FESA is an active Australian professional association collaborating in forensic technical investigations, reconstruction of accidents and failures, and research.
Established in 2008, we aim to -
Last meeting – Auburn Hotel, Melbourne
24 November 2016
“Traffic accident reconstruction”
25 people attended an excellent presentation by Victoria Police Detective Sergeant Jenelle Mehegan of the Major Collisions Unit and Detective Leading Snr Constable Mick Hardiman of the Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation Unit. They spoke on motor vehicle accident reconstruction, with excellent video, images and other material. Dr Mehegan is an engineer with a PhD in accident analysis and a Masters degree in Engineering (by research). Mick is following a similar path to advanced technical qualifications. They have several years of practical, hands-on experience at accident scenes and at court, which fact became quite evident during the session.
It was agreed with our speakers that this session would not be videoed or recorded (for posting on the website), so that the presentation and discussion could be frank, candid and free-flowing. We are planning to ask future speakers to prepare a website-ready summary of their talk, with images, for distant members.
After convivial FESA-funded drinks at the bar, we listened attentively to the presentation. Dinner was served midway. The material covered ranged across dash-cam evidence (there are many of them in use); red light and integrated speed cameras (likewise!); when the police special investigation units must attend; closing roads; working out directions of travel and impact; calculating initial speeds from projected damage or bodies; tyre marks; vehicle and tyre visible damage interpretation; air bag downloadable data (there’s lots of it); witnesses and their reliability; the weird things some people do; the extraordinary prevalence of methamphetamines in accidents (60% +); obtaining mobile phone traffic data; use of CCTV footage; tough times talking to families of victims; being called out at all hours; how reaction time calculations are being improved; the high burden of proof for prosecutors (“beyond reasonable doubt”) and the unpredictable outcomes from juries; what gets admitted as evidence, and what not.
This was an excellent meeting, and we thanked our presenters (organised by Secretary Adrian Grosvenor) profusely – before sending these two traffic accident specialists on their way with a bottle of wine each. Hmmm!
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