Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the young crew members working on the South Hunt Road project.

He shared an account of a traffic incident he was involved in a few days earlier and sought my advice on how to proceed.

He actually apologized for not being familiar with what to do, adding that the incident happened on a busy highway as darkness began to fall and was still a new driver.

I quickly told him there was no need to apologize as many drivers, rookies and experienced, encountered the same dilemma. No one expects to be involved in a crash but knowing what to do afterward can save you a lot of stress.

Traffic crashes, near misses and other incidents on the roadway are actually very common and sometimes quite upsetting.

We often hear about road rage, encounter aggressive drivers and share a common thought when driving: Where’s a cop when you need one?

The number of vehicles on our ways has never been higher, which means the opportunities for traffic incidents increase daily. It may be tough for police to address every incident but there are certainly times when you should get them involved.

Although I’m not patrolling the streets any longer, I am often asked for advice; the benefit of being in the profession for nearly 40 years, I guess.

One piece I always share is the importance of contacting police when you are involved in a traffic crash, even if it’s minor or your fault.

Sadly, scams are all too common and traffic crashes can provide an opportunity. In most cases, the parties involved exchange information and are able to resolve the matter. In some cases, one party may seek some quick cash, make threats or even commit insurance fraud.

In the event you are involved in a traffic crash, contact police for assistance. Don’t think you are bothering them or be deterred by the other parties who request you don’t.

Police officers may or may not need to file a report with the Registry of Motor Vehicles but they will assure you have all the information needed. They will also be able to document the visible damage and assist with questions and concerns.

A motorist who insists you do not call police could have an issue with their driver’s license or not be insured. It’s a good idea to take photos of the vehicles involved and to notify your insurance agent, even if you are not submitting a claim.

The roads will become slippery soon, meaning more crashes, so remember to call police if you happen to bump into someone.

On behalf of Chief Bailey and the staff at Amesbury PD, I wanted to wish readers a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

I hope your day is filled with great food, plenty of football and special time with family and friends.

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated last Saturday at the return of the Fill-A-Cruiser food drive to benefit Our Neighbors’ Table.

We were able to collect over 5,200 pounds of food and goods, and almost $1,500 in donations. This was a big increase over our 2019 totals: 3,700 pounds and $341, just in time for the holidays!

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