WAVE-3 reports on yet another troubling issue involving Louisville Metro Police Department — this one relating to its “current policy” on vehicular accident investigation and reporting.
LMPD’s failure, or refusal, to discharge statutory duties — as described in the story and temporarily modified during the COVID state of emergency — by responding to, investigating, and documenting car accidents involving property damage or injury has resulted in insurance claim denials and loss of employment. In some instances, the accidents are believed to be associated with an impaired driver. Attorneys interviewed in the story suggest that the “policy” — which should have been lifted when the state of emergency ended — has disproportionately affected minorities.
KRS 189.635 requires the creation of accident reports:
“Any person operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in fatal or nonfatal personal injury to any person or damage to the vehicle rendering the vehicle inoperable shall be required to immediately notify a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction. In the event the operator fails to notify or is incapable of notifying a law enforcement officer having jurisdiction, such responsibility shall rest with the owner of the vehicle or any occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident. A law enforcement officer having jurisdiction shall investigate the accident and file a written report of the accident with his or her law enforcement agency.”
The requirement is clear.
When WAVE raised questions about its failure to discharge this clearly stated duty, LMPD sidestepped the issue, advising the station that it had “not provided us with sufficient information to respond further to your question.”
Any seasoned open records requester recognizes this as a familiar LMPD dodge.
These are serious allegations. We join WAVE in hoping that it’s coverage of LMPD’s failure to discharge statutory duties mandating investigation and documentation of car accidents — bordering, the story suggests, on neglect of a legal duty — will prompt the immediate cessation of a lapsed temporary policy and a return to longstanding and unequivocal state law.