CALCUTTA - At the Tuesday meeting of the St. Clair Township Trustees, Police Chief Donald Hyatt informed trustees that his department will be using a different accident reporting system for vehicle accidents on private property.
As part of his monthly report to the board, Hyatt told trustees that the state of Ohio no longer wants reports of crashes on private property and the department is no longer required to keep a record of such incidents. He added that this is the second time in two and a half years the state has changed the crash report format.
Hyatt told trustees that he still wants his department to keep records of private property accidents, so he contacted the Boardman Police Department and made plans to mirror the type of report done by that department when called to private property.
He emphasized that if the accident is of a serious nature the department will still do a full scale report and that the department can still issue citations on private property.
"We've had pedestrians hit in parking lots. We will do a full blown crash report in cases like that." said Hyatt.
The new report will be filled out by officers at the scene of an accident and copies will be provided for all parties involved. It is then up to the involved parties to provide the report to their insurance companies.
"This will be utilized for 90 percent of our private property crashes, because 90 percent are somebody backing out of a parking space and striking another vehicle in a parking lot," said Hyatt.
Hyatt also announced that as of the first of this year all accident reports filed by the department are required by a new state mandate to include the GPS coordinates of the scene of the crash.
According to Hyatt, the type of technology needed to record GPS coordinates is called Automatic Vehicle Location or AVL. Hyatt told trustees his department is in the process of installing an AVL system through a company called Sundance Systems Inc.
An initial quote given to Hyatt by Sundance Systems placed costs at $30 for the actual device which would receive satellite information and $15 per month per vehicle for the service itself. He estimated that "maybe 6 or 7" of the departments vehicles would have a device and service.
Chief Hyatt told trustees that the department does not yet have the system in place but will soon, adding the department will likely get several of this year's reports that did not include GPS coordinates back from the state, who will not accept them without coordinates.
In other township business:
*Trustees elected James Hall and James Sabatini II to the Ohio Volunteer Fire Fighters Dependence Fund Board
* State Senator Schiavoni will be touring the Township Administration Building today at 11a.m.
*Road Supervisor Scott Barret reported that in 2014 all township trucks will be either 10 years old or have 100,000 miles.