to fill out the report and get it approved.

Starting Monday, you can now go online to fill out a police report.

For the LAPD, it's simple math. Using one traffic division's statistics, 7,500 minor accident reports in 2018 means 15,000 hours of officers' time were taken up filling out reports, not patrolling the streets.

"Rather than requiring officers to respond to that scene and on average take two hours to complete a report, that is going to do little more than go to an insurance company to make that motorist whole, or rather than causing a citizen or community member to have to go to a local police station and wait in line to take a report that, again, will have little or no investigative value, this online reporting capability has been established," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. "

Here's how it works: Go to lapdonline.org and click on the link to fill out your accident report. Police say it'll take about 10 to15 minutes.

If you're involved in a major accident with injuries and serious damage, definitely call police.

Drivers in North Hollywood said they like this.

"As far as the ease of that, yeah, I think that would be easier to do and would waste less resources, but you would still have a way of holding those people accountable, whether or not they're going to fill it out online," said Scott Butterfield.

And a stern warning for those thinking they could game the system and rip off their insurance provider by filing a false online report: "I would caution that facts or circumstances, if they become known to the department of such fraud, that we'll investigate those and pursue those vigorously," Moore said.
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