A resolution that was previously spearheaded by Airdrie during the 2023 Alberta Municipalities (ABMunis) Conference is now being actioned by the provincial government.

The province has announced that beginning January 1, 2024, drivers will not have to report property damage from a collision to law enforcement unless the cost of the damage is more than $5,000. The current threshold is $2,000.

"The new $5,000 threshold was a carefully chosen figure to reduce reporting minor collisions while also making it difficult for fraudulent resales of damaged vehicles," the province stated. 

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, in 2022, the average property damage collision claim in Alberta was $6,756.

Tyler Gandam, President of Alberta Municipalities underlined that the government's announcement aligns with the resolution Alberta Municipalities members passed at the 2023 convention and said he is pleased the government is taking action. The resolution which was represented by The City of Airdrie underlined in part, that the $2,000 damage threshold was simply too low. 

"On average, we're seeing that vehicle repairs in personal or property damage-only collisions are estimated over $9,000. Across the province last year over 95,000 property damage only - those are collisions with no injuries - occurred. Over 3,000 of those were reported to Airdrie RCMP. The demand on our RCMP officers and support staff to manage collision reporting is significant, Leona Esau of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) with The City of Airdrie, previously stated. 

The sentiment about the low damage threshold being taxing on law enforcement agencies was also echoed by the province's announcement on Thursday.

"This change will also free up law enforcement, who are required to commit a significant number of policing resources for processing collision reports. With this change, police officers and administrative staff can spend more time improving public safety."

Alberta last increased its property damage collision reporting threshold to $2,000 from $1,000 on January 1, 2011, and implemented the commercial carrier reporting threshold ($1,000) in 2009.

Provincial data states that in 2021, there were 89,976 property damage-only collisions reported by law enforcement and that on average, about 90 per cent of all collisions only involve property damage.

Collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities will continue to be reported regardless of the estimated cost of property damage repairs. Future increases to the collision reporting threshold will be adjusted for inflation.

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