Honolulu Police Department (HPD) personnel
must follow specific procedures when
investigating motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).
A. Bodily injury: As defined in Section
707-700, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), physical
pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
B. Commercial motor vehicles: In accordance with
Title 49, Chapter III, Part 390.5, Code of Federal
Regulations, any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle
used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport
passengers or property when the vehicle:
1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross
combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight
or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001
pounds) or more, whichever is greater;
2. Is designed or used to transport more
than eight passengers, including the driver, for compensation;
3. Is designed or used to transport more
than 15 passengers, including the driver, and
is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
4. Is used in transporting material found
by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous
under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity
requiring placarding under regulations prescribed
by the Secretary under 49 CFR, Subtitle B, Chapter I, Subchapter C.
C. Government vehicles: All vehicles owned
or subsidized by a federal, state, or city government
entity (e.g., Oahu Transit Services [TheBus],
Board of Water Supply, etc.). This includes
both city-owned and privately owned, city-subsidized
vehicles used in police service.
D. Motor vehicle: Every vehicle which is
self-propelled and every vehicle which is
propelled by electric power, but which is not
operated upon rails, including a moped. The
term excludes motorized assistive devices (e.g.,
motorized wheelchairs) or toy devices.
E. MVC: Any collision involving a motor
vehicle in motion or ready for motion that results
in death, injury, or damage to vehicles and/or property.
F. Motor vehicle pursuit: An effort by an
officer operating a motor vehicle to stop another
motor vehicle when an occupant of that vehicle is
a suspected violator of the law and the driver of
that vehicle appears to be ignoring lawful commands
to stop or to be fleeing from the police.
G. Mutual agreement MVC: An agreement among
all principals involved in an MVC to resolve the
matter without a police report. The MVC must not
have resulted in injury or death, and the total
damage to all property must not exceed $3,000.
H. Police personnel: All employees of the
HPD, including officers, reserve officers, recruits, and civilians.
I. Police pursuit MVC: Any MVC occurring
as a result of a motor vehicle pursuit, whether
or not police vehicles are involved.
J. Ready for motion: Any motor vehicle with
the engine running and the operator behind the
steering wheel or steering mechanism.
K. Serious bodily injury: As defined in Section
707-700, HRS, bodily injury which creates a substantial
risk of death or which causes serious permanent
disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of
the function of any bodily member or organ.
L. Single-vehicle, single-occupant fatality:
An MVC involving a single motor vehicle with one
occupant that results in the death of the driver
and no other motor vehicles are involved.
M. Single-vehicle, single-occupant critical:
An MVC involving a single motor vehicle with one
occupant that results in critical injuries and no
other motor vehicles are involved.
N. Substantial bodily injury: As defined in
Section 707-700, HRS, bodily injury which causes
a major avulsion, laceration, or penetration of
the skin; a burn of at least second degree severity;
a bone fracture; a serious concussion; or a tearing,
rupture, or corrosive damage to the esophagus,
viscera, or other internal organs.
The following incidents should not be considered MVCs:
A. Noncollision Incidents
Incidents involving motor vehicles which result
in death, injury, or damages to vehicles and/or
property, but which were not the result of forward or backward movement.
Examples: a passenger falls on a bus, but it
is unrelated to any bus movement; a vehicle
slips from a jack, causing injury, etc.
B. Controlled Sporting Events
Motor vehicles engaged in sanctioned-speed
contests or other events in a controlled area.
C. Recreational Vehicles Used in Recreational Activities
Example: off-road collisions involving golf
carts on golf courses, off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, etc.
D. Industrial Incidents
1. Any motor vehicle incident which occurs
at a job site or work area that is not open to
the general public and in which the person killed
or injured was engaged in a lawful activity
related to his or her employment.
2. An off-road collision involving a
construction vehicle (e.g., backhoe, forklift, etc.).
E. Intentional Incidents
Any incident involving motor vehicles which is
attributed to an intentional act and classified
as a criminal offense, such as attempted murder
or criminal property damage. For example, the
operator of a motor vehicle intentionally collides
into a person, property, or vehicle, causing
damages, injury, or death.
A. Types of Collisions
MVCs shall be classified as one of the following four types:
1. Major Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions
MVCs that occur on public highways and that
result in death, injury, or damages to vehicles
and/or property to an apparent extent of $3,000
or more (combined total damages to all property).
2. Major Motor Vehicle Nontraffic Collisions
MVCs that do not occur on public highways and
that result in death, injury, or damages to
vehicles and/or property to an apparent extent
of $3,000 or more (combined total damages to all property).
3. Minor Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions
MVCs that occur on public highways and
that result in damages to vehicles and/or property
to an apparent extent of less than $3,000 (combined
total damages to all property).
4. Minor Motor Vehicle Nontraffic Collisions
MVCs that do not occur on public highways and
that result in damages to vehicles and/or property
to an apparent extent of less than $3,000
(combined total damages to all property).
B. Categories of Collisions
MVCs shall be further classified as one of the following:
1. Category A Collisions
MVCs that involve one or more of the following:
b. Critical condition (as determined by
Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS)
personnel, Honolulu Emergency Services Department);
c. Serious bodily injury;
d. Serious condition (as determined by EMS personnel);
e. Substantial bodily injury;
f. Leaving the scene, including noncontact
(witness) vehicles that are responsible for a collision;
g. On-duty police personnel;
h. Government vehicles;
I. Drivers who are suspected of operating
a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants; or
j. Police pursuit MVCs.
2. Category B Collisions
MVCs that involve one or both of the following:
a. Combined total damages to all property of $3,000 or more; and/or
b. Bodily injury.
3. Category C Collisions
MVCs that involve both of the following:
a. Combined total damages to all property of less than $3,000; and
b. No bodily injury.
A. Officers who are not involved in the
collision (driver, passenger, pedestrian,
property owner, or vehicle owner) shall conduct
all MVC investigations.
B. The initial officer to receive the MVC
complaint shall be responsible for the entire
investigation of an MVC. The decision to contact
the Vehicular Homicide Section (VHS) shall rest with a supervisor.
C. The VHS shall continue the investigation
to include reclassifying or adding new cases as
needed on MVCs involving death, serious bodily
injury, critical condition, or probable felonious traffic-related offenses.
D. The VHS shall be the final authority
when there is a question regarding the
classification of a collision or which division
shall be assigned to investigate the incident.
E. The Medical Examiner/Coroner’s Office
shall make immediate notification to the next
of kin on MVCs involving death, as provided by
Section 841-15, HRS.
F. The investigative responsibilities and
procedures for crime scenes and specific crimes
involving MVCs are spelled out in Policy 4.29,
CRIME SCENE: INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES.
A. Investigation of Category A Collisions
1. General Guidelines
a. A complete investigation is required,
which entails the completion of the following
Department of Transportation (DOT), State of
Hawaii (SOH), forms: SOH DOT-1-174A (face page),
SOH DOT-1-174B (unit information page), SOH DOT-1-174C (unit information page, continued),
SOH DOT-1-174D (diagram page), SOH DOT-1-174E
(all persons page), SOH DOT-1-174F (commercial
motor vehicle supplement page), and SOH DOT-1-174G
b. Although these investigations require
a diagram of the collision scene, officers
are not required to return to the scene of a
collision when the report is filed elsewhere
unless a death, serious bodily injury, or
probable felonious traffic-related offense was involved.
c. Statements from drivers, passengers,
pedestrians, witnesses, property owners, and
others directly or indirectly involved are
required. All statements shall be submitted
using the Statement Form, HPD-252, and summarized on the
SOH DOT-1-174G form. If an HPD-252 statement
is not obtained, the officer shall state the reason(s) in the report.
All vehicle and person descriptions shall be
submitted using the Suspect, Weapon, and
Vehicle Description, HPD-458 form, and
summarized on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
d. Officers shall conduct a thorough
investigation before submitting to the VHS
a category A collision report with the
disposition “Pending VHS.”
e. The Records and Identification Division
shall forward all category A collision reports
to the VHS for review. The VHS shall then
conduct any required follow-ups, affix a
disposition, and submit the proper closing.
2. Single-Vehicle, Single-Occupant
Fatalities and Single-Vehicle, Single-Occupant Criticals
a. Patrol personnel shall fully investigate
single-vehicle, single-occupant fatality and critical cases.
b. The patrol scene supervisor shall
contact the VHS and fully brief the on-duty
VHS supervisor. On-duty VHS personnel shall
respond to oversee the investigation.
c. VHS personnel shall be responsible
for taking photographs, reclassifying or
adding cases when needed, coordinating with
the Medical Examiner’s Office, and preparing a closing report.
d. The VHS supervisor shall assess the
circumstances at the scene. If the situation
meets the criteria of a single-vehicle,
single-occupant fatality or critical, only
needed VHS personnel shall remain on scene
to perform duties as outlined in section
V A 2 c above and to provide investigative
assistance to patrol personnel.
3. Leaving the Scene Collisions
a. In “leaving the scene” cases, it
is the responsibility of the initial officer
to ensure that the residence or business of
the registered owner of the suspect vehicle
is checked to obtain a statement and to
ascertain the identity of the person having
custody of the suspect vehicle.
The officer assigned to check the registered
owner’s address shall submit a report that
outlines the follow-up activities and findings
using the appropriate forms.
b. The incident shall be investigated as
a felony whenever a collision results in death,
serious bodily injury, or substantial bodily
injury and a driver fails to stop and give
information and/or render aid as specified
under Sections 291C-12, 291C-12.5, and 291C-14, HRS.
(1) When a collision meeting these criteria
occurs, the initial officer shall notify a
supervisor who shall then notify the VHS. The
VHS supervisor shall decide if their response is required.
(2) If a suspect is identified, he or she
should be arrested for violating
Section 291C-12 or 291C-12.5, HRS, as well as
Section 291C-14, HRS, as applicable.
c. Whenever a collision results in bodily
injury and a driver fails to stop and furnish
the necessary information, citations shall be issued under
Sections 291C-12.6 and 291C-14, HRS.
d. A citation shall be issued under
Section 291C-13, HRS, whenever a collision
results in damages to a vehicle that is driven
or property that is attended by any person,
without injuries, and a driver fails to stop
and furnish the necessary information.
e. A citation shall be issued under Section
291C-15, HRS, whenever a collision results in
damages to an unattended vehicle or unattended
property, without injuries to the driver, and
the driver fails to stop and furnish the necessary information.
4. Police Pursuit MVCs
a. A supervisor from the district or
division responsible for the investigation
shall monitor the investigation.
b. The supervisor shall notify the VHS
of all MVCs involving police pursuits. The
VHS supervisor shall then decide if the VHS’s response is required.
c. In the event that personnel from the VHS
respond, their purpose is only to oversee the
investigation that is to be performed by the initial officers.
d. The VHS shall also be responsible for
reviewing and affixing a final disposition.
5. Government Vehicle Collisions
a. Whenever a police employee is involved
in an MVC with a city-owned or city-subsidized
police vehicle, either as a principal or second
party, the employee shall immediately report the
collision to the Communications Division by the
quickest means available to ensure that it is investigated.
b. Whenever any city-subsidized police
vehicle is involved in an MVC while being
operated by a person other than the employee
who receives the subsidy, the employee (upon
learning that the vehicle was involved in a
collision) shall ensure that a police MVC
report is made as quickly as possible to
document the circumstances of the collision.
c. A supervisor from the district or
division responsible for the investigation
shall monitor the investigation.
d. The scene supervisor shall notify the
VHS of all collisions involving city-owned or
city-subsidized police vehicles and/or police
personnel. The VHS supervisor shall then decide
if the VHS’s response is required.
e. In the event that personnel from the
VHS respond, their purpose is only to oversee
the investigation that is to be performed by the initial officers.
f. The VHS shall also be responsible for
reviewing and affixing a final disposition.
g. The VHS shall be responsible for
notifying the Finance Division and the
department’s insurance carrier of MVCs involving
city-owned or city-subsidized police vehicles
and/or police personnel.
6. Alcohol/Drug Involvement
a. Whenever a driver is involved in a
collision and arrested for operating a vehicle
under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,
the facts of the arrest shall be documented
in the arrest report and on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
b. Whenever a driver involved in an MVC
is taken to a medical facility and there is
probable cause to believe that the driver
consumed alcohol and/or drugs, the officer
handling the hospital report shall follow the
procedures outlined in the attachment.
7. Injured Person
a. In circumstances in which a person is
transported to a medical facility for treatment,
the investigator shall:
1. Obtain and submit all of the necessary
information on the appropriate forms as applicable; or
2. Request that the follow-up officer
obtain and submit the necessary information.
In this case, the investigator shall document
in his or her report the name of the follow-up
officer and the investigative information requested.
b. In circumstances in which an injured
person refuses treatment or is not transported
to a medical facility, the SOH DOT-1-174E form
shall be completed as fully as possible at the
scene. If there are more injured persons than
the spaces provided, another SOH DOT-1-174E form shall be used.
B. Investigation of Category B Collisions
1. An investigation entails the completion
of the SOH DOT-1-174A, SOH DOT-1-174B, SOH
DOT-1-174C, and SOH DOT-1-174D forms. As necessary, the
SOH DOT-1-174E, SOH DOT-1-174F, and SOH DOT-1-174G
forms shall also be completed. Although these
investigations require a diagram of the collision
scene, officers are not required to return to the
scene of a collision when the report is filed elsewhere.
2. Full identification and other information
on witnesses shall be recorded on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
3. The SOH DOT-1-174E and SOH DOT-1-174G
forms shall be completed as fully as possible
at the hospital if the injury information was
not obtained at the collision scene. In the
event that the investigating officer at the
scene was not able to obtain injury information
from a principal transported to a medical
facility for treatment, he or she shall have
a follow-up investigation conducted to obtain
the necessary information.
4. The Ambulance Report Form number is
required if persons have been treated by EMS
personnel. This number is especially important
in the event that information is required at a later time.
5. Officers submitting reports shall
ensure that they are complete and contain the
disposition of “Records Only.”
6. Records and Identification Division
personnel shall retain these closed reports.
7. In circumstances in which a mutual
agreement was made between the principals
involved in an MVC that is later determined
to be a category B collision reported away
from the scene, the following shall apply:
a. Information about the principals
shall be as complete as possible on the
SOH DOT-1-174A, SOH DOT-1-174B, SOH DOT-1-174C,
and SOH DOT-1-174D forms. As necessary,
the SOH DOT-1-174F form shall also be completed.
The investigating officer may verify the
information through computer checks.
b. It is not necessary to send a follow-up
officer to obtain additional information.
C. Investigation of Category C Collisions
1. An investigation entails the completion of
the Minor Motor Vehicle Collision (MVC) Report
electronically in the Case Report System (CRS).
2. Reference shall not be made in this report
to the drivers and/or vehicles as units one, two,
or three. Instead, principals shall be listed in
alphabetical order by last name.
3. Category C collision reports shall contain
the disposition of “Records Only.”
4. Records and Identification Division personnel
shall retain these closed reports.
D. General Guidelines
1. When an MVC involves death, serious
bodily injury, or probable felonious traffic-
related offenses, the initial officer shall
preserve the scene as it then exists until a
supervisor arrives and requests the support of the VHS.
a. Officers initially assigned to preserve
evidence or assist at the scene shall maintain
their posts until properly relieved by the VHS
officer in charge of the investigation. These
officers shall describe their activity at the
scene in their follow-up reports.
b. Officers assigned to the investigation
of the collision shall conduct a preliminary
investigation. All necessary information shall
be recorded on the appropriate forms and be
provided to the VHS investigators upon their arrival.
c. Patrol personnel shall fully investigate
single-vehicle, single-occupant fatality cases.
2. When it is determined that an MVC
involves death or serious bodily injury to
any member of the armed forces or whenever
military vehicles are involved, the initial
officer shall request that the Communications
Division inform the Hawaii Armed Services Police (HASP).
3. The initial officer at the scene of
an MVC shall proceed as follows:
a. Immediately make an initial assessment
of the scene to prevent any additional injuries
and care for the injured;
b. Preserve the scene and prevent the
destruction of any physical evidence;
c. Inform the Communications Division
of the situation and request assistance, if
needed. (Whenever a collision creates a traffic
tie-up, additional officers shall be requested
for traffic control.); and
d. In circumstances where there is a
disturbance (e.g., argument, assault, etc.)
among the principals involved in an MVC,
the responding officer(s) shall maintain order
between the principals and determine the need
for the treatment of injuries, a criminal
complaint, and an investigation of the MVC.
4. The initial officer shall provide
principals involved in an MVC with an HPD-197
form. This form shall contain the name,
address, description of vehicle, insurance
carrier, and other pertinent information for
all principals involved.
a. When an unattended vehicle is involved,
a completed HPD-197 form shall be left on the vehicle.
b. If the principal is unable to complete
the form, the officer should facilitate the
exchange of information by completing the form
and exchanging the information.
5. Principals involved in an MVC shall
not be referred to the VHS for information
regarding their reports.
6. When there is insufficient information
available to determine whether injury or damage
resulted from a motor vehicle in motion or
ready for motion, it shall be assumed that the incident was an MVC.
7. Officers shall make an estimate of
damages to each vehicle and/or items of
property as “$3,000 or more” or “less than
$3,000.” Specific estimates shall not be made.
In no case shall the investigating officer record
the estimated damages as “total.”
8. Supervisors of officers submitting MVC
reports shall review the reports and affix
their signature to signify that the reports
were reviewed, are complete and acceptable,
have the correct disposition, and meet departmental
standards. Supervisors shall be responsible for
any discrepancies and for any corrections.
9. When completing block number 8 (report
type) of the SOH DOT-1-174A form, “Major” or
“Minor” shall be selected and the category type
(A or B) shall be written within the same block.
10. Police department personnel shall no
longer accept statements from parties in
category B and category C collisions who
merely wish to include their version of what
occurred. These parties shall be referred to
their insurance companies.
If statements come in via mail, they should be
returned to the sender with a divisional form letter attached.
11. The initial officer shall be
responsible to assist parties who have reports
that are obviously incorrect because of errors made by that officer.
12. A police report is not required for a
category C MVC where all of the principals
involved enter into a mutual agreement at
the scene. Departmental personnel will no
longer respond to category C collisions when
the case is reported away from the collision
scene, i.e., any farther away than is necessary
to report the collision. In such cases,
complainants should be referred to their
insurance companies for assistance.
13. Officers at the scene of an MVC will
ensure that debris from the collision
(including the residue from flares) is cleaned
up. If a tow wagon is at the scene, an officer
will ensure that the tow operator cleans up the
debris. If there is no tow wagon, an officer
will clean up the debris. When appropriate,
officers shall follow the procedures spelled
out in Policy 4.06, BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS AND
OTHER COMMUNICABLE DISEASES; and in Policy 4.42,
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION EMERGENCIES.
14. All MVC reports shall be completed on
the appropriate report forms. All blocks and
circles shall be completed using the indicated
information, NA (not applicable) or U (unknown).
15. The Ambulance Report Form number is
required for persons who have been treated by
EMS personnel. This is especially important
for investigative purposes.
1. On-View Violations
Citations shall be issued for on-view
violations witnessed by a police officer
except when the officer is a driver, pedestrian,
passenger, or property owner involved in the MVC.
In the event that an off-duty officer or
supervisor observed the violation, his or
her name(s) shall be written on the citation
immediately above the issuing officer’s name
in the “complainant” space.
2. Other Violations
Where other violations are noted, such as
equipment or driver’s license violations,
citations shall be issued in accordance
with the Statewide Traffic Code or other chapters of the HRS.
a. For category A collisions, the
violation sections and citation numbers
shall be listed on the SOH DOT-1-174C
form within the appropriate numbered block
for each unit. If there is insufficient
space, it shall be documented in the
investigative report. Facts substantiating
the issuance of the citation(s) shall also
be listed on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
b. For category B collisions, the violation
sections and citation numbers shall be listed
on the SOH DOT-1-174C form within the appropriate
numbered blocks. If there is insufficient space,
it shall be documented on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
c. For category C collisions, the violation sections
and citation numbers shall be listed on the Minor MVC Report in the CRS.
If any person injured as a result of an MVC is
confined to a medical facility in other than
critical condition, the court appearance date
for the party cited shall be set for the sixth
week from the date of occurrence, on the day
and hour for the applicable court (Honolulu,
Ewa, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, etc.) having jurisdiction.
1. An officer shall not arrest for any
traffic infraction as defined in Section 291D-2,
HRS, but may issue a traffic citation for any such violations.
2. The following shall apply when an officer
arrests a person for other than traffic infractions
and the person has also committed traffic infractions:
a. If the person is charged on the arrest,
the traffic infractions will be listed on the
booking so that the prosecutor can charge those
violations in court; or
b. If the person is released on the arrest,
the officer may cite for the traffic infractions
unless this person is released pending
investigation in a felony case.
3. If the incident is classified as a
category A collision, the facts substantiating
the arrest shall be included in the arrest report
and on the SOH DOT-1-174G form.
4. If the incident is classified as a
category B collision, the facts substantiating
the arrest need only be included in the arrest report.
When a juvenile is involved in an MVC involving
death, serious bodily injuries, or probable
felonious traffic-related offenses, the
procedures outlined in this directive and in
Policy 4.33, HANDLING JUVENILES, will be followed.
MAJOR TRAFFIC TIE-UPS
A. A field lieutenant shall respond to
all MVCs that create a major traffic tie-up.
1. Upon arrival, the field lieutenant
shall assess the situation and direct field
personnel, as needed.
a. Request assistance (e.g., additional
personnel, fire department, road maintenance).
b. Determine the preservation of the scene
for the VHS or the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
c. Address the need for alternative travel routes.
d. Address the need to notify the media.
e. Address the need to alter the scene.
2. If the lieutenant clears or alters
the collision scene prior to the arrival of
VHS and/or CID investigators, the lieutenant
shall submit an activity report explaining
the reason(s) for clearing or altering the scene.
B. The field sergeant shall direct all
field officers present and make every effort
to create an open traffic flow. Should the
field sergeant decide to clear the scene,
all vehicles and items of evidence moved or
removed shall be documented. The officer
removing the item(s) shall submit a detailed
activity report documenting his or her actions.
The field sergeant shall apprise VHS and/or CID
personnel of any scene alterations. The field
sergeant shall also submit an activity report,
including justification as to why the alteration was required.