Wheels’ Eric Lai answers readers’ auto questions every week for Wheels.
Q: When does a parking lot car crash have to be reported to police?
A: Ontario Transportation Ministry spokesperson Bob Nichols replies:
The Highway Traffic Act sets out various responsibilities for drivers involved in a collision. If a collision occurs in a parking lot (i.e. private property), the driver must report it to police if it results in personal injuries or in damage apparently exceeding $1,000 total. Individuals involved in a collision are advised to call police first to ensure that police presence is not required.
Additionally, the HTA requires that you report any collision involving a fatality, and/or damage to public property on a highway (e.g. light pole).
Eric Lai adds:
You should call police to report any collision involving spilled loads, spilled fuel, hazardous materials, fire, criminal activity (e.g. stolen vehicle, drunk driver), injured wildlife (e.g. impact with deer), or other imminent hazard (e.g. ruptured gas main).
If a crash on private property results in a dangerous condition that does not require an immediate 911 response, such as spilled oil/coolant or a light pole in danger of falling over, notify the property owner so they can cordon off the area for safety.
For a non-reportable collision with damage under $1,000 that occurs on private property, if the owner of the vehicle struck isn’t known, you can leave a note on the windshield with your contact information for insurance purposes. But if you’re afraid you might be accused of hit-and-run, you can notify police of the incident and the plate number or VIN (if unplated) of the vehicle struck.
I mention unplated vehicles as parking lot owners, or hired maintenance contractors, often leave unplated plow trucks and snow removal equipment parked on site. Additionally, car owners sometimes abandon old vehicles in parking lots.
Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X