The Elmira Police Department Traffic Bureau is responsible for compliance of all motor vehicle laws, traffic accident documentation and investigation, accident reconstruction, and follow-up of all hit and run accidents in the City of Elmira. The Traffic Bureau oversees the hiring and deployment of crossing guards, manages special events and street closures, enforces parking regulations throughout the City, arranges police escorts for funeral processions and oversized vehicles, manages vehicle impounds and abandoned vehicle enforcement, and provides public services such as presentations, crime prevention tips, and traffic safety information.
In 2010 The Elmira Police Department investigated 1,147 Motor Vehicle Accidents. Of those accidents, 117 were injury accidents and 2 were fatal accidents. The driving errors that occurred the most often in traffic accidents were following too closely, failure to yield the right of way, unsafe backing, and hit-and-run. If you are involved in a traffic accident, whether major or minor, you should always report it. Use a cell phone or nearby phone to call 911 and report the accident. Tell the dispatcher of any injuries to yourself or anyone else involved. If there are no injuries, tell the dispatcher that you need a police officer on the scene for a police report.
All accidents with a personal injury or with $1,000 of damage to a vehicle MUST be reported by law. Most insurance companies require a police report for any claim that is filed for an accident. DO NOT exchange information with the other driver and expect to file a police report later. This often results in a delayed investigation that may be inconclusive. The other driver may change his or her story, and the Traffic Bureau may not be able to determine who is telling the truth. Tell the other driver that you have called for a police officer so a police report can be filed and to please wait until the officer arrives. They should not leave the scene until the officer completes the investigation. If there are any witnesses present, ask them to wait for the officer to arrive. If they cannot wait, get their name and phone number (address and license plate number are also useful). Tell witnesses that the police should be contacting them regarding the accident.
Copies of completed accident reports (MV-104) are available from the Department of Motor Vehicles for involved parties approximately 14 to 21days after the accident has been reported. Accident reports are also available through the Elmira Police Department at 317 E. Church St. Elmira, NY 14901 or on-line at:
To obtain an accident report from the Department of Motor Vehicles, click the button below to search the DMV website for the accident report or complete and submit DMV Form 198C, available below.
If you are in or if you witness a serious accident, render any assistance you can without putting yourself in danger. Call 911 or tell someone else to call 911 immediately. Do not move an injured person unless they are in danger from fire or other hazards. Wait for police, fire, and EMTs to respond and follow their directions upon arrival. Be prepared to provide as much information about the accident as possible, including the number of people in a vehicle, if known, and where they currently are. Emergency personnel will need to verify the whereabouts of everyone involved in the accident.
Vehicles that are left abandoned on City streets are towed and impounded if the owner cannot be contacted. If your vehicle breaks down or you experience problems that prevent you from moving the vehicle, leave a note on the windshield, or place a towel, jacket, shirt, or brightly colored clothing in the window to indicate an emergency situation. Call the Communications Center at (607) 735-8600 and tell the dispatcher where your vehicle is, the problem you are encountering, and when you expect to be able to move the vehicle. If the vehicle is in a heavy-traffic area, call 911 and request an officer to provide assistance and traffic diversion (if necessary).
To report an abandoned vehicle in your neighborhood or on the streets of the City of Elmira, call the Elmira Police Department at (607) 737-5641 or the Communications Center at (607) 735-8600.
City ordinance prohibits the storage of any motor vehicle that is not legally registered, insured, and licensed. Vehicles in violation of this ordinance may be towed away at the owner’s expense. Vehicles that are illegally parked or abandoned on City streets may also be towed away at the owner’s expense.
If your vehicle is towed by the City of Elmira, you will need to go to the Elmira Police Department Records Bureau, located in the Elmira Police Department Annex Building at 312 Lake Street, across the street from City Hall on the corner of Lake and Church Streets.
The Records Bureau is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 3:30pm. Go to the window and tell the clerk that your vehicle has been towed and you wish to retrieve it. PLEASE CALL AHEAD IF POSSIBLE – (607)737-5633
To retrieve your vehicle, you will need to pay the towing and storage fees (below) as well as correcting any legal problems that would prevent the vehicle from being driven (such as unlicensed, unregistered, or uninsured) unless the vehicle is towed from the impound lot.
Once your vehicle has been cleared for retrieval, go to the Impound Lot in front of the Department of Public Service at 840 Linden Place Extension from 1:00pm to 1:30pm Monday through Friday or by appointment. A Traffic Bureau officer will meet you at the impound lot to retrieve your vehicle.
The Elmira Police Department is always looking for substitute crossing guards for hire. Substitutes will report to one of 28 different locations twice per day when a regular crossing guard is unable to report to duty. Substitute candidates are required to have a phone, adequate transportation (motor vehicle), and be available for call in between 5:30am and 6:30am. Crossing guards are responsible for crossing elementary children only, except on Clemens Center Parkway. Full-time crossing guards are hired from the best substitutes. Regular crossing guards receive all school holidays off and vacation pay through the summer. They also receive a $125 clothing allowance. All crossing guards receive a vest, cones, stop sign, badge, and ball cap.
Those individuals interested in employment as a substitute crossing guard should complete the City of Elmira Employment Application and submit it to the Elmira Police Department Traffic Bureau. A criminal background check, physical, and urinalysis are also required prior to employment.
Download employment application
Mail completed application to:
Elmira Police Department Traffic Bureau
317 E. Church Street
Elmira, NY 14901
If you notice a sign is missing, damaged, or blocked by trees or other obstructions, report it directly to the Department of Public Works here. Please include Streets Division in the subject line, and specify the type of sign which needs to be replaced and what street/intersection the sign is on.
All new signage on the streets of the City of Elmira must first be approved by the Traffic Coordinating Board. If you feel your neighborhood needs a Highway Environment Sign such as a Deaf/Blind Child Area Sign or a specific Crossing Sign such as a Pedestrian Crossing or Deer Crossing sign, you will need to complete the Application for Highway Environment or Crossing Sign. If you feel your neighborhood is in need of a stop sign or other traffic control device, complete the Multi-Way Stop Sign Control Application.
These applications will be reviewed by the Traffic Coordinating Board, the Traffic Bureau, the Streets Division, the Fire Department, the City Engineer, and the City Manager to determine the need and impact from the addition of signage. Please understand that certain local, state, and federal laws may limit the city’s ability to place signage in particular areas. Research, traffic observation, and surveying may be necessary before any new signage can be approved.
For all other requests for signage, parking, street closings, traffic violations, or other safety concerns regarding City streets, complete the Application for Traffic Coordinating Board Review. All applicants will be required to attend the TCB meeting if your item is scheduled for review.
The Traffic Bureau oversees the Parking Enforcement Division. Parking Enforcement monitors parking meters, parking lots, and garages in the City of Elmira.
Parking regulations are not supposed to cause a hassle for our citizens and visitors to our City. It is designed to ensure a safe traffic flow, permit access for Public Works during inclement weather, and provide a consistent turnover of clients and shoppers in the Downtown District.
Follow the tips and advice in the Citizens Guide to Parking to prevent yourself from being ticketed or towed and to ease the frustration of parking your motor vehicle in the City of Elmira.
A Citizens Guide to Parking
The Traffic Bureau provides public services such as funeral and oversize vehicle escorts, crime prevention presentations, child safety materials, and neighborhood watch information. If you are in need of these services or if you would like to schedule a presentation, contact the Traffic Bureau by phone at (607) 737-5641 or click here to send an email.