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Las Vegas police seek to clarify new car accident response policy

Las Vegas police clarified Wednesday how their new policy involving noninjury accidents will affect the public when the program begins March 3.

“We want to increase police presence where we notice heavier areas of fatalities,” said Metro Sgt. Todd Raybuck. “The alarming increase in fatalities over the last two years was the reason for this.”

Although the Traffic Bureau has seen fewer officers on patrol in the last 18 months, Raybuck said the changes were made with the idea of reducing fatalities, not saving money.

“We’re shifting our resources to a more preventative stance,” said Metro officer Larry Hadfield. “We’re going to start creating a whole new culture through enforcement.”

Raybuck said, Metro responded to over 23,000 crashes in 2013, 60 percent of which didn’t result in injuries. He said the average response time for each accident was more than 90 minutes.

“Our response times are extended because we respond to all of the accidents.”

For drivers afraid of another driver leaving the scene of an accident, Raybuck said Metro will still respond to hit-and-run collisions.

“People could’ve been leaving the scene before this, because it was taking us so long to get there,” he said. “But there aren’t people being beaten up in parking lots because their car got hit.”

Metro will still respond to accidents where alcohol or drugs may be suspected, because they would no longer consider it a property-damage accident.

“This will all be beneficial if our injury accidents go down,” Hadfield said.

Metro will have driver exchange information sheets available on their website, so drivers involved in an accident have the necessary paperwork to fill out.

For more information, visit www.lvmpd.com.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at 702-383-0381 or at sslivka@reviewjournal.com. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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