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Law Enforcement Officer Motor Vehicle Crash and Struck-by Fatality Investigations Program Report No. LEO 2014-01 - Sergeant Struck by a Motor Vehicle on Interstate Highway - New Mexico

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
19 pages
This report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examines the case of a law enforcement officer who was fatally injured when struck by a motorist while investigating several motor vehicle crashes on an interstate highway in New Mexico; provides a summary of contributing factors identified in the investigation; and proposes recommendations to help prevent similar occurrences.
This project is using the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) model to investigate motor vehicle-related occupational fatalities of law enforcement officers in the United States. These investigations are identifying risk factors for fatal motor vehicle-related events that will be used to construct prevention recommendations. These recommendations will be shared with law enforcement agencies across the U.S. with the goal of reducing law enforcement officer motor vehicle-related deaths. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences: 1) Law enforcement agencies should consider employing continuous size-ups by an officer in position to monitor the entire response scene and assess and manage the risks of operating at a highway/roadway incident; 2) Law enforcement agencies should consider implementing an incident command system when responding to highway/roadway incidents; 3) Law enforcement agencies should ensure that officers are provided with temporary traffic control devices and that additional traffic control resources are available to respond to escalating incidents; 4) Law enforcement agencies should ensure that officers wear suitable high-visibility, retro-reflective vests when operating at highway/roadway incidents; 5) State, county, and municipal authorities should consider developing pre-incident plans and standard operating procedures for traffic incident management in response to highway/roadway incidents; 6) Law enforcement agencies should ensure that all members receive training for conducting emergency operations at highway/roadway incidents; and 7) State, county and municipal authorities should consider implementing public awareness campaigns to inform motorists of the risks that law enforcement officers face while operating along the roadside and of the need to follow move-over laws.

Date Published: January 1, 2016