Police to change reporting procedures for private lot accidents

The Pine Bluff Police Department will be adopting a new reporting procedure for traffic accidents that occur on private parking lots.

The new policy, which takes effect April 7, will be handled on a non-priority basis by the police unit assigned to the zone where the accident occurred, Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said in a letter that was sent to insurance companies and others.

Since accidents on private lots not involving serious injury, death, extreme property damage, hit and run involving personal injury or criminal offenses such as aggravated assault, hazardous driving and driving while intoxicated are civil matters, the officers who respond to the accident will hand each driver a courtesy form that will include information for follow-up by each driver’s insurance company.

The letter from Hubanks said each driver will complete the form and exchange the information with the other driver, and the parties can then contact their insurance companies.

Serious incidents or those involving criminal activity will be investigated just as before.

Lt. David Price said that minor private lot accidents that are actually civil matters “make our number of accidents look a lot worse that they actually are.”

According to the letter from Hubanks, the department will not issue an incident report or keep a record of the incident so it will be up to the individual drivers to get any additional information and to keep up with that information.