Fender bender in Las Vegas? Forget calling the police. They’re not coming.
By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux
(CNN) — If you get into a fender bender in Las Vegas, don’t bother calling 911. A car dings yours in traffic, same deal. In fact, unless the car crash resulted in an injury don’t expect police to show up.
That’s because Las Vegas Police just don’t have the time anymore. Every week police in Sin City estimate they spend 250 hours on this kind of work. Time they’d rather spend it tackling bigger cases.
So come March 3, police will leave it up to drivers in these minor accidents to do the right thing. That means exchanging insurance data and filing a report themselves.
Not everyone thinks the new move makes sense.
“People are going to be over exaggerating, understating the accident, and the procedure of the accident isn’t going to be reported correctly because of a lack of police involvement,” Dena Gaskin told CNN affiliate KLAS.
And while drivers in many cities gripe about traffic hazards, Vegas motorists face certifiably mean streets.
All State Insurance Company every year ranks 200 cities based on their claims data. In 2013, Las Vegas ranked 130th. Meaning that on average, drivers there get into an accident once every 8.7 years.
If you don’t like those odds, keep in mind, the city has improved on its 2012 performance. It has moved up six whole spots in the rankings.
Police aren’t sugar coating their new policy. They acknowledge in a press release that the move “may be an inconvenience to our citizens.” But they also say motorists won’t be totally on their own. Police will respond to minor accidents if one driver refuses to turn over his or her info.
Also, officials were quick to point out: Las Vegas isn’t the first.
San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities have similar policies, traffic chief Mark Tavarez told KLAS.
Los Angelinos in particular will likely have some sympathy for Las Vegas’s decision.
Their city weighs in at 181 on Allstate’s list.
CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report
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