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Traffic Crash Investigation and Traffic Incident Management


Traffic Crash Investigation and Traffic Incident Management Factors to Consider Special Needs: Timely Notification of Medical Examiner Map it now or come back later ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Traffic Crash Investigation and Traffic Incident Management

Traffic Crash Investigation and Traffic Incident
What is Traffic Incident Management?
  • Traffic Incident Management is the process of
    coordinating the resources of different
    partnering agencies and private sector companies
    to identify, respond to, and clear traffic
    incidents as quickly as possible while protecting
    the safety of on-scene responders and the
    traveling public.

Why do we need it here?
  • Metro area growth has resulted in increased
    traffic volume and congestion
  • To accommodate traffic volume shoulders have been
    reduced and / or eliminated in lieu of additional
    travel lanes

Related Problems
  • Kansas City is second only to New York City when
    it comes to incident related traffic congestion
  • Higher number of secondary collisions and
  • For every minute traffic is shut down on a busy
    highway the traffic jam builds one mile.

Related Problems
  • Economic Impact FHWA has translated the average
    20-minute lane blockage into a monetary figure to
    show how freeway incidents directly affect the
    national economy. If one lane of a three-lane
    freeway is blocked for 20 minutes assuming the
    freeway is running at capacity the delay caused
    to motorists will exceed 1,200 vehicle hours. At
    the FHWA-assigned value of 4.00 per hour for
    each vehicle hour of delay the cost of the
    incident due to the delay alone is approximately
  • Increased Pollution

Missouri Traffic Incident Management Summit Sept.
  • National Overview FHWA and NTIMC
  • Nature of Problem from Safety and Congestion
  • Law Enforcement TIM Practices and Challenges
  • MODOTs Perspective

What is the Traffic Incident Management
National Unified Goal?
  • Responder Safety
  • Safe, Quick Clearance and
  • Prompt, Reliable, Interoperable Communications.

State Regional TIM Program Elements
  • Strategic Program Plans
  • Partnership Agreements MOUs
  • Emergency Transportation TIM Operations
    Response Plans
  • Guidelines Laws Scene Management Guidelines,
    Move Over, Steer It/Clear It, etc.
  • Services Motorist Assist Patrols, Reconstruction
    Teams, Traffic Management Teams, etc.

TIM Summit OutcomeGoals and Objectives
  • MUTCD Compliance, reflective garments, signage
  • Quick Clearance 90 minute Target
  • MODOT Promises Assistance and Support recovery
    and clean up, traffic control,
  • Treat Highway Crash Scenes as temporary work

What if?
Sometimes You Have No Choice The Road Must Be
Closed, But
  • Closed Closed
  • Closed Does Not Safe
  • Adequate Resources Needed For Safety (District
    Officers, Traffic Crews, Personnel from other
    zones, MODOT, Signs, etc.)

Putting It Into Perspective
  • The longer an incident is in place, the greater
    the risk for secondary collisions.
  • and
  • The longer incident responders are vulnerable,
    and exposed to chance of injury.

Increased Risk to Responders
Increased Risk to Citizens
Improper Traffic Control
Proper Traffic Control
The KCPD Experience
KCPD Prior to 2007 TIM Summit
  • Priority was on conducting the investigation with
    no consideration given to implications of a
    complete highway shut down, or emphasis on
    clearing the roadway. 4 to 6 hours not uncommon.
  • Relied on traffic enforcement crews with many of
    them being on motorcycles or district officers to
    handle traffic control

KCPD Prior to 2007 TIM Summit
  • At the mercy of tow companies to clean up scene.
    No control over the time or method of recovery.
  • Less than optimal working relationship with KCFD.
  • Poor Communications Internal and External
  • Did not use available resources to advantage.

KCPD Prior to 2007 TIM Summit
  • Lacked efficient scene management (No Plan)
  • Typically would not call Medical Examiner until
    after everything was done
  • Typically would not call for tow trucks until
    after everything was done
  • Did not play well with others

KCPD Prior to 2007 TIM Summit
  • Began using total stations in 2001 purchased with
    MCSAP and Grant Funds
  • Only 2 of the 4 Total Stations used by VCS
    personnel had reflector-less measuring
    capability. (Required officer with prism pole in
    the roadway to take measurements.)
  • As a unit did not use technology to advantage
  • Different levels of competence with equipment.
  • Responding personnel did not function as a team.

Total Station (Survey Instrument) used to Measure
Scenes by VCS Personnel
KCPD Commitment 2007 TIM Summit
  • Chief Corwin supports the Traffic Incident
    Management program as long it does not compromise
    the integrity of an investigation by our agency,
    or jeopardize the safety of our personnel.

After the Summit
  • A New Beginning
  • 720 Squad Test Case

The Crash Team Concept
  • Many agencies have established Crash Teams but
    what does this really mean?
  • Is it anything more than just a title?

To be Effective The Crash Team
  • Must really function as a team
  • Organized, coordinated team approach to scene
  • Divide and share responsibilities
  • Have a plan
  • Set goals and objectives, targeted results

MODOT Assistance
  • Traffic Control, Manpower, Resources, cones
  • Incident Warning Signs
  • Provided equipment (2 new reflector-less total
    stations, new digital cameras and flashes)

VCS 720 Squad
  • Sgt. Bill Mahoney 720
  • PO Bill Johnson 721
  • PO Paul Luster 722
  • PO Ron Reilly 723
  • PO Jamie Lamb 724

KCPD 720 Squad
  • Functions as a team
  • Supervisor is more of a coordinator
  • Lead Officer handling crash usually dictates
    roles of other team members
  • All members work in concert to accomplish goals
  • Limiting the time a roadway is closed is now
    factored into action plan. The target is 90
    minute clearance.

Shared Responsibilities
  • Gather Information, vehicle, witnesses, etc.,
  • Photographs
  • Scene Documentation and Evidence Collection
  • Interviews / Statements involved parties,
  • Clean Up, Vehicle Removal

Supervisors Role Still In Charge But
  • Coordinates Response enhanced team
    investigation using other TIU elements.
  • Resource Allocation
  • Organizational Support
  • Manages Media at the Scene
  • Handles Notifications
  • Runs Interference Allows us to do our job

Supporting Patrol
  • 720 squad members are active during rush hour,
    special events, bad weather, and other high
    traffic periods.
  • Emphasis on highway incidents.
  • Objective is to keep patrol division resources
    available for non traffic related calls.

During Test Period 720 Squad Handled
  • 1,945 calls for service
  • 50 fatality Crashes
  • 318 Injury Crashes
  • 235 Non Injury Crashes
  • 77 Complete Crash Reconstructions
  • 83 Police Vehicular Crashes
  • 80 Commercial Vehicle Crashes

Factors to Consider
  • Special Needs
  • Timely Notification of Medical Examiner
  • Map it now or come back later
  • Traffic Control / Incident Signs for highway
    scenes, update TOC
  • Arrange tows or turn scene over to MODOT for
    clean up

Highway IncidentsMapping it now or Later?
  • Investigators Safety?
  • Time of Day and Traffic Volume?
  • Location, Special Events, etc.?
  • Sufficient Resources Available?
  • How much of the scene will require mapping
    personnel to be in the roadway?

Highway IncidentsMapping it Now or Later?
  • Can the scene be shot from another vantage point
    using a reflector-less instrument? (overpass,
    roadside, ramp, etc.)
  • Use available technology and resources to your

  • The following 2 maps were shot using a
    reflector-less total station without having the
    road closed or officers in the roadway.

I-670 and Locust
Cookingham and I-435 (West)
Mapping it Now
  • Document evidence located in the roadway first,
    and work across the roadway so individual lanes
    that can be reopened before you measure things
    that can be done later such as shoulders,
    pavement edges, roadside signs and objects.
  • Document vehicle locations and positions and tow
    them away.

Turning Scene over to MODOT
  • MODOT can provide equipment to clear roadway.
  • MODOT can arrange tows with proper resources to
    expedite recovery.
  • MODOT will assume responsibility for scene.
  • MODOT can set conditions for tow companies to
    handle removal.

The Results
KC Scout / MODOT Data
  • Kansas City experience on KCMO instrumented
    routes. Secondary Accidents reduced by 47
    Average Time to Clear Incidents went from 39.1
    minutes to 22.3 minutes. Marking a 16.8 minute
    reduction in how long cars are in the roadway.
    Of course this has a direct reflection on the
    secondary routes also. The time to clear a
    back-up went from 11.1 minutes to 5.6, a 5.5
    minute reduction in the time it takes to clear
    the back-up from incidents 122 increase (year
    to date) in traffic fatalities 2008

The Real Difference
  • For level 3 incidents (90 minutes and above)
    fatalities, huge wrecks, hazardous materiel
    etc.....We have shaved 111 minutes off of the
    incident duration.  Almost 2 hours has been
    eliminated due to these incident management
    efforts. This is a huge economic, safety and
    secondary crash benefit.

Our Findings
  • 90 minute clearance time is not unrealistic.
  • Investigations have not been compromised
  • Shared responsibilities have actually improved
    the quality of our investigations and enhanced
    performance of our squad.
  • Improved relationship with KCFD and others