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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75553 Find in a Library
Title: Evidential Value of Automobile Paint, Part 2 - Frequency of Occurrence of Topcoat Colors
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:64-74
Author(s): S G Ryland; R J Kopec; P N Somerville
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Needed by forensic scientists to assess the evidential value of automotive paint exhibits, this study analyzed the automobile topcoat color distribution for vehicles in the Eastern United States.
Abstract: This study was conducted in two phases: first, general color groups and second, more specific color groups. During the first phase, data were collected from June to August of 1979. Automobile topcoat colors of vehicles on the road were recorded both fron stationary observation points and from a moving vehicle. Random sampling was undertaken on rural and city roads as well as on interstate highways. Half of the vehicles were counted within the State of Florida (21,444) and an additional 21,563 vehicles were counted in several Eastern States (Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York) in order to detect any variation in topcoat color frequency attributable to geographic location. Fourteen general color groups were chosen: black, blue, brown, gold/bronze, gray, green, orange, purple, red, maroon, pink, off-white/beige, white, and yellow. By repetitive counting in smaller groups, an attempt was made to ascertain empirically the number of vehicles necessary for a representative sample of cars on the road. In the second part of the project, topcoat colors were recorded on 2,018 randomly sampled automobiles in public parking lots in central Florida during the period of August to November 1979. By observing stationary vehicles at close quarters, more time was available for careful discrimination and recording of topcoat color than in the first phase. As a result, metallic and nonmetallic finishes were distinguished and additional color groups were added (green-blue, red-brown, yellow-green, red-orange, and off-white) and additional differentiations were made in the initial list. The distribution of colors in the States was found similar in both surveys. It is recommended that the data should be accumulated and verified by examiners in their own areas with a sample size of their choosing. Statistical tables and nine references are included.
Index Term(s): Automobiles; Evidence; Mid-Atlantic States; Paint analysis; Southeastern States
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