Nova Scotia RCMP say although the public may get frustrated about road or highway closures after a collision, it’s necessary.
“We understand it’s a huge inconvenience,” said RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson in an interview. “But that could be someone’s daughter, mother, wife.”
With the number of serious injury and fatal collisions increasing, Hutchinson said the RCMP wanted to demonstrate the collision analysis and reconstruction services (CARS) unit’s responsibilities at a scene.
After speaking with investigators already on scene, identifying and marking evidence and taking photos, a robotic total station is set up. A stationary camera on the survey tool follows an officer’s movements, while collecting measurements and point locations.
Cpl. David McLean, a collision reconstructionist, used a prism pole to mark points around a mock scene in Dartmouth on Tuesday morning.
The time it takes to survey a collision scene has been cut in half thanks to the survey tool, said Cpl. Corey Ford, acting division CARS manager, who believes the Nova Scotia RCMP are the only ones in Atlantic Canada using the robotic total station.
“We’re closing down and slowing down the travelling public,” said Ford. “So if we can do anything to mitigate that, certainly we want to be part of it.”
The information from the robotic total station is used to recreate a two-dimensional scale drawing. If charges are pursued, all information collected by the RCMP unit goes through the courts.
“Seatbelt use is quite obvious and apparent when it’s not in play for us when we arrive on scene,” said Ford, noting oftentimes the person is ejected.
“We’ve arrived at several, sadly, several fatal collisions where the occupant life space or the interior of the car is still in shape and there’s somebody killed from that collision,” the acting division manager said.
Thirty per cent of people who died in fatal collisions this year could be alive if they used their seatbelt, said Hutchinson.
“Unfortunately people make choices that not only impact themselves, but everyone else out on our roads today, so we’re asking people to make wise choices,” said the Halifax District RCMP media relations officer.