15.260 – Collision Investigations
Effective Date: 02/19/2014
1. SECTOR-Trained Officers Complete an E-Collision Form to Document Collision Investigations
Officers who are not trained in SECTOR shall continue to document collisions on a Police Traffic Collision Report (PTCR).
2. Officers Take Collision Reports For All Mandatory Reportable Collisions
Officers must report all accidents that occur on a “highway” (SMC 11.14.245), “roadway” (SMC 11.14.530) or “way open to the public” (SMC 11.14.715), and there is:
- Injury or death of any person.
- Damage to the property of any one person appearing to exceed $700.00.
- A hit and run is involved.
- Enforcement action is taken against one or more of the parties involved.
- The collision resulted in the release of hazardous material.
- The operator of any involved vehicle is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Officers shall not complete a PTCR or E-Collision form for collisions not meeting the criteria above.
Officers shall provide a General Offense (GO) number to the involved parties to include their name and serial number. Involved parties shall be referred to the Public Request Unit to obtain a copy of the collision report.
3. Officers May Assist Motorists in Non-Reportable Collisions
Officers may provide the Exchange of Traffic Collision Information (form 5.9) to facilitate the exchange of information between motorists.
Officers shall complete a General Offense Report if either party in a non-reportable collision requests a report.
Officers shall provide a State of Washington Motor Vehicle Collision Report to motorists who request a report in non-reportable collisions.
4. Officers Shall Take Enforcement Action in Reportable Non-Felony Collision Investigations
An officer shall issue a Criminal Citation or Notice of Infraction as appropriate to the involved party.
5. Officers Refer Felony Collision Investigations to Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS)
Officers shall not issue tickets in a felony collision investigation.
Investigations that do not require a TCIS response at the time of on-scene investigation, but may develop into a felony, shall be referred to TCIS.
6. TCIS Responds to Certain Collisions
Definition: “Serious bodily injury” means that which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part. Special consideration should be given for a TCIS response for injured persons over 70 years of age or under 5 years of age.
TCIS shall be called to any collision involving:
- Death or serious bodily injury of any person.
- Hit and run investigations with serious bodily injury
- Collisions involving city equipment with serious bodily injury or extensive property damage.
- Collision occurring during a police pursuit that results in serious injuries to any party.
- Collisions where there is probable cause for Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, or felony Hit and Run.
A sergeant may screen any incident with TCIS if there are questions concerning the circumstances of a collision. The officers shall document all consultation and response decisions concerning TCIS.
7. Officers Impound Vehicles in Certain Collisions
The officer shall use a Washington State Tow/Impound Recovery form to impound vehicles when:
- Driver arrested during the investigation, mandatory for DUI arrests
- Driver injured and unable to move the vehicle
- Vehicle disabled and unable to be legally parked.
Officers shall document the tow company, storage location, and any holds placed on the vehicle in the collision report.
Officers may place a TCIS hold on the vehicle involved in a hit and run investigation where the suspect has not been identified. See 6.120 – Impounding Vehicles.