This year has simply come and gone, www.accidentspecialist.co.za undertook to present a live high speed crash test (Rollover), unfortunately we have not yet been able to finalise this, however this will happen in time to come as we have secured the vehicles. Before the year was up, we decided to host a simple interactive refresher day, which was well received.
The event was kindly facilitated at the KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate weigh bridge facilities at Umdloti, Mr Neville Ennerson being the station head.
Attendees were all directly or closely involved in the field, and were introduced and advised on the basics of various pieces of equipment and technology that was made available throughout the day.
We made available our Nikon NPR352 Total Station, likewise Mr Stephan Vd Merwe of www.optron.co.za Durban was once again in attendance, and kindly allowed all to become acquainted with a fully robotic Total Station, the Trimble VX Spatial Station, and likewise the Trimble CX scanner, some hugely impressive and practical equipment.
The results of actual scanning, measuring and imagery from the equipment at the site also displayed.
The writer, Warrant Officer Terry Murphy and Mark Roberts gave a brief demonstration of various link sticks1, their basic makeup and appropriate use. Mr Graham Sessions of www.msoftware.co.za also displaying a simple but effective remotely triggered camera device that he personally built for the link stick:
Graham also introduced and reviewed the Photomodeler software, also undertaking a practical session with the software, displaying the output product from actual application on the day.
We made available our yaw jig, reviewing the basic construction and practical use thereof.
The basic understanding of coefficient of friction was highlighted, with specific reference to the building and use of drag sleds, and likewise use of specialised electronic measuring equipment for this purpose, three different types of sleds made available for analysis.
A very basic, but practical session was undertaken in creating yaw marks (beginnings thereof, not full yaw) and the identification thereof; harsh acceleration marks were also created so as to allow the identification of factors such as track width, drive wheels and striations. This included the appropriate marking off of evidential marks for measuring and photography.
Use was also made of a “run flat device”, allowing the creation of tyre marks created where a tyre has suddenly deflated, allowing the identification and consideration thereof.
The basic understanding of seatbelt function and the identification of key evidential factors on the seatbelt when examining the belt, such as loading marks, transfer marks, cut belts, blood deposits and other factors were highlighted, with various examples of these evidential factors made available for examination.
Discussion and examples of various inertial reels, and pretensioner systems was also undertaken.
An inspection on light bulbs was also undertaken, where examples of “hot shock”, “cold shock” and different types of bulbs was highlighted. Attendees were also afforded the opportunity to make use of a high power Bausch & Lomb microscope to inspect the examples.
Various examples of new and “used airbags were made available. Deployment of an airbag was also undertaken to allow attendees to experience firsthand the results thereof; an infant doll was placed on the airbag to allow a rudimentary indication of the force of deployment of the airbag.
The day was well received, and served not only as basic training, but as a refresher and a highlight as to some of the equipment and many aspects that make up the field of accident investigation & reconstruction.