NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you are involved in a car wreck, what's the first thing you do after making sure no one is hurt? Most of us have always been taught to immediately call the police and wait for an officer to file a report.
Well, that's changing now in Metro Nashville. With a few exceptions, police may no longer respond.
Metro Nashville Emergency Dispatch operators take all types of calls - heart attacks, shootings, robberies and hundreds of vehicle accidents every week, some serious, but most minor. In the past, officers would respond on the scene to take a report.
This won't always happen anymore, according to a statement from the police department.
Police still go to crashes involving injuries or death, hit and run, DUI or where damaged vehicles are blocking the road. But, for minor fender benders, you no longer have to call the police.
"Most of them feel they have to report it, so we have to reeducate right now," Dispatch Operator George Allen said.
Dispatchers like Allen are now instructed by the police department to tell motorists in minor accidents to file the report online.
"You'll see non-injury accident injury report and send it to the address at top of the form," Allen explains while on the phone with a motorist.
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said the day may come when his deputies are asked to take reports instead of Metro police.
"I've always said I'd rather that a deputy go to a fender bender than a police officer, who has far more extensive training in criminal arrests," Hall said.
The sheriff understands why the police chief is making this move on fender benders. It free frees up police to take more serious calls. Minor accidents are a low priority.
If you insist on an officer on the scene, they'll eventually come, but you may wait hours. Emergency dispatch will give you the option to leave, referring you to HUB Nashville to access the documents you need to file the report online.
Instead, exchange insurance information with the other driver, take photos and head home to file your accident report online.