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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97829 Find in a Library
Title: Railroad Grade Crossing Accidents - Investigative Procedures
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Research and Development Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Arlington, VA 22201
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This training key provides guidelines for the effective investigation of railroad grade crossing accidents, with emphasis on cooperation between police and railroad representatives.
Abstract: The role of the police in such events is twofold: implementation of emergency procedures related to aiding the injured, controlling traffic, and gathering basic information and evidence in a thorough investigation of the accident. In addition to gathering vehicle identification and damage information, the investigator should thoroughly inspect the vehicle for factors which may have affected its performance immediately before the accident. Although faulty equipment on vehicles or at crossings does cause some accidents, the largest percentage are attributable to driver performance. Since a significant number of such accidents are believed to be attempted suicides, possible indicators of suicide should be noted, and the coroner or medical examiner should be advised of any suspicions. The investigation should examine train performance and railroad regulations in assessing contributing factors. A grade crossing examination should assess the position and functioning of warning devices, the terrain along with the approach to the crossing, the sight distance, and the roughness/smoothness of the crossing surface. Witness interviews should be conducted with survivors, other motorists and pedestrians, the train crew, and those who live or work in the vicinity of the crossing. Photographs are useful in documenting the scene at the time of the accident and should be taken from both track directions and from different vantage points. Questions on this material and their answers are provided.
Index Term(s): Accident investigation; Interagency cooperation; Investigative techniques; Procedure manuals; Railroad law enforcement; Traffic accidents; Traffic law enforcement training
Note: Training Key number 347.
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