Study says nearly 1/3 of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists go unreported in DC | WTOP

October 06, 2021
  • D.C. Policy Center
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Photo/Ted Eytan. Used with permission.

On October 6, 2021, the D.C. Policy Center’s article, Observed disparities between 911 calls and crash reports, was cited by WTOP:

You wouldn’t necessarily expect every single car accident to get a police report after the fact, even if an ambulance is sent out to respond to the scene as a precaution. But in D.C., a new report is examining just how many crashes called in to 911 dispatchers never got a subsequent police report.

The D.C. Policy Center looked at calls to 911 over a six week period last spring, and then looked for a corresponding accident report after the fact. During that time period, about 10% of all vehicle-only collisions never got a paper trail, while 30% of all collisions involving pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders weren’t documented in a crash report.

“Among the pedestrian and cyclist community, I think they’ve known for a long time that the public crash reports weren’t capturing all the crashes,” said Emilia Calma, the deputy director of research and policy at the D.C. Policy Center.

“It’s in MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) policy that they won’t write reports if people don’t want to make statements and there’s a whole bunch of reasons why people might not want to do that,” she added.

Read more: Study says nearly 1/3 of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists go unreported in DC | WTOP

Related: Observed disparities between 911 calls and crash reports | D.C. Policy Center

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D.C. Policy Center


Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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