If it’s that time of season again where the roads are snowy, icy, or slick in Colorado Springs, it means we should be checking for “Cold Reporting” status. Under Colorado state law you are required to report all auto accidents you are in immediately to the proper police authority. However, during inclement weather your local law enforcement agency may go on “Accident Alert” or “Cold Report.”
Why Cold Reporting
Colorado accident reporting laws have evolved to help law enforcement officers meet public demand for assistance when needed the most. As such, Colorado has enacted “Cold Reporting” or “Accident Alert” to assist police forces who are overwhelmed with the number of traffic accidents. This status enables you to report a minor traffic accident after the fact without being penalized.
Cold Reporting Requirements
Colorado Springs and the Colorado State Patrol have set a list of conditions you must meet to qualify for Cold Reporting an auto accident. You may file a Cold Report for a minor auto accident in the following situation:
- CSPD or your local law enforcement agency is on Accident Alert;
- None of the involved parties are injured or deceased;
- The auto accident is not an alleged hit and run;
- No drugs or alcohol are involved in the accident;
- There is no damage to any public property; and
- All drivers agree that the accident is minor in nature and exchange insurance information.
How to Cold Report
If you are in an accident that meets the above conditions, you may file an accident report online at https://crash.state.co.us or you may download the report and mail to the Colorado Motor Vehicle Division. In Colorado Springs, you may also go to a CSPD substation (http://www.springsgov.com/page.aspx?NavID=42 ) and fill out the report there. Please note that CSPD is prohibited from accepting those accident reports. Accordingly, Colorado State law requires all drivers involved in the accident to file their own report.
If you are unsure the area your accident occurred in was on Accident Alert, you can call the local law enforcement agency to determine if Cold Reporting was in effect. If you are in an accident that does not meet the conditions above, you must call local law enforcement immediately. Drivers must remain on the scene, and there must be a comprehensive police report filed.
Even when Cold Reporting, you should not forget to document any damages your vehicle has sustained. As always, remember to drive safely.