The Smooth Operator Program is a public safety initiative, which aims to provide education, information and solutions for the problem of aggressive driving. For nearly ten years, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have partnered through the Smooth Operator Program to combat aggressive driving. Law enforcement agencies, trauma experts, government officials and other professionals have worked together to educate motorists of the risks involved with aggressive driving, and to stigmatize aggressive driving behavior on our roads. The major complaint of motorists in the Washington area is when their normal commuter route is closed. Roadways closed due to serious vehicle collisions often cause severe traffic delays and frustration to motorists who are either trapped on a roadway or forced to divert onto unfamiliar routes. To address this issue, the United States Park Police are implementing new technology called photogrammetry, which will enable us to open roadways as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of the investigation. This technology will allow us to document serious vehicle collisions in a more thorough and timely manner. Photogrammetry is a software program that uses a calibrated digital camera and numbered markers to create three-dimensional scale diagrams.
Prior to acquiring this new technology, the United States Park Police relied on the use of total stations, a good tool primarily utilized by surveyors, to document and reconstruct serious vehicle collisions. Both total station and photogrammetry are equally accurate in producing high-quality diagrams of a scene;however, photogrammetry offers a time-saving advantage that makes it a worthwhile investment to our Force and the public. Whereas the total station requires more effort and time to setup and document a scene, the use of photogrammetry is simple to use, allowing most scenes to be documented quickly. This will allow roadways to reopen sooner for motorists forced to divert to other roadways or who wait while a roadway is closed for an investigation. The shortening of documentation time will also aid in the reduction of secondary collisions, which can cause further traffic issues. The use of photogrammetry will supplement other traditional methods of documenting serious incidents.
Last updated: March 21, 2015