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At the Scene of the Crash

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
2 pages
This article describes a week-long course offered by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)-Rocky Mountain that updates law enforcement officers on current crash-scene technologies.
The course is a mix of classroom presentations and hands-on exercises designed for experienced crash-scene investigators who deal with major accidents. One basic area covered in the course is mapping technology, which involves tools that capture data on the scene, as well as computer-aided drafting or mapping software that diagrams the scene. A second area covered is black box technology, which includes a field trip to a salvage yard for the purpose of extracting data from a black box onboard a wrecked vehicle. Depending on the manufacturer, the black box provides such information as how many people were in the car, how fast it was going at impact, and whether or not the seatbelts were buckled. A third area covered in the course is reconstruction management and calculation software, which performs the calculations and analysis of field data. Using computer aided procedures and appropriate software, along with laser-enhanced measurement techniques, the course shows that a single officer can diagram and chart an entire accident scene in a fraction of the time it would have taken a team of investigators using traditional manual methods. The course is offered at no cost to law enforcement officers in a 10-State region (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming).

Date Published: January 1, 2004