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  • Writer's pictureDave Shellnutt

New Toronto Collision Reporting Centre: A Cyclist's Guide

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

On March 14, 2022, the Toronto Police announced their downtown collision reporting centre is finally open to cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users involved in collisions with motor vehicles.

Back in November 2021, our cyclist client went to St. Joseph’s Hospital to attend to her broken ankle rather than wait at the scene of the crash for police. When she reported it later by phone, an officer told her to head to the collision reporting centre, in North York, with a broken ankle. Well, that struck a nerve and the Toronto Police then announced that a long approved downtown collision reporting centre would open soon.

Then Omicron delayed things. Now it’s here, at 9 Hanna Ave. in Liberty Village.

What does this mean for cyclists?

If you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle and are injured, your first step should be to remain at the scene until emergency personal take you to the hospital. It is our understanding that according to the TPS website, they will attend the scene of any collision involving a pedestrian or cyclist, which is reported immediately and at the scene of the collision.

If police do not attend and after seeking medical attention, you can now go to the Hanna Reporting Centre.

We recommend using our Online Crash Report at the scene to gather critical information.

It’s important to report your collision to police at the scene or at the new Hanna Reporting Centre.

Not only does reported collision data help cycling advocates lobby for more bike lanes and safe road designs, but you may not notice you’re hurt until the adrenaline wears off (I once biked home after being hit in a bike lane with a broken wrist/elbow).

By reporting the collision police will be able to provide you with a Crash Report (MVA report). This report contains vital insurance information you’ll need to access rehab benefits and lost wages (read more here). You can start your police report online from home or the hospital. However, it is very detailed and we recommend using our streamlined Crash Report at the scene (more on this below).

If you do head to the Hanna Reporting Centre be sure to do the following:

  • Bring pictures of your damaged bike, the vehicle that hit you, the scene of the collision and any other pertinent picture or video evidence.

  • Bring pictures or medical notes of your injuries.

  • Alert officers to nearby cameras that may have recorded the collision.

  • If you are injured, have a friend accompany you and monitor your health.

  • Honestly describe what happened.

*All of this information may be used in the future either to prosecute the driver or in a civil claim. Truthfulness, without embellishment is key.

**We know some may not feel comfortable reporting to police. Completely fair. The buddy system can be a great option.

***As always, if you need advice before or after heading to the Hanna Reporting Centre, contact our office. We are here to help injured cyclists 24/7.

Police Online Reporting Tool:

Toronto Police are also offering an online reporting tool through a third-party company. Presumably you can start your crash report from the hospital or home, and upload photos and pertinent crash information. You still need to finalize your report at the Hanna Reporting Centre (from what we’re told).

After a review of this reporting tool, some things we noticed are:

  • Major injuries cannot be reported online

  • Injured people are required to describe, and self diagnose their injuries. This could have legal ramifications later

  • They ask for lots of crash information you want to be clear on. If you’ve suffered a head injury, get help in filling this out.

*All of this information may be used in the future either to prosecute the driver or in a civil claim. Truthfulness, without embellishment is key.

Charging Dangerous and Negligent Driver Concerns

Finally, we are interested in knowing from Toronto Police and our City Council how this will affect charging negligent and dangerous drivers?

Toronto Police have indicated that documentary offences like driving without insurance or failure to remain at the scene (if the cyclist gets the plate) can be issued by the Hanna Reporting Centre. However, what of more serious charges of dangerous driving, dooring, using a cellphone while driving, failure to indicate a turn?

Will these flagrant, yet common driver actions that cause injury now result in no charges if the police don’t investigate at the scene? If so, this could have deleterious effects on deterrence based road safety efforts. We need another solution here.

If drivers can still be charged after a report is made at the Hanna Reporting Centre, then perhaps we have found a way to reduce the role of police officers in traffic enforcement. Coupled with speed and parking cameras, we may be able to save millions of dollars in much needed municipal funding.

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