Search
46.52.020  <<  46.52.030 >>   46.52.035

RCW 46.52.030

Accident reports.

(1) Unless a report is to be made by a law enforcement officer under subsection (3) of this section, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to the property of any one person to an apparent extent equal to or greater than the minimum amount established by rule adopted by the chief of the Washington state patrol in accordance with subsection (5) of this section, shall, within four days after such accident, make a written report of such accident to the chief of police of the city or town if such accident occurred within an incorporated city or town or the county sheriff or state patrol if such accident occurred outside incorporated cities and towns. Nothing in this subsection prohibits accident reports from being filed by drivers where damage to property is less than the minimum amount or where a law enforcement officer has submitted a report.

     (2) The original of the report shall be immediately forwarded by the authority receiving the report to the chief of the Washington state patrol at Olympia, Washington. The Washington state patrol shall give the department of licensing full access to the report.

     (3) Any law enforcement officer who investigates an accident for which a report is required under subsection (1) of this section shall submit an investigator's report as required by RCW 46.52.070.

     (4) The chief of the Washington state patrol may require any driver of any vehicle involved in an accident, of which report must be made as provided in this section, to file supplemental reports whenever the original report in the chief's opinion is insufficient, and may likewise require witnesses of any such accident to render reports. For this purpose, the chief of the Washington state patrol shall prepare and, upon request, supply to any police department, coroner, sheriff, and any other suitable agency or individual, sample forms of accident reports required hereunder, which reports shall be upon a form devised by the chief of the Washington state patrol and shall call for sufficiently detailed information to disclose all material facts with reference to the accident to be reported thereon, including the location, the circumstances, the conditions then existing, the persons and vehicles involved, the insurance information required under RCW 46.30.030, personal injury or death, if any, the amounts of property damage claimed, the total number of vehicles involved, whether the vehicles were legally parked, legally standing, or moving, whether such vehicles were occupied at the time of the accident, and whether any driver involved in the accident was distracted at the time of the accident. Distractions contributing to an accident must be reported on the accident form and include at least the following minimum reporting options: Not distracted; operating a hand-held electronic telecommunication device; operating a hands-free wireless telecommunication device; other electronic devices (including, but not limited to, PDA's, laptop computers, navigational devices, etc.); adjusting an audio or entertainment system; smoking; eating or drinking; reading or writing; grooming; interacting with children, passengers, animals, or objects in the vehicle; other inside distractions; outside distractions; and distraction unknown. Every required accident report shall be made on a form prescribed by the chief of the Washington state patrol and each authority charged with the duty of receiving such reports shall provide sufficient report forms in compliance with the form devised. The report forms shall be designated so as to provide that a copy may be retained by the reporting person.

     (5) The chief of the Washington state patrol shall adopt rules establishing the accident-reporting threshold for property damage accidents. Beginning October 1, 1987, the accident-reporting threshold for property damage accidents shall be five hundred dollars. The accident-reporting threshold for property damage accidents shall be revised when necessary, but not more frequently than every two years. The revisions shall only be for the purpose of recognizing economic changes as reflected by an inflationary index recommended by the office of financial management. The revisions shall be guided by the change in the index for the time period since the last revision.

[2005 c 171 § 1; 1997 c 248 § 1; 1996 c 183 § 1; 1989 c 353 § 5; 1987 c 463 § 2; 1981 c 30 § 1; 1979 c 158 § 160; 1979 c 11 § 2. Prior: 1977 ex.s. c 369 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 68 § 1; 1969 ex.s. c 40 § 2; 1967 c 32 § 54; 1965 ex.s. c 119 § 1; 1961 c 12 §46.52.030 ; prior: 1943 c 154 § 1; 1937 c 189 § 135; RRS § 6360-135.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2005 c 171: "This act takes effect January 1, 2006." [2005 c 171 § 3.]

     Effective date -- 1997 c 248: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 2, 1997]." [1997 c 248 § 2.]

     Effective date -- 1996 c 183: "This act takes effect July 1, 1996." [1996 c 183 § 3.]

     Severability -- Effective date -- 1989 c 353: See RCW 46.30.900 and 46.30.901.