Sacramento Police Department

Monday, July 28, 2014

Accidents & Tickets FAQ

How can I contest a traffic citation?

A person who receives a traffic citation may contest it by going to the court he/she is cited to (listed on the citation) and posting bail (paying the amount of the citation). After the person has posted bail, the court clerk will assign a court date. On the specified date, the person will be able to plead his/her case before a judge and question the officer. If the judge rules in the person's favor, the bail they posted will be refunded. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Sacramento County Traffic and Parking Ticket Information Center at (916) 875-7550.

In Sacramento, you may contact:

Carol Miller Justice Center
301 Bicentennial Circle
Sacramento, CA 95826 (map it)

Telephone: (916) 875-7800
Hours: 8:30 - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding court holidays)

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How can I contest a parking violation?

A person can contest a parking violation by calling the Sacramento County Traffic and Parking Ticket Information Center at (916) 875-7550. An operator will give you instructions on how to contest the parking citation. All of the instructions must be followed exactly, and within the allotted time period, otherwise the application for a hearing will be forfeited.

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What are the top five traffic violations that cause traffic collisions?

1. Following Too Close - VC 21703 (a)
You must follow the vehicle in front of you a distance that allows you to stop, no matter how quickly that vehicle stops. The three (3) second rule will allow you to easily judge this distance. The three second rule indicates that if you see the vehicle in front of you pass a object (i.e. cross walk line, light pole, etc.) you should not pass that same object in less than three seconds.
2. Failing to Stop for Red Signal Lights - VC 21453 (a)
California law recently doubled the fine for red light violations.
3. Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs - VC 23152 (a)
For more information please visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles Publication on Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.
4. Speeding - VC 22350
In excess of the posted speed limit, or driving at any speed that is unsafe, based on the conditions present (rain, fog and other conditions may dictate that even the posted speed is not safe).
5. Left Turns - VC 21801 (a)
A driver may not negotiate a left turn when another vehicle is approaching head on, that is so close as to be a hazard.

For more information on California Vehicle Codes, please refer to the DMV Vehicle Code General Provisions and Divisions.

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What should I do if I've been involved in a traffic accident?

You should first ensure that no one is injured. If no one is injured, all parties (drivers) should exchange information: driver's license numbers (if in possession or known), vehicle license numbers, names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers (passengers, if possible), and the names of the insurance companies of the drivers involved. The involved persons should also write down the location where the traffic collision occurred (utilizing cross street names or addresses and street names), and the time it occurred. If there are injuries involved, please see below.

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What are the reporting requirements if I've been involved in a traffic accident?

A traffic collision report will be taken by the police department at the scene of the accident when any of the following reporting conditions occurs.

  • A person involved in the traffic collision has been injured (complaining of pain is considered injury) or dies.
  • One of the drivers is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • One of the drivers has fled the location without stopping to exchange information or check on the welfare of the other parties involved.
  • City property is involved (City vehicle, light post, signal light, etc).

Under many circumstances, you must report vehicle accidents to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. To do so, please retrieve the appropriate Accident Involvement Forms from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

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How can I make a traffic accident report?

It is the policy of the Sacramento Police Department to complete a traffic collision report under the following circumstances:

  • The traffic collision occurred within the City of Sacramento.
  • A person involved in the traffic collision has been injured (complaint of pain is considered injury) or dies.
  • One of the drivers is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • One of the drivers has fled the location without stopping to exchange information or check on the welfare of the other parties involved.
  • City property is involved (City vehicle, light post, signal post, etc.)

If any of the above conditions are met at the scene of a traffic collision, the Sacramento Police Department should be notified by dialing 911 in case of an emergency and (916) 264-5471 non-emergency.

In addition to filing a traffic collision report with the Sacramento Police Department, it may also be necessary to file Department of Motor Vehicles Form SR-1A. To do so, please retrieve the SR-1A from the California DMV's Accident Involvement Forms page.

Any person involved in a traffic collision, that meets the criteria, can file the police report online at www.sacpd.org. The report should be made as soon as possible. The person reporting the collision will need the following information:

  • The time and location (street address/cross streets) where the collision occurred.
  • The license plate number of the vehicle he or she was driving when they were involved in the traffic collision.
  • Driver's license
  • Insurance information (name of the insurance company and their policy number).
  • The names,addresses, and phone numbers of all passengers in their vehicle
  • If known, the license plate numbers, names, addresses, and phone numbers of all other involved drivers and passengers.
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How can I obtain a copy of an accident report?

Online

Motor vehicle accident reports, written by the Sacramento Police Department, are available for purchase online. Some accident reports may not be available online as a result of the following:

  • A Sacramento Police Officer did not respond to the scene of the accident.
  • The accident occurred on private property.
  • There were serious injuries and/or a fatality as a result of the accident.
  • The accident was a hit and run.

The Sacramento Police Department reserves the right to further restrict the availability of online accident reports. Cost of an on-line report is $5.

Request An Online Accident Report

Reports are typically available five to ten days from the date of the accident. If your report is not available after ten days, please contact the Records Division at (916) 808-0620.

By Mail

Traffic reports can be released to authorized persons such as the victim, the victim's representative, or as provided in Section 20012 of the California Vehicle Code. To request a copy of an accident report by mail, please provide:

  • The party/parties involved in the collision and their addresses, if known.
  • The insurance policy number if the requestor is an insurance company.
  • A release from an involved party if the request is from an attorney.
  • The type of report - Traffic.
  • The date and location of occurrence.
  • A report number, if known.
  • The vehicle license number, when applicable.

and mail the above information to:

Sacramento Police Department
Records Unit - Document Processing
5770 Freeport Blvd. Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95822

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Where do I get information about my driver's license or vehicle registration?

You will need to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

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