(LAS VEGAS) — Need to deal with a fender-bender in Las Vegas? You’re on your own now.
The Las Vegas Metro Police Department will no longer respond to auto crashes that don’t include an injury as of Monday, because police say minor collisions take officers away from responding to major emergencies.
“Currently an average of 250 man-hours per week is dedicated to investigations involving [zero-injury] property damage collisions,” Las Vegas police said in a statement announcing the change. “With fatalities a continued concern, traffic officers will be able to focus on enforcement from a proactive perspective.”
Other major cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, have enacted similar policies.
But insurance providers are pessimistic about this approach. The new system could raise insurance rates within the city by elevating the risk of accident fraud, said Michael Geeser, the head of the Nevada Insurance Council.
“When the police go out, they are trained and educated in what to ask and what to find, and commuters aren’t,” he said.
The new policy also could ease punitive rates for poor drivers — and raise the rates for good ones, Geeser said.
“If you have a habitual red light runner and they cause accidents that are not injury-related, than that goes unnoticed by the insurance industry, because they only note citations,” he said.
Las Vegas police did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News.
In the Las Vegas area, more than 100 people died in auto crashes last year.
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