The original “Three E’s” of road safety* are still perfectly valid, even though more categories have now been added, but one of the originals — Enforcement — is my own career background and is therefore of particular interest and importance to me.
The main purpose of my visit to the Dekalb County Police Department, to the east side of Atlanta, Georgia, last week, was to discuss and observe traffic law enforcement and crash investigations. My host for the day was MPO Brian Whelchel.
Shortly after we went out in a cruiser, with me on a ‘ride-along’, Officer Whelchel was informed of what in my own years as a traffic patrol police officer in Britain, we referred to as a road traffic crash [RTC] with injury.
On went the blue lights and sirens, and away we went — a very familiar scenario that brought back memories!
As we approached the scene of the collision, the three-lane highway suddenly had five lines of vehicles.
What exactly is it about drivers who — knowing that emergency vehicles need to be able to get to the scenes of crashes to help injured people — still think their own journey is more important, so they block the shoulder and even nearby grass areas in a futile attempt to get by?
See: Should the USA Adopt the ‘Safety Corridor’ Approach for Crash Scenes?
At the scene itself, when we eventually got through, a BMW sedan had allegedly collided with the rear of a moving Ford cargo van, knocking the van off the highway and down a slope, where it had rolled over.
Marks on the road surface indicated that the initial collision had occurred in the right-hand lane but that was only my own observation and not a conclusion from investigating officers.
The sedan, meanwhile, had clearly skidded to the median where it had struck the guard/guide cables.
It is our intention to add further posts relating to conversations on related topics that I had during what proved to be an excellent day with the Dekalb Police, and links will be added below, as and when this happens.
From accounts at the scene, the injuries created by this collision were not life-threatening and hopefully not life-changing, which at the end of the day is the most important aspect.
*An additional, explanatory article will follow shortly regarding the “E’s” and the “pillars” of road safety.