The Collision Investigation Unit (CIU) attends every collision that results in a fatality and many collisions where life changing injuries occur.

It takes around a year to train as a forensic collision investigator and acquire the unique set of skills required to do this important job.

The team use specialist equipment to investigate collisions, including testing brake fluid, window tint depth, tyre depth, tyre pressure and vehicle brakes and suspension and anything else that may have been a factor in the collision.

They also work to  map the scene using GPS and direct line of sight surveying equipment to plot the location of the vehicles involved, marks and scuffs on the road and disturbances to the roadside vegetation to build a picture of what happened. This information can then be used in court later if required.

Road traffic collisions have a huge impact on those involved and their families. As well as helping in a potential court case, knowing how a collision happened can also help to bring closure to the families affected.

Drivers

The team also looks to understand the behaviour of the drivers involved in a collision. This includes testing eyesight, breathalysing drivers, testing for drug use and seizing drivers' mobile phones.

If the investigation finds that a device was in use at the time of the collision, this can lead to much more severe charges against the driver, with potentially a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

If you cause a tragedy by using your mobile phone while driving, it will be discovered and you will be held accountable.

Road closures

Unfortunately we do sometimes need to close roads following serious collisions to allow the team to do their job. This can take a while and cause delays to traffic. We understand the frustrations that delays cause and try to work as quickly as possible to minimise any disruption.

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