Collisions should be reported to police if damage to all vehicles involved exceeds $2K

Q: What is the first thing to do if you’ve been in a collision. Should you call 911 or the non-emergency line? [403-266-1234].

A: First of all, the most important thing is to make sure you’re safe. Once you’ve got your breath back and everything has calmed down a bit, try to assess what’s gone on. Get your vehicles to a place of safety, get them off the roadway as much as possible.

People say their cars won’t move, and generally speaking they will. They won’t sound good, they’ll make lots of horrible noises, but you can get them off the main roadway. So get them onto the shoulder. You can exchange your details with the other parties as much as possible. Then report your crash to a local district office at a later time.

If someone is injured or your vehicle is immobilized, then you call the emergency number, 911. Let them know where you are and they will come give you a hand.

Q: What if you’ve assessed the situation … you know no one has been injured and you think the damage isn’t too bad, do you still have to file a police report?

A: You only need to file a police report if the damage is in excess of $2,000, and that’s combined between the two vehicles. If the damage is over $2,000, then you are required to make a report at the police station.

Q: Why the $2,000 mark?

A: That’s mandated by the province. I don’t know why they chose $2,000 a few years ago. It used to be $1,000. But as we all know, it doesn’t take much to get to that type of number. If you’re in any doubt, go to a police station and report it.

Q: How long do you have to report it after the collision has happened?

A: It’s supposed to be as soon as possible, but as long as it’s within a day or two, that’s usually fine.

Q: What kind of information should we be collecting at the scene? If there are witnesses, do you get their information?

A: Anything that will help you with the report. So you’re going to need the name of the other driver, registration, plate number and insurance policies for the vehicles involved. If you can get any witnesses, a name and telephone number is great.

Collision checklist from the Calgary Police Service that you can print and leave in your vehicle just in case.