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View Full Version : Traffic Template... Do you still use them?



ArmyDiver
01-22-2011, 06:54 PM
I'm going through all my stuff for the academy and I was checking out the "Traffic Template" that we had to purchase. (Stencil and other info) Do departments still use these or is there a more effective computer program that traffic officers can use. It'll be interesting to use but it just seems like it would take a ridiculous amount of time. Just curious how things will change from academy to dept.

westside popo
01-22-2011, 07:34 PM
I would say it depends on the department. The one I worked at, we completed a hand written accident report at the scene then used it to complete the official computer generated form. The computer generated form was the one issued to the public.
I would keep the template just in case the computers crashed. Your agency may require you to complete the reports differently than how you were trained at the academy. Mine did.

OneAdam12
01-22-2011, 08:08 PM
When you have worked accidents all day the template will have proved its' worth to you.

I used it for estimating minimum POI speed. You can almost guess at the CF, measure the skidmarks, and determine minimum speed using the template on scene. You don't cite unless it was really excessive based on this guess. Remember the visible skidmarks are not the complete braking distance. There is a shadow distance before the skidmarks starts. This is why you determine minimum speed.

DACP
01-22-2011, 09:02 PM
I use my template more than I use the computer. They both have there place so it would be a good idea to keep one around if you have to do accident reports.

mikeymedic
01-22-2011, 09:10 PM
As a traffic investigator...hell yes. I use it for quick speed calculations on the nomograph. Make for a handy-dandy little clinometer in the field as well.

PhilipCal
01-22-2011, 09:15 PM
Hang on to your template!!

ArmyDiver
01-22-2011, 09:34 PM
Sounds like a plan. Thanks for the info. Sounds like departments haven't found anything that works much better.

Jiu-Jitsu Cop
01-23-2011, 01:15 AM
I do traffic investigations but I tend not to use mine too much. I have all of my formulas programed into my calculator and most of my reports are done on a computer. I did have to learn all of the formulas when I was going through school (intermediate and advance were not fun to me). We are switching over to a "total station" which is total computer generated drawings, etc. Of course I work in a small city (3 sq. miles) and I have alot of info already programed in. If I worked in a larger area I would probably use it more.

zhakkar
01-23-2011, 09:05 AM
Absolutely, I use it for every field sketch I do.

HotSoup
01-23-2011, 10:45 AM
I still use mine....the computer program that they have available is just a huge pain in the azz that I'd rather just draw it out using the template. The thing is 14 years old and still going strong LOL

VA Dutch
01-23-2011, 01:04 PM
Gotta love the template symbol for the "deer" that ends up in the road.

MT Guy
01-23-2011, 02:25 PM
computer program to do crash reports, whats that??? lol, yep i use my template on all my crash reports becase they are all done by hand. this is why i hate doing them and always try to go the exchange information route instead

Dingo990
01-23-2011, 03:08 PM
Easy Street draw. So awesome, haven't touched my template in years. I can diagram even a fairly involved wreck in less than 10 minutes if I already have the intersection on file.

just joe
01-23-2011, 05:39 PM
What exactly is a computer program for crash reports?

oneoldcop
01-23-2011, 07:57 PM
Easy Street draw. So awesome, haven't touched my template in years. I can diagram even a fairly involved wreck in less than 10 minutes if I already have the intersection on file.

This, and here the state supplies the software on the accident reports...we have a wonderful system. Wow, I can't believe I just gave the state credit for doing something right.

just joe
01-23-2011, 07:59 PM
^^^You just jinxed yourself. They'll start screwing with YOUR retirement account tomorrow.

stormz5192
01-23-2011, 08:10 PM
Nope, computer all the way.

celltechrage
01-24-2011, 12:23 AM
My department uses "eCrash" for wrecks. I've never had to use a template/paper wreck report other than in the academy. I assigned to patrol and not "Crash Reconstruction" but I'm sure our "Crash Reconstructionists" have fancy electronic measuring devices.

Jiu-Jitsu Cop
01-24-2011, 01:13 AM
What exactly is a computer program for crash reports?

It is a traffic collision templet on a computer program. You just fill in the blanks on the face pages and then write the narrative. Two that we use are the "Total Station" and "crossroads." You may be able google them and get some info on them. I am sure there are many out there.

Seventy2002
01-24-2011, 04:28 AM
Washington State's electronic collision reporting program uses the Visual Statement (http://www.visualstatement.com/) drawing engine. I knew one guy who couldn't get the hang of it. He'd do everything but the diagram on the computer, print it out, and add the scene diagram by hand.
I love the computer but I always carry my template - it never crashes and it never needs batteries.

Resq14
01-24-2011, 04:48 AM
State of Maine uses its own electronic reporting and diagramming.. looks like they licensed portions of Easy Street Draw. Been digital for a long time.

I've never used a template for anything, academy or otherwise.

willbird
01-24-2011, 08:34 AM
When you have worked accidents all day the template will have proved its' worth to you.

I used it for estimating minimum POI speed. You can almost guess at the CF, measure the skidmarks, and determine minimum speed using the template on scene. You don't cite unless it was really excessive based on this guess. Remember the visible skidmarks are not the complete braking distance. There is a shadow distance before the skidmarks starts. This is why you determine minimum speed.

Have anti-lock brakes changed whether skid marks are present ?

BigDog4907
01-24-2011, 03:25 PM
Template, not even a chance of seeing computer generated crash reports in my dept before I retire. Also, don't set you template down anywhere at the dept....they seem to have a habit of disappearing!!! :)

Rblake
01-24-2011, 03:34 PM
I use the template for every crash diagram. I'm a terrible artist, so I'm sure everyone between me & the state of WI DOT accident section prefers I keep it that way. Apparently my dept has been changing to computerized citations/crash reports "w/i 6 months" for the last couple yrs.

mallninja
01-24-2011, 06:53 PM
Have anti-lock brakes changed whether skid marks are present ?

Nope, they are still visible just lighter and don't hang around as long.

Seventy2002
01-24-2011, 07:12 PM
Have anti-lock brakes changed whether skid marks are present ?
Yes. ABS will produce marks like a dashed-line. These marks may be very faint and transitory.

Jiu-Jitsu Cop
01-25-2011, 01:50 AM
The best way I can describe anti lock brakes marks are like the impending brake marks you would have on regular brakes. The impending marks are very light and hard to see unless you look real close.

willbird
01-25-2011, 08:57 AM
I was in an auto accident when I was 16 (way back in 1981), turned left in front of a guy driving a jeep(I never saw the guy until he hit me)....the officer noted the Jeep left 42 feet of skid marks in a 35 mph zone. That struck me as odd, I pled no contest but brought up the 42 feet of skid marks on dry pavement, the Judge really was not going to go into all of that.

Bill

Jiu-Jitsu Cop
01-25-2011, 09:58 PM
Willbird the simple formula to determine speed from a skid mark (not taking into condsideration of the damage of the vehicle and crush factor), is very simple. It is the square root of 30xDxF. That is 30 x distance of skid mark x coeffiecent of fricition. If it was on asphalt I would use .70. There are other factors also depending on whether it was old asphalt or new and the best way to determine is with a sled. But hey this is the internet. Sooooo....
30 x 42 feet of skids x .70
30(42)(.70) = 882
The square root of 882 is 29.69 MPH minimum speed.

So using the basic formula the guy was going a min. speed of 29 MPH


Willbird there are many things left out the equation, such as was it 2 or 4 wheel skid marks, were the brakes at full working order, was it a concrete, asphalt, grass, ice, etc for the formula. A crush factor would have to be figured into this. But simply 42 feet of skid marks on the statement alone is not that much. Also if you turned in front of the person, 99% of the time you will be at fault for unsafe turning movement. Sorry

willbird
01-26-2011, 01:20 AM
Willbird the simple formula to determine speed from a skid mark (not taking into condsideration of the damage of the vehicle and crush factor), is very simple. It is the square root of 30xDxF. That is 30 x distance of skid mark x coeffiecent of fricition. If it was on asphalt I would use .70. There are other factors also depending on whether it was old asphalt or new and the best way to determine is with a sled. But hey this is the internet. Sooooo....
30 x 42 feet of skids x .70
30(42)(.70) = 882
The square root of 882 is 29.69 MPH minimum speed.

So using the basic formula the guy was going a min. speed of 29 MPH


Willbird there are many things left out the equation, such as was it 2 or 4 wheel skid marks, were the brakes at full working order, was it a concrete, asphalt, grass, ice, etc for the formula. A crush factor would have to be figured into this. But simply 42 feet of skid marks on the statement alone is not that much. Also if you turned in front of the person, 99% of the time you will be at fault for unsafe turning movement. Sorry


It was so long ago that it does not matter any more :-)....interesting math info tho, and the skid marks were in a curved pattern. He had a Jeep CJ, I had a 1974 chevette (egads), the chevette was totalled, he had fairly minor damage (he drove away I did not)
I thought then, and still think now he came ripping out of the parking lot into the road as I turned left, but I was 16 then and young drivers make more mistakes :-)....at least nobody was seriously injured :-).

Jiu-Jitsu Cop
01-26-2011, 06:19 PM
The main thing when it comes to an accident is that everyone can walk away. I always say, cars can be fixed but people sometimes can not. Glad you were ok and in the end all things are good. :)