Wed | Sep 19, 2018

UPDATE: Crash course

Published:Sunday | February 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMChad Bryan
Executive director of the National Road Safety Council, Paula Fletcher.
A Toyota Corolla and Toyota Land Cruiser being taken away by a wrecker after a crash at the intersection of East and Charles Streets in Kingston in 2006.
A taxi in tatters after an accident along the Portmore leg of Highway 2000 in 2012.
Police and Hawkeye representatives gather information at the scene of an accident along East Street in Kingston, last month.

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), in partnership with the National Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, will soon be offering a course in traffic crash investigating and reporting.

The course, which is being offered through CMI's School of Advanced Skills, will run from March 17 to May 18. Classroom sessions will be held on the sixth floor of the Air Jamaica building in downtown Kingston. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Prospective students should fit a particular profile. "We are looking for persons who have completed secondary school education with a pass in mathematics or physics or individuals who have professional training in this field. We are looking at police officers; we are looking at persons who do road safety and lawyers," said director of the CMI's School of Advanced Skills Osric Forrest.

The 10-week course, with over 50 contact hours, is expected to cost students $60,750. It responds to the needs of insurance, transportation, logistics, and other industries requiring the services of trained and certified traffic crash investigators. Previously, these persons had to be trained overseas.

Although the programme will initially be offered in Jamaica, there are plans to conduct the traffic crash investigating and reporting training in other Caribbean territories.

In addition to the classroom sessions, the course will encompass fieldwork and practical exercises which include road user collision analysis, photographing crash scenes, evidence gathering and recording, the crash investigation and reporting process, interviewing techniques, preparing the collision report, and roadside safety.

scientific advancement

The content and approach are reflective of a changing environment around the field. "The whole art of traffic investigation is not as it was before. You have more science behind it. So it is important that our local persons be trained in, or be exposed to, the competencies that are needed and also certified to international standard," said Forrest.

An ISO: 9001:2008 certified course, it will be delivered by lecturers certified through the Institute of Police Technology and Management at the University of North Florida and the United Kingdom-based Aston University.

At the end of the training, participants will receive a certificate of training approved by the National Road Safety Unit in the Transport Ministry.

Executive Director of the NRSC Paula Fletcher stated that the course is necessary.

"It is beneficial because it will be building a core of persons to investigate crashes. That was always the next step for us in Jamaica - to get the various type of expertise to take us along the road in traffic crash investigation. We have to continue adding to the corps of persons available to do these kinds of things. We need to get more scientific and use technology," Fletcher said.

*Previously, this story had incorrectly said the course cost was $10,650. That cost is actually $60,750. We regret the error