Changes to Tow Away only Crashes

Changes to the way traffic crashes are reported in the State came into effect on Wednesday 15 October 2014. These changes are part of a red-tape reduction initiative and should result in a more streamlined process for motorists. The changes are designed to reduce danger to road users and manage traffic crashes more efficiently.

What does this mean for NSW RFS crews attending traffic crashes?

Police will only be required to attend and investigate crashes that meet one or more of the following four criteria:

  1. Where a person is killed or injured
  2. Parties fail to exchange particulars
  3. A driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
  4. A bus or truck needs to be towed.

Police will attend however to direct traffic and deal with hazards or debris on the road, as well as to assist with the tow of buses or trucks.

In instances where Police will not attend the crash and NSW RFS are in attendance, crews will ensure no fire hazard exists and render any other hazards safe prior to leaving the scene.

If a vehicle requires towing from the scene, the motorist(s) should be advised to organise their own tow and have their vehicle removed from the scene as quickly and safely as possible.

Motorists should be advised to report the traffic crash to the Police Assistance Line by telephoning 131 444 as soon as possible.

What does this mean for NSW RFS drivers involved in a traffic crash with other vehicles?

If you are involved in a traffic crash whilst driving a NSW RFS vehicle or appliance, you must notify the District Duty Officer or District Manager as soon as possible.

The District Duty Officer or District Manager will make a determination as to whether a report is to be made to Police at the time of the crash.

All traffic crashes involving NSW RFS vehicles or appliances whilst responding are to be reported to the NSWPF regardless of the new criteria.

If no persons are injured, all parties have exchanged details and do not appear affected by alcohol or drugs, Police may advise that they will not attend the scene.

In this case, the NSW RFS driver (or the Duty Officer or District Manager) is to report the traffic crash to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

They will generate a report via telephone and provide you with a Police Event Number.

Where a NSW RFS vehicle or appliance needs to be towed from the scene, this will be arranged by the District Duty Officer or District Manager.

Please note Police are still required to attend all traffic crashes involving trucks and buses which require towing. This includes most NSW RFS tankers and some buses.

Additional information about these changes can be found on the NSWPF website at:

Alternatively, please contact Fleet Services on email or the Capability Development Project Team on telephone (02) 8741 5501.

The pdf download (below) is a copy of the NSW RFS Operational Brief about the changes.


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