I Have to Report a Collision, Don't I?
It's common knowledge that you must report a collision to police if there is death, injury, aggregate damage over $1,000 for motor vehicles, $800 for motorcycles and $100 for cycles. Until the law changes in British Columbia, effective this past July 1, this is no longer the case. Collisions do not have to be reported to police, or anyone else, to fulfill the reporting requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act.
'Amendments to the Act that took effect on July 1 require that reportable collisions be reported in the form established by the superintendent, to the person or public body identified in the regulations for this purpose. There is currently no one identified in the regulations for that purpose! Of course, police are still mandated to attend injury and fatal collisions and may attend property damage collisions depending on local policy and workload.
If they do attend, they must complete a collision report and forward it to ICBC within 10 days of the incident. The names of drivers, registered owners of the vehicles and witnesses along with licence numbers contained in the report may be obtained by anyone involved in the collision on request.
Drivers are no longer required to identify themselves to police investigators. However, they do have to identify themselves to anyone who sustains loss or injury in the collision, or to a witness on request. This identification must be produced in writing and can include their name and address, the name and address of the vehicle owner, the licence number of the vehicle and insurance particulars as demanded by the person making the request.
Despite these changes, one must still follow the contract requirements with their insurer. Failing to advise the insurer of a collision or claim for damages may be a breach of the contract that would have significant financial impact.