DALLAS - A FOX 4 Investigation Wednesday exposed that the City of Dallas is paying out millions of tax dollars for claims involving city vehicle crashes.
According to city records reviewed by FOX 4, employees driving for the City of Dallas have been involved in 2,500 crashes over a period of 20 months.
Original Investigation: Dallas city vehicle crashes cost taxpayers millions
Many are repeat offenders. From January 2015 to August 2016, 134 Sanitation Department workers were involved in multiple crashes. Eighty-four Dallas Police Department employees were involved in multiple crashes.
One Sanitation employee had 10 crashes in just 20 months. The city said that employee “voluntarily terminated” in 2016.
Those crashes are also costing valuable police time and resources. FOX 4 has learned that a city policy requires police to send trained Accident Investigators to all crashes involving city vehicles, even if the crash is minor with no injuries.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said city vehicle crashes are putting a strain on police resources.
“We are draining our manpower from the main priorities we should be doing every day, that's enforcing traffic laws, and working traffic fatalities of the citizens of Dallas,” Mata said.
Mata also pointed out that the police department is severely understaffed due to below-average pay and a crisis with the pension system.
Staffing numbers obtained by FOX 4 show a drop in staffing within DPD’s Traffic Division.
Currently, there are only 11 Accident Investigators for the entire City of Dallas. In 2010, the unit had a total of 36 investigators.
Since FOX 4 started asking questions, city council member Philip Kingston has asked the city to consider revising its policies that are possibly keeping bad drivers on the road while putting an added strain on police.
“It’s both dangerous and expensive to have wrecks in city vehicles,” Kingston said.
A city spokesperson has also told FOX 4 the policy requiring Accident Investigators to respond to minor crashes involving city vehicles is being revised. The spokesperson did not say when that change will go into effect.
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