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NCJ Number: 165196 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Approaching Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Crashes
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1996)  Pages:37-38
Corporate Author: US Dept of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 2
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
Washington, DC 20590
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides guidelines for training police officers in managing alternative-fueled vehicle crashes.
Abstract: Cars, trucks, and buses that use new fuel sources are already being sold and can be found in many parts of the United States. These flexible-fuel vehicles can operate on gasoline or ethanol (E85)/methanol (M85), compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas, and electric batteries. The Federal Government estimates that there are at least 360,000 alternative- fuel vehicles on the road today. Experience shows that giving first responders information and training about alternative-fuels technologies will help allay their fears and secure greater public confidence in rescue procedures. At crash scenes, officers should know how to identify alternative fuel vehicles by their respective placards and equipment. When working around one of these vehicles, officers should know how to first stabilize it and secure it with brakes or wheel chocks. If such a vehicle is on fire or officers detect a leak, they should be trained to secure the scene and keep bystanders away. Also, officers should never use burning flares to secure such a scene. Further, officers should be cautioned that both methanol and ethanol burn bright blue, and the flames may be almost invisible on a bright day. When approaching electric vehicles at a crash scene, officers should be aware of toxic vapors, gases, and fumes, even after the fire is out. They should avoid contact with fluids, since some can cause burns. If there is no fire, smoke, or leakage, officers should approach the vehicle, turn off the driver's key switch, set the brakes, or use wheel chocks. The switch to shut down the high voltage should be turned off. Police agencies should keep track of the number and types of alternative-fuel vehicles registered in their State.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Traffic accident management; Traffic accidents; Traffic law enforcement training
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