7-500 Traffic Accident Investigation
7-501 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES
Officers notified of a traffic accident will respond and handle that accident according to State Statutes, City Ordinances and department policy. They are responsible for investigating and reporting all accidents, completely and accurately (unless it qualifies for packeting), whether it occurs on public or private property, on interstate highways or ramps, or outside city limits, except when properly relieved by a law enforcement officer from another jurisdiction.
At any accident scene, officers shall check for evidence that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If such evidence is present, officers shall take steps to determine the level of impairment, such as field sobriety test, PBT, etc.; and follow with appropriate enforcement action. (07/11/07)
7-501.01 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORTS 09/03/03) (05/29/09)
A Traffic Accident Report shall be completed for motor vehicle accidents involving personal injury, a City vehicle, or combined property damage amounting to over $1,000.
Officers shall directly enter all accident reports into the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System, unless the system is down. When entering the report into the system, officers shall use a 10-digit case number format (example: MP03-123456).
In the event that the online system is down, officers shall:
- Notify dispatch of the system outage;
- Add remarks to the call that the Online Accident Reporting System is down;
- Complete a handwritten Minnesota Traffic Accident Report (PS 32003 03); and,
- Enter the handwritten report when the Online Accident Reporting System is back online or forward the report to the precinct/unit typist for entry.
7-501.02 INSURANCE – NO PROOF OF INSURANCE (10/21/97)
Police officers may issue a traffic citation for no proof of insurance to the driver/owner of a motor vehicle or a No Proof of Insurance form (MP-3408)—not both, when the driver/owner states they do not have proof of insurance in their possession. It is a misdemeanor violation to not provide proof of insurance to a police officer upon demand.
No Proof of Insurance – Citation Issuance Procedures:
- An officer may issue a traffic citation to the driver/owner of a motor vehicle when the driver/owner states they do not have proof of insurance in their possession.
169.791s2 – to driver whether or not the owner
169.791s3 – to driver who is not the owner
The officer should advise a driver/owner who is issued a traffic citation for no proof of insurance in their possession, that the driver/owner has ten days to deliver proof of insurance information to the Traffic Violations Bureau. The officer should advise the driver/owner that failure to comply within ten days will result in a misdemeanor moving violation being entered on their driving record, the revocation of their driver’s license, and the revocation of the motor vehicle registration.
- When issuing a citation to a driver/owner who admits to not having insurance, the citation should be titled “No Insurance Coverage.” Pertinent statute: 169.797.
- Officers shall not issue a traffic citation for no proof of insurance in a felony motor vehicle collision. Officers shall use the Proof of Insurance form in all felony motor vehicle collisions. (10/27/05)
No Proof of Insurance – Vehicle Insurance Information Form
When a driver/owner of a motor vehicle is unable to provide proof of insurance, and the officer does not issue a citation, the officer may follow these procedures:
- The officer may complete the Vehicle Insurance Information form (MP-3408), ensuring that the officer’s precinct/division is recorded on the spaces provided.
- The officer shall give the pink copy of the Vehicle Insurance Information form to the owner/driver and direct the person to sign the form in the space provided, complete and mail the form, with proof of insurance, to the address provided on the form within ten days.
The officer should advise the driver/owner that failure to comply within ten days will result in a misdemeanor moving violation being entered on their driving record, the revocation of their driver’s license, and the revocation of the motor vehicle registration.
The white and yellow copies of the Vehicle Insurance Information form shall be filed at the officer’s precinct or division office. The officer shall complete an arrest report for the incident, attaching it to these copies. (04/01/93)
- If the driver/owner does not respond within ten days of the issuance of the No Proof of Insurance form, the officer designated by the commander will complete the form and forward the white copy to the Minnesota Department of Safety. An officer may issue either a No Proof of Insurance form or a uniform citation—not both. (10/21/97)
- If a CAPRS report was completed, that same CCN shall be used on the tag issued for No Proof of Insurance. If no report was made at the time that the Vehicle Insurance Information Form was issued, a CAPRS report and a new CCN are needed. (07/30/90)
- The date the Offense/Incident Report is completed should be the arrest date. The arrest location is the location of the original offense. (07/30/90)
Vehicle Insurance Information Forms (MP-3408) are available in the MPD Stores Unit.
7-502 ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION RESPONSIBILITY
Traffic squads, when available, are responsible for investigating felony motor vehicle accidents or accidents where there is a death, unless it involves a critical incident or fatal hit and run accident. Traffic squads should also investigate: (07/30/90) (10/27/05)
- All MPD Property Damage (PD) and Personal Injury (PI) vehicle accidents; (10/27/05)
- Vehicle accidents involving on-duty police officers; (10/27/05)
- All city or government vehicle accidents (10/27/05)
Car 710 will be responsible for investigating all critical incident MPD vehicle accidents and fatal hit and run accidents with the assistance of Traffic Unit personnel. (10/27/05)
Officers not assigned to the Traffic Unit will be responsible for investigating and reporting all other accidents assigned to them. The investigating officer must complete a CAPRS report when an accident involves an A-injury (incapacitating) as reported on the State Accident Report. (2/17/06)
Officers responsible for accident investigations will prepare and submit all required reports and documents to the appropriate unit or agency without unnecessary delay. (10/27/05)
7-503 FATAL AND/OR CRITICAL INJURY ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS
The following is a list of reports, documents and items required by the Traffic Unit or Car 710 for investigating critical incidents, fatal and/or felony motor vehicle accidents and personal injury accidents involving city or government vehicles: (07/30/90) (10/27/05)
- Minnesota Traffic Accident Report
- Minneapolis Police Department Offense/Incident Report (MP-6833)
- Minnesota State Fatality Report
- Investigating officer’s statement
- Statements from all assisting officers.
- Statements from all vehicle operators involved
- Statements from all passengers and witnesses
- Photographs of the scene, damage and evidence
- Scale diagram of final accident scene that also indicates the location of evidence items
- Results of chemical testing of vehicle operators in fatal or serious injury accidents
- Printouts of vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses of all parties involved
- Tow sheets, property inventories, and other reports
** Missing or refused statements must be explained in the investigating officer’s statement. Juvenile defendants must have an attorney or parent present and identified in the statement.
7-504 CHARGING SUSPECTS WITH A FELONY AS A RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT (07/30/90)
Persons suspected of felony vehicle operation who are involved in an accident will not be routinely booked for P.C. Vehicular Homicide/Injury unless they are transients, out of state residents, wanted for other crimes, or when positive identification is not possible.
Persons suspected of felony hit and run (victim is dead or suffers substantial bodily harm) shall be booked P.C. Felony Hit and Run by the arresting officer.
Officers shall not issue any citations to a suspect when felony charges are pending. When a suspect is booked as a result of an accident, the Traffic Unit must be notified to ensure prompt processing according to law. In cases involving fatalities, the word “FATAL” shall be included on all such reports to prevent court processing until after a grand jury hearing.
7-505 HIT AND RUN REPORTS – WHEN REQUIRED (07/03/03) (09/03/03)
Officers responding to a reported hit and run accident shall conduct a preliminary investigation and complete the required reports as described below:
- Property Damage Accident (including damage to City property) – Victim still at scene: In hit and run cases where the victim is still at the scene, officers shall complete the State of Minnesota Online Accident Report or the State of Minnesota Traffic Accident Report and a CAPRS report entitled “HRPD.” The report shall include any suspect information provided by the victim or witnesses. This procedure shall be followed in cases where the victim has moved the vehicle for scene safety or to prevent the obstruction of traffic, or to give pursuit to the suspect vehicle.
- Property Damage Accident, – Victim has moved vehicle: In hit and run cases where the victim has moved the involved vehicle from the scene for convenience or is reporting the hit and run at a later date, officers shall issue a traffic accident packet to the victim and advise on how to proceed. Officers shall then complete a CAPRS report entitled “HRPD.”
- Personal Injury Hit and Run: In all hit and run cases involving a personal injury, officers shall complete the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System or the State of Minnesota Traffic Accident Report and a CAPRS report entitled “HRPI.” The CAPRS report shall include all available details about the suspect vehicle and suspect if known. Felony and gross misdemeanor hit and run scenes (involving substantial bodily harm) should be investigated by a Traffic Unit officer when available. Fatal hit and run scenes shall be investigated by Car 710. Responding officers shall aid and assist as necessary. (10/27/05)
7-506 INVESTIGATING HIT AND RUN INCIDENTS (07/03/03) (11/30/2004)
Responding officers will investigate misdemeanor hit and run accidents at the scene. Reports shall be completed as directed in Section 7-505. The Traffic Unit will conduct follow-up investigations on personal injury hit and run accidents. Car 710 is responsible for investigating all fatal hit and run accidents with the assistance of the Traffic Unit. Traffic Accident Investigations will be responsible for follow-up investigations of property damage hit and runs. (10/27/05) (11/06/07)
Officers responding to a reported hit and run should attempt to broadcast a description of the hit and run vehicle and driver as soon as possible. Hit and run vehicles located during the investigation, in plain view, shall be towed to the city Impound Lot. Vehicles located in secured areas may not be towed or searched without a search warrant. Examples of secured areas are garages, warehouses or pole barns. Assistance for writing search warrants may be obtained from Precinct Investigation Investigators, Community Response Team members, or other officers knowledgeable in search warrants.
Officers impounding a vehicle involved in a property damage hit and run shall mark the impound sheet “Hit and Run – Hold for Traffic Accident Investigations.” For example, “Hit and Run – Hold for Traffic Accident Investigations.” Officers who tow a Hit and Run Property Damage suspect vehicle shall also complete the MPD Hit and Run Insurance Follow Up form (MP-8879), and send it with the tow sheet to the Impound Lot. This form is located on the MPDNet under “Forms.” (4/21/06) (11/06/07)
Officers who apprehend a suspect involved in a property damage hit and run shall interview them, and if probable cause exists, issue an appropriate citation for the offense. Officers are required to make a CAPRS report, and when citations are issued, shall close the case by arrest/complaint. Officers who apprehend a suspect in a personal injury hit and run shall interview suspect when possible, gather evidence, and book if probable cause exists. Officers may consult with a Traffic Unit officer when handling a personal injury hit and run, or Car 710 when handling a fatal hit and run. Officers impounding a vehicle involved in a personal injury hit and run shall mark the tow sheet, “Hit and Run – Hold for Traffic Accident Investigations.” Officers impounding a vehicle involved in a fatal hit and run shall mark the tow sheet “Hit and Run Hold for Car 710. (10/27/05) (11/06/07)
Vehicles involved in pedestrian hit and runs shall be towed to the Forensic Garage for processing and protection from the elements. Pedestrian victims shall have their clothes property inventoried as evidence as soon as possible. Reports shall note from whom the clothing was obtained.
Investigators who amend hit and run state accident reports on the State of Minnesota Online Accident Reporting System, involving city or government property, shall notify the Accident/Records Unit about the amendment. (09/03/03)
7-507 CHARGING VIOLATORS WITH A MISDEMEANOR AT ACCIDENTS
When an operator of a vehicle is not subject to charges of Vehicular Homicide/Injury, felony Hit and Run, or other felony or gross misdemeanor charges, the operator may be charged with: (07/30/90)
- Violations that the investigator has probable cause to believe were committed.
- Violations charged by citizen’s arrest.
- Violations by complaint through the City Attorney.
If an officer suspects an operator of a motor vehicle of operating under the influence at the time of an accident, the officer may arrest and process that person for DUI if:
- The officer has probable cause to place that person behind the wheel and;
- The officer documents behavior or conducts a field sobriety test to add to the probable cause of DUI.
NOTE: Accident reports must be completed if anyone is charged at an accident scene with the following exception: No Driver’s License in Possession. (03/20/89) (07/03/03)
7-508 VEHICLE TOWING AT ACCIDENTS
Officers shall not order private tows. Citizens are responsible for ordering private tows and the resulting charges. When a responsible person can remove a vehicle within a reasonable time, a tow shall not be used. (10/27/05)
If it is necessary to tow a vehicle from an accident scene because the driver was taken to the hospital, or the vehicle had to be moved immediately, it shall be noted on the Vehicle Impound Report.
7-509 ACCIDENT PACKETS – PROPERTY DAMAGE (11/22/94)
When an officer responds to a property damage accident, they shall complete an accident report or provide the drivers with an accident packet.
Accident packets may be issued at property damage accidents if the following criteria exist: (11/06/07)
- No personal injury;
- City/government vehicles or property not involved;
- All drivers involved have a valid driver’s license;
- All drivers involved display current proof of insurance;
- No citations are issued for a moving violation; and
- No arrests were made for a traffic violation.
When packeting and advising at the scene of an accident, officers shall: (11/06/07)
- Verify that drivers involved have valid driver’s licenses;
- Verify that the vehicle VIN matches the license registration (plate) VIN;
- Determine the validity of the information filled out on the Accident Report Envelope;
- Advise the drivers if the total damage exceeds $1,000 they must complete their copy of the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Report and submit to the State within 10 days of the accident;
- Remain at the scene until damaged vehicle which interfere with traffic are removed; and
- Record on their daily activity log-license, name, and date of birth of the drivers involved.
When a citation is issued for a moving violation, officers shall complete the State Traffic Accident Report, along with a CAPRS report. Accident packets include the Accident Report Envelope (MPD-3022), Traffic Accident Information Sheet (MP-6422), and three copies of the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Report.