Police announce new streamlined process to report crashes

NSW Police are announcing changes to the way traffic crashes are reported in NSW along with a month-long education campaign.

The changes, which come into effect on October 15 are part of a red-tape reduction initiative and will result in a more streamlined process for motorists.

What does this mean for the average motorist?

Drivers involved in traffic crashes where their vehicle needs to be towed - where no one is injured, all parties exchange particulars and no one is under the influence of drugs/alcohol - can now organise their own tow and leave the area, and later report the crash to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

In addition, drivers will no longer need to report minor collisions to police, even for insurance purposes.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said these changes will result in a more streamlined process for motorists.

"The changes will mean drivers involved in tow-away only collisions will now be able to safely make their way off the road and organise their own tow from the area.

"With advances in technology, vehicles are now equipped with more safety features such as airbags that when activated may result in a vehicle needing to be towed after a crash.

"Previously vehicles without these features could have been driven away - this means in recent years we have seen more motorists waiting by the roadside.

"With drivers now able to move their cars off the road quicker and more efficiently, we will ultimately see a reduction in blocked lanes and traffic delays.

"The safety of drivers will also improve as they will be able to move from the crash site as soon as practicable, minimising the likelihood of any injury from a secondary impact as well as unnecessary wait time.

"Police resources will also be freed up to focus on broader road safety and other investigations," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.


From October 15, police will need to be called to attend and investigate crashes that fall into the below criteria:

  • 1. Where a person is killed or injured;
  • 2. Parties fail to exchange particulars;
  • 3. A driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police will also attend to direct traffic and deal with hazards or debris on the road, as well as assist with the tow of heavy vehicles.

Currently they attend and investigate where a person is killed or injured; parties fail to exchange particulars; a driver is under the influence; or, a vehicle involved requires towing from the scene.

From 15 October 2014, in such instances if a vehicle requires towing from the scene and no one is injured or under the influence, and all parties exchange details:

Motorists should organise their own tow and have their vehicle removed from the scene as quickly and safely as possible. Once this has occurred they should report the crash to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Also, from October 15:

Reports of 'minor' traffic crashes -where vehicles do not require towing - will no longer require a police record to be made. Police event numbers will no longer be issued for these incidents.


NSW Police will provide information about the changes to come into effect on a variety of platforms. These will include:

  • Media releases and press conferences to highlight the changes;
  • Social media posts - Facebook and Twitter - throughout September and October, with messaging outlining the changes to come into effect;
  • Radio advertising, to commence in October to lead into the start date;
  • Detailed information on the NSW Police Force website;
  • Motorists will also be sent information in their registration renewals, including a 'flowchart' with step-by-step instructions on what to do in a crash, which can be kept in your glove box.

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