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BSCrim, MSBA, MACrim. PhDCrim



The history of transportation can be conveniently--if

over-simply--divided into period during which motive power
was most characteristically furnished by human and animal
muscle, by such natural forces as wind and gravity, and by
fuel-operated machines.


Stone Age man’s transportation of firewood and of

animals killed in the hunt probably led to the invention of
the sled. From the sled early man may have got the idea for
ski pieces of smooth board resembling sled runners but worn
on the feet of the hunter—and later of snowshoes. The first
watercraft, the man-powered raft and canoe, probably evolved
from the floating log.

The greatest advance in land transport after the sled

was the wheel, probably first invented in the Tigris-
Euphrates Valley sometime before 3500 BC. The ancient
Egyptians took little or no part in the invention. The
great blocks of stone that went to make the pyramids were
floated on barges down the Nile River and then moved over
land on sleds running on rollers. Gangs of slaves dragged
the blocks of stone by means of large ropes, while other
slaves at the rear of sled picked-up the rollers over which
the sled had passed and hurried around and place them at the
front. To raise the blocks of stone to their positions in
the pyramids, the Egyptian built ramps.

Animal Power

But while human muscle power was still in widespread

use for transport in ancient Egypt, animal muscle power was
being widely exploited in the other river valley
civilizations. The ox, the ass, and the camel were tamed
somewhere in the Middle East by 3000 BC. In arctic snows
the reindeer, which can carry a load of about 130 lbs. (60
kg.) without much effort, is still widely used. In the
higher altitudes of the Himalayas the yak, a species of ox,
is used as pack animal. In India the beast of burden is
often the elephant. In Peru the llama is domesticated and
used as pack animal.

The horse was tamed somewhere in its native habitat on

the steppes of Central Asia. The invention of the bit and
bridle before 3000 BC gave steppe folk control of the horse
for riding. The stirrup was not invented until Roman times,
probably somewhere in Western Asia. The earliest known
stirrups have been found in South Russia in tombs dating
from between 100 BC and 400 AD.

Until the invention of horse collar, about 900 AD,

horses were harnessed like oxen. A yoke passed over the
withers, and a strap tightened on the horse’s chest when it
pulled, half strangling the animal. The Romans, knowing
little anatomy, did not realize that a good harness for the
ox was a very poor harness for the horse. This fact
explains why the horse was little used as a draft animal
until late in the middle ages, whereas the ox almost
universally used as draft animal from 3000 BC. Where the
horse was used for transportation during the middle ages, it
was mainly as a pack carrier at its sides.

Another invention that played a great part in the

history of transportation was the horseshoe. In its wild
state the horse can gallop for long-distance on soft grass
of the Asiatic steppes. But if it is driven on a hard, metal
road its soft hoofs soon become broken and it goes lame. An
iron horseshoe, mailed around the edge of the hard hoof,
stops the hoof from breaking away. It appears that the iron
horseshoe was invented in Gaul about the time of Julius
Caesar, and taken to Britain soon afterward.

Wind Power

Primitive man may have hoisted crude sails of skins on

his rafts of canoes, for there is clear evidence of the
migration of peoples over wide stretches of ocean long

before 3000 BC. The ships of Egypt, Phoenix, and Greece were
driven partly by a large square sail of mid ships and partly
by oars. The war gallery, in which a greater degree of
maneuverability was needed, had narrower lines and depended
more on oars than did the trading vessels.

In other parts of the world the original dugout canoe

developed into different kinds of watercraft. In the North
Sea a ship that was sharp at both ends, like canoe,
developed, where as the Mediterranean type of vessel had a
rounded stern. In the Pacific, through rafts remained in the
use in some regions, a completely different type of ocean-
going watercraft, the outrigger canoe, developed. In Chinese
waters at junk appeared.

Mediterranean ships were all carvel built, that is, the

planks were placed side by side like the boards on a floor,
and the cracks between the boards made watertight with tar.
The ships of the North Sea, however, were made of
overlapping planks, or clinker built. North Sea ships had
only one steering oar, placed on the “steer board”, or
starboard, quarter, whereas the Mediterranean ships had two
steering oars one on each side of the stern. The rudder that
is used for steering in modern ships did not make its
appearance until about 1200 A.D.

A great aid to sea transportation reached Europe about

1300 AD in the form of the ships compass, a device first
known among Chinese sailors and then transmitted by the
Arabs. An important improvement in ship-building took place
about 1450 AD with the development of the three-master ship.
Thereafter the story of sea transportation is largely the
story of the conquest of the whole globe by the three-
mastered skin.

Roads and Vehicles

The Romans brought road building to its highest point

of perfection in ancient times. The Roman road network
reached a total of about 50,000 mi. (80,000 km.), with
“feeder” roads branching out from the main highways. The
roads were costly because Roman road engineers assumed that
deep foundations, formed by layer after of heavy stones were
necessary to make roads that would carry heavy traffic for
many years. This theory was not completely abandoned until

John L. Mc Adam perfected the macadamized road in England
about 1815. Realizing that dry native soil would support
any weight. Mc Adam made the surface of his roads completely
watertight and curved so that main would run off them as off
a roof. He did this pounding and rolling a layer of small
stones into a hard surface. This road remained the best
that could be devised until the rubber tires of the last

Significant improvement of road vehicle began with the

adoption of coach spring about 1650. In the mid 18th
century English roads were so bad that coaches could average
only about 4 mph (6.4 km/h), and the mail was usually
carried by boys on horses for delivering the mail. The
first mail coach run in March 1785 and by 1800 the English
mail coach system was in full swing.

Canals, railways, and steamboats. The improvement in

roads, in the horses and in coaches had solved the problem
of fast transportation of passengers and light freight, but
there still remained the problem of heavy transportation.
This problem was met first by the development of canals and
later by railroads.

In 1761, the Duke of Bridgewater arranged with an

engineer, Jones Brindley, to Manchester, 7 mi. (11 km) away.
As a result the price of coal dropped by half, while still
allowing the Duke plenty of profit on his investment.
Brindley’s success led to England, in particular was
covered by a network of canals. The first American canal,
opened in 1825, connected Lake Erie with the Hudson River at

English canals fell into decay with the coming of the

railroad. William Mardlock and Richard Trevthick had made
early types of locomotives before 1800. But it was George
Stephenson who pushed through the final stages of the fully
developed railway locomotive. Stephenson built his first
model in 1814 for use in hauling trucks of coal. The first
railroad was the Stockton and Darlington Line, begun in
1825. The second, the Liver Pool and Manchester, followed in

At first, it was certain that these early crude

locomotive should be more satisfactory than horses. It was
assumed that locomotives would not be able to haul heavy

loads up an incline, since the wheels, it was thought, would
spin without gripping the rails. This theory was later found
to be false, but only after long sections of English lines,
at great cost, had been made as near horizontal as possible.

By 1840 the English railways had put nearly all the

main coaching companies out of business, and the road ceased
to be an important factor in inland transportation until the
automobile era began about 1900. In the USA, the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad Company began work on the first American
railroad in 1828. Construction of Canada’s first railroad,
the Champlain and St. Lawrence, began in 1832. The
development of the steamboat proceeded simultaneously with
the development of the steam locomotive. Here the steam
engine was to impart a rotary motion to paddle wheels. The
first successful steamboat journey in USA was made by Robert
Fulton’s Clermont up to the Hudson River in 1807. By 1811
the first steamboat appeared on the Ohio River, inaugurating
the great steam boating era on the inland waterways.

The Bicycle

The bicycle is important in the history of

transportation, not only in its own right, but because of
the part of bicycle industry played as a nursery of
automobile builders. One of ancestors of the modern bicycle
was the Hob Horse, or Dandy Horse, which could be seen on
the English macadamized roads after 1818. The wheels of
these machines were of wood, with tires of iron, and the
riders pushed themselves along with their feet on the
ground. There was a steady improvement in the bicycle
throughout the 19th century, until the safety bicycle, with
pneumatic tires, at last appeared. Some of the earliest
automobiles ran on four bicycle wheels.

The Automobile

In England for some times after 1800 it seemed that the

future of mechanical road transportation with the steam
carriage. Stem traction engines were a familiar sight on
many roads throughout the world toward the end of the 19th
The future of mechanical road transport, however, lay
with vehicle driven by the internal combustion engine, the

invention of which usually attributed to the Frenchman
Etiene Lenoir. By 1865 there were 400 Lenoir gas engines in
France doing such light work as cutting chaff and driving of
the modern automobile when he put toward the invention of
the modern automobile when he put one of this as engines in
a carriage and drove around his factory. This carriage also
made a journey of some miles to Paris.

Two German inventors, Nicolaus Otto and Gottlieb

Daimler, also pioneered the manufacture of gas engines, and
Daimler later became a successful manufacturer of
automobiles. At the same time a small array of inventors
was at work in various countries on the development of early
types of automobiles. The invention of the pneumatic
bicycle tire by Scott, John Boyd Dunlop in 1988 gave a
tremendous impetus to this early work.

Air Transport

Not until the development of the internal combustion

engine can the era of air transportation be said to have
begun. Men were making balloon and flights, however, or
more than a century before Wilbur and Orville Wright made
their famous first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina,
USA, in 1903. The progress of air transportation was
hastened by World Wars I and II. An important advances in
aircraft propulsion occurred with the invention of the jet
engine. Until this invention practically every great
advance in transportation techniques had been the result of
the application of the principle of rotary motion.

The jet engine has made possible speeds that could

never had been attained by the rotary action of the air-crew
is effective only in the earth’s atmosphere. The rocket,
however is effective beyond the earth’s atmosphere, and its
development has opened up the era of space exploration and
interplanetary travel.

The Word Traffic

The word traffic originates from Greco-Roman word

“Trafico” with reference to the movement of people that
dates back from the dawns of history: from the domesticated
horse-drawn wheels to horseless carriage. The Greek

originally called the system “Trafriga” after the early
horse-drawn chariots with spoked wheels. If savants of Rome
are to believed, there is no dispute that the word “Trafico”
is a Greco-Roman word, but the word traffic was created from
the famous “Trafalgar Square,” the hub-center of commerce
and culture in the heart of London.

But in Latin, the word traffic is denominated as

“Commercium” with reference to the movement and control of
goods in transit from un-wheeled axle to horseless carriage.
This intellectual discourse of discoveries only reinforced
the universal dictum that traffic refers to the movement of
people and goods and not vehicle. Perhaps this is the
missing jewels in the systematic strategies of traffic

Legal Basis in the Traffic Management Process

1. Republic Act No. 4136, “The Land Transportation

Code of the Philippines, as Amended”.

2. Republic Act No. 7160, “The Act Providing for a

Local Government Code of 1991”.

Definition of Traffic Management

Traffic Management presupposes an understanding of the

motivation behind the behavior of motorist, commuters, and
pedestrians. Any attempt to redirect their behavior without
understanding will not be able to effectively solve the
traffic problems.

Innovative Policy to Address Traffic Problems

1. Reiterate the use of public roadways as a matter

of privilege and not as matter of right.

2. All forms of privatization of public thoroughfares

should be controlled.

3. Must encourage the development of a mass transport

system and de-emphasize the use of private vehicles.

The Main Tasks Required to Improve Traffic Management

1. Consolidate the single road use handbook, all the

traffic laws, rules and regulations, guidelines, must be
revised and issued yearly.

2. Ensure that each traffic user is trained and


3. Revalidate all drivers’ licenses and all

certificates of vehicle registration.

4. Clear the road network of obstructions.

5. Streamlining the traffic adjudication process.

6. Fast-track the shift to a mass transit system.

7. Complete the basic framework of the road network.

Causes of Traffic Congestion

1. Immediate

Congestion grows most obviously and at alarming rate

primarily in areas experiencing rapid population growth,
which cause parallel increase in the ownership and u se of
automotive vehicles.

2. Long-Term

Commuting during certain hours add considerably to

traffic congestion. The so-called “rush-hours” are
concentrated in relatively short period each day, mainly
from 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning and from 5:00 to 7:00 in
the evening, when most people rush to and from work.

Strategies in Resolving Traffic Congestion

1. Supply-Side Strategy

Expansion of the peak-hour carrying capacity of an
area’s transportation system seems to be the most
intuitively obvious response to greater congestion can be
implemented through diverse means: 1) Building more roads or
widening existing ones in areas that have experienced rapid
growth; and 2) making transportation systems more efficient.

2. Demand Side

One of the demand-side tactics transportation economist

advocate is peak-hour pricing. This is achieved by charging
all drivers who use crowded highways during peak-hours a
toll large enough to discourage many others from doing so.

Another demand-side strategy is shifting peak-hour

trips to other times of the day. This may be achieved by
staggering work hours among different organizations,
adopting flextime policies or even four-day weeks. Changing
week hours would slightly more effective at reducing
congestion in the morning.

The 5E’s of Traffic Management

The concepts of traffic although originated in Egypt

are being claimed by other countries. While its
sophistication and the principle of the 3E’s—Enforcement,
Engineering, and Education was developed in Rome, there is
however, no historical impediment that the original traffic
philosophy began in Egypt.

By historical perspective, 3E’s was dovetailed in

Egypt, chiseled in Rome and upstaged in the U.S., by time
and event. It was an indispensable ingredient in the
traffic gems, mined from years after years of event.

At present time, it is a clinical autopsy on traffic

management to dissect and create new ideas that can bury the
corpse of 3Es concept to give birth to the 4th E –
Environment, and the 5th E – Economics. Giving birth to
the additional 2E’s, traffic management now a day deals with
5E’s, i.e., enforcement, engineering, education, environment
and economy.

Definition of Traffic Enforcement

It is an action taken by the traffic law enforcers and
the count to compel obedience to traffic laws and
ordinances, regulating the movement and use of motor vehicle
for the purpose of creating deterrence to unlawful behavior
by all potential violators.

The Five (5) Essential Steps of Traffic Enforcement

1. Detection

Wholly a traffic law enforcer’s responsibility and

entails in looking for the defects in the behavior of
motorist, pedestrians, vehicles, equipment, and roadway
condition. However, requires knowledge of law on the part of
the traffic law enforcers.

2. Apprehension

Wholly a traffic law enforcers responsibility where the

traffic law enforcers are required to take action at once to
prevent continued and future violations.

3. Prosecution

While this is a court function the traffic law

enforcers also provides corresponding influence through
preparation and introduction of evidence or by close contact
with the prosecuting officer.

4. Adjudication

While this is obviously a court function, the traffic

law enforcers provides influence on this step by acting as
witness to the prosecution or supplying additional
evidences, this step determines the guilt or innocence of
the respondents.

5. Penalization

The court imposes the penalty upon the respondents. The

penalty is greatly influenced by previous records of
conviction as provided by the traffic law enforcers.

Major Elements of Traffic Law Enforcement Activities

1. Enforcement System

Consist of legislation, police and the courts.

Legislation defines and specifies correct or incorrect road
user behavior. Traffic law enforcers and the courts is
charged with the responsibility of insuring that these laws
are adhered to.

2. Road User System

Includes pedestrians, pedal cyclist, drivers,

passengers and others.

3. Traffic System

Consist of the entire road and vehicle complex.

Kinds of Traffic Law Enforcers Action

1. Arrest

It is enforcement actions which consist of taking

person into custody for the purpose of holding or detaining
him to answer a charge of law violation before a court.
Arrest is made when the: 1) the offense committed is
serious; 2) detention is necessary to avoid continued
violation; and 3) there is reasonable doubt that the
violator will not appear in court.

2. Traffic Citation

A means of having violators appear in court, without

physical arrest. Kinds of which are: 1) Traffic Citation
Ticket; 2) Temporary Operators Permit; 3) Traffic Warning.

An enforcement action which does not contemplate

possible assessment of penalty by the court or otherwise as
a results of warning alone. It is of three (3) types: 1)
visual; 2) verbal; and 3) written

Definition of Traffic Supervision

It is defined as keeping informed on streets, highways

within existing regulations to make their use safe and

Definition of Traffic Control

The control of vehicles or pedestrian at a certain point

or area by mechanical means, fixed objects or manpower.

Major Causes of Traffic Jams

1. Multiple Head-on Collisions

Statistics tell us that the impact of any head-on

collision on the highway is beyond comprehension for flesh
and debris littered on the roadways. An even experienced
investigator is sometimes shocked at the gory sight of the
tragedy and may cause his investigation in snail pace. This
undue delay is an invitation to traffic jams.

2. Flooded Area

The cause may be attributed to clog drainage network or

engineering failure to consider the interplay of ecology in
road constructions.

3. Bridged Collapsed

Rampaging flood due to heavy downpour may cause soil

erosion of the river bank and in the process weak bridge
foundation, collapsed.

4. Landslide

Denudation of the forests, causes to loosen the earth

surface and as a consequence of torrential rains may cause
the earth and boulders to fall or landslide.

5. Overturned Forty-Footer Van

When detach may go wayward or uncontrollable and rest

across the street, constricting of fully block the road to
traffic. Its removal can only be effected by a ten-toner
towing machine.

6. Logs Rolled from the Trailer Trucks

A freak accident but may precipitate at traffic jam if

strewn across the road for its removal cannot be made
manually but only either to heavy crane or bulldozer.

7. Oil Leaks

From tanker that covers three to five kilometer oil

leaks on cemented pavement could create pandemonium traffic
accidents that would give rise to suits and counter-suits.

Instant Solutions to Traffic Jams

1. One Way Traffic

An important tool to decongest the traffic standstill

until such time that the density of the vehicle is reduced
to accommodate the regular flow.

2. Counter-Flow Traffic

A temporary scheme when the volume of one lane

direction is so saturated that the movement of the vehicles
is practically nil, while the flow of the opposite’s
direction is light in scale, the only solution under the
circumstances if to counter-flow.

3. Re-Routing of Traffic

When the density of vehicles in opposite directions has

reached such proportion tantamount to a complete halt of
movement, the only alternatives is to adapt the re-routing
of traffic to secondary streets.

4. Diverting of Traffic

When the magnitude of traffic conflicts was on vast
scales: flooded area, landslide, bridge collapsed and other
contingencies, the only feasible solution is diversion of
traffic. The difference between re-routing and diverting of
traffic, the latter is large in scope, long and tedious in

5. To Open Private Roads for Temporary Access

Most often than not, residents of exclusive

subdivisions vigorously opposed the use of their roads under
the many real or imaginary pretext. But the objection can
be assailed under the police power of the state.

6. Stop-and-Go Signal

One of the secrets to unlock the monstrous traffic

gridlock is for one lane to move. Unless this can be
affected the problem would be aggravated by the passage of
time. The scheme should only be implemented when other
alternative is seemingly un-adaptable.

7. X-Option

When the situation is so grave that solutions are

nowhere in sight, traffic enforcers should adapt the multi-
options as the viable approach to solve the traffic orgy.

Traffic Engineering

Forecasting of future traffic and evaluating the

magnitude of street hazards through traffic engineering is
not as simple as measuring the height, length and width of
the cube.

Taking the prevailing attitudes and atmosphere of

public’s impatience towards the strange-shaped of
geometrical road design is more than meet the eye. Public
attitude has turned corrosively negative for they believed
they were betrayed by promises for safe travel. This is the
unspoken sentiment of the public in view of agonizing twists
and turns of events. But what is worse, if we hear no
voices, except silent murmurs of the despised citizenry.

To escape from frustrations and wants, traffic
engineering must know all and forestall all effects whether
natural or man-made calamities. A formula that will dance
to the tune of new technology, new horizon and new vistas to
open the floodgate of traffic engineering in contemporary

Definition of Traffic Engineering

Traffic Engineering is the science of:

1. Measuring traffic and travel.

2. The study of basic laws relative to the traffic

law and generations.

3. The application of this knowledge to the

professional practice of planning, deciding, and operating
traffic system to achieve safe and efficient transportation
and goods.

Geometric Design

A traffic engineering phraseology for forecasting

future traffic demand on target year for road design. It is
indicator dictated by development of land use, industry,
economy, and population component.

Many countries vary on the target year for road design

on account of topography, development, environment, cultural
idiosyncrasies and road factors. From the viewpoint of
traffic engineering, the maximum life for road design is
within the range of 15 to 25 years, and the prevailing range
now is 20 years.

The geometric design of road in order to have a

reliable forecast for viable projection of traffic demand is
determined by traffic generators, among others:
developmental plan, economic index, zoning schemes, land use
and population growth.

The hourly, daily and annual volume of traffic is

graphically taken into consideration for road designs.
Corollary, to maximize safe and speed, the physical features

of the highway is considered in the formulation of the
design speed to determine road design and safety factors.

Functions of Traffic Engineering

1. Fact finding, surveys and recommendations of

traffic rules and regulations.

2. Supervisions and maintenance to the application of

traffic control devices.

3. Planning of traffic regulations.

Road Check Objectives

The objectives of road check are to detect and inspect

the following:

1. Faulty vehicle equipment.

2. Registration and licensing of violations.

3. Intoxicated drivers.

4. The load or cargo of commercial transportation

vehicle for load weight.

Considerations Taken When Conducting Road Checks

1. Minimum delay to motorist.

2. Thorough checking procedure.

3. Protection, safety of both motorists and police


4. Timing, location and frequency.

Kinds of Traffic Control Devices

1. Traffic Signals

2. Road Signs

3. Road Markings

Functional Classification of Traffic Control Devices

1. Regulatory Devices

It is having an authority of the law and impose precise

requirement upon the action of the road user.

2. Warning Devices

Are used to inform the road user of potentially

hazardous roadway conditions or unusual traffic movements
which are not readily apparent to passing traffic.

3. Guiding Devices

Are employed simply to inform the road user of route,

destination, and other pertinent information.

Primordial Purpose of Signal Control

1. To minimize traffic conflicts and time delay.

2. To reduce vehicular accident.

3. To economize manpower.

Classes of Traffic Signs

1. Danger Warning Signs

These signs are intended to warn road users of danger

that lies ahead of its nature.

2. Regulatory Signs

These are intended to warn road users of special

obligations, restrictions or prohibition with which they
must comply. It is subdivided into three categories:

1) Priority Signs

These are signs intended to regulate priority over

a particular road section or roadway intersection.

2) Prohibitory or Restrictive Signs

These signs can be used on specified section of

the road which will be easily seen by motorist to indicate
regulation which is prohibitive or restrictive in nature.
3) Mandatory Signs

These signs are intended to guide road users of

special rules in which they must comply for the safety,
convenience and smooth flow of traffic.

3. Informative Signs

These signs are intended to guide road users while

traveling, and are subdivided into:

1) Advance Signs

These are the names and distances of the principal

destination or destination served by the intersecting roads.

2) Direction Signs

Unlike the advance direction signs, direction

signs shall be placed at the right of intersection to show
the direction and destination of a route. Direction signs
are different from mandatory signs, since these signs gave
only information as to direction and destination of place,
while mandatory signs require compliance.

3) Place Identification Signs

These may be used to show the frontier between two

countries or for the purpose of showing the beginning and/or
end of built-up areas.

4) Confirmatory Signs

These are used to confirm the direction of a road.
They shall bear the names of one or more places. Where
distances are shown, the figures expressing them shall be
placed after the name of the locality.

5) Other signs providing useful information to guide


6) Other signs indicating facilities for road users.

Road Classifications

1. According to Political Subdivision

1) National Roads

The main road as conduit system with a right of

way from 20 meters to 120 meters.

2) Provincial roads

The linkages between two municipalities with right

of way from 15 meters to 60 meters.

3) City Roads

The inter-link between municipalities and within

city proper with right of way of 15 meters.

4) Municipal Roads

All roads within the town proper with right of way

of not less than 120 meters.

5) Barangay Roads

Commonly called farm to market road with right of

way of not less than 2 meters.

2. According to Functions

1) Feeder Roads

Intended for farm-to-market roads.

2) Local Collector Roads

Intended to collect traffic from feeder road to

municipal road.

3) Major Collector Roads

Intended as major arteries to collect inter-

locality traffic to provincial road.

4) Major Highway

Serves as main artery that caters on big volumes

of vehicular traffic on national roadway.

5) Expressway

A through traffic for free-flow of vehicular


6) Tunnel Road

A passage of wide section cut through a hill or

sea to shorten circuitous roadway.

7) Subway

An underground conduct running entirely under the

ground for fast travel route of commuters.

8) Skyway

A modern urban system of roadway above street

level for free-flow traffic.

3. According to Topographical Terrain

1) Flat Road

2) Zigzag Road

3) Steep-Hill Climbing Road

4) Down-Hill Road

5) Winding Road

6) Mountainous Road

7) Roller Coaster Road

Boulevards and Avenues Distinguished

Many are in the quandary as to the whale of difference

between avenue and boulevard. There is an international
acceptance that they are both national roads. Both are
broad thoroughfares, but boulevard is more prestigious in
sophistication than an avenue. Often than not, boulevard is
teeming with grassplots and tress along the center, the
sidewalk and oftentimes, boulevard is with lighted post in
highly urban centers of the world. It is for this reason
that the boulevard is named after great men and heroes.


It is an integral part of the roadways in any

metropolitan cities of the world—it is also one of the
specie of geometric designs. Sidewalk is the answer for the
safety of pedestrian safety. Thus, sidewalk reduced the
hazards of pedestrian to the slender yardstick of traffic


Today, urban cities of the world walk on 2-legs—man and

machine. But the continuity of its locomotion depends upon
the inter-link of connecting road network at intersection to
meet traffic demand.

The plan and design of intersection is based on traffic

component, traffic volume, speed, traffic distribution,
canalizations of traffic accidents and future traffic

Kinds of Intersections

1. Three-Leg Intersection

1) T-Type

2) Y-Type

2. Four-Leg Type

1) Right Angle

2) Oblique

3. Multi-Leg Intersection

4. Rotary Intersection

Fundamental Principles of Intersections

1. Intersection should be avoided on curve section,

bridge, attaching part, cutting, and crest, near entrance of
tunnel and besides railroad crossing.

2. Intersection should not be greater than 4 legs.

While 4-leg intersection is better than 3-leg intersection,
however, if 5-leg intersection is unavoidable it must be
used only as an exit.

3. Two roads should not intersect as a small angle.

Intersecting at less than 60 degrees makes it difficult for
drivers to turn at acute angle and in effect constrict his
visibility particularly 10-wheeler trucks.

4. Distances between two intersections should be

based on land use of density of road network. Factors that
determine the minimum distance of two intersections—queue
length by the control of traffic signals, length of weaving
section, length of turn and limit of driver’s

Definition of Filter Lane

The word filter in its literal meaning is to control or
constrict the movement of vehicle as it passes through the
lane designated therefore. This traffic engineering design
is to prevent traffic gridlock at the intersection when
turning left at the green arrow filter signal.


A traffic engineering terminology that separates or

regulates the conflict of traffic movements into a definite
paths of travel by means of traffic island or pavement
markings for the safe and orderly travels of both man and

Principles of Channelization

1. It reduces the area of conflict in large paved

intersection. In view of uncontrolled vehicle and
pedestrian movements it creates congestions and accidents.

2. The speed of traffic stream at the intersection

may be controlled by the curvature employed in the bending
of the roadways. Thus the minor flows will be sent to
conform to the main traffic stream.

3. Likewise, the speed of traffic stream at the

intersection may be controlled by funneling. A scheme which
not only controls the speed of entering vehicles but
prevents overtaking and passing in a conflict area.

4. It blocks prohibited turns. To divert traffic

streams, islands may be employed to encourage drivers in the
strict observance of prohibited turns.

5. It provides refuge for turning, and crossing

vehicles. Adequate shadowing provides safe refuge for
waiting vehicle to cross or enter and uncontrolled traffic

6. It is essentially required for an effective signal

control at intersection with complex turning movement.

7. It provides location for the installation of
traffic control devices at the intersection of multi lane
roadways with complex turning movements.

Traffic Education

Traffic education is the crowning jewel of traffic

management, an abstract architect of social life and an
unyielding master of man’s destiny on the roadways.

As one of the 5E’s of traffic management, it is a

priceless gem in total gamut of social order on the road,
likened to an oasis in a desert of roadways. Therefore,
traffic education must be free and there must no economic
barrier to its acquisition.
In sum, what is needed are men of courage and vision to
initiate reforms and craft a more viable formula that will
shape the future quality of traffic education.

Considerations to Road Discipline

Considered in this light, what has to change is not

culture, but the heart and mind towards road discipline. A
vivid proof that discipline remains in shaping force of our
vision and it towers like mountain above other values. Safe
to say, what is needed now is to harness the armed
conscience of the silent majority to cease to be silent and
join the crusade against the scourge of moral decay on the
roadways. For only by its fruits can we know the tree.

Traffic Education as a Merchandize

Traffic education by itself is merchandize difficult to

sell, not only because it is expensive, but there are
varying shades of acceptability among the masses. And the
seeds of reforms are not always sowed on fertile soil. But
without social transformation, all traffic laws, even with
punitive sanctions will be ineffective in the crusade to
institute reforms. For there is no way of inculcating new
moral order into the consciousness of uneducated people.

Mistaken Notion About Traffic Education

Many have the mistaken notion that education is only

the acquisition of knowledge, the accumulation of facts of
learning of information by rote. Traffic education is more
than just the absorption of information and learning of
skills. Traffic education is the making of a whole person,
of a human and humane being, of civilized or cultured
individual inculcation in the youth of norms, moral and
ethical behavior, good manners and right conduct.

Complexity of Traffic Education

Traffic education is too complex to be covered only by

limited topics or by the volume of scholarly books for it
encompasses vast intellectual novelties that cannot just be
left to the market forces of experts but to the articulation
of the academe. Having put the idea forward, it must be
pursued to the end to reap the expected dividends. This is
not the utopian demand, but a challenge for a better future
and new order on the roadways. Only with moral climate can
we open new frontiers and move toward new horizon and learn
the lessons of the past for the present and the wisdom to
know the difference that past failures should not foreclose
future successes.


Environment is not a mere creative philosophy, but a

new vision with unique force that could reshape the world of
traffic management. In word of scholar, environment is a
single phrase that is an anathema to purist and idealist but
by word to ecologist. It reflects the bountiful blessings
of nature in prestige form: tress in greenest state and
seas abounding with fishes and marine life, until man like
carpetbaggers, wrought wanton damages to contemporary

It is about time that environment be institutionalized

as a pillar of traffic management. For one of the real
tragedies of traffic administrator today is the failure of
traffic titans to incorporate environment as the 4th E of
traffic management. If the past experience is any guide,

there are just too many variables that affect the system
whose common denominator of solutions is equated to
environment. It is the system which destroys and it is the
system which saves.

External Factors

Driving is not a theoretical fixture. In driving, the

attitudinal norms of drivers are varied, subject to the
tempo of time and space, cultural relativism, values and

Behavioral patterns of drivers are disturbed by the

external factor of environmental elements on the roadways
decreases the driver’s skills, keen perception and sound
judgment. If drivers are unaware of these unwanted
variables while cruising the highways, they are courting
dangers and thus, prone to accidents. The following are the
common external factors:

1. Heat

It is a form of energy which causes the body to rise in

temperature, to fuse and to evaporate that can excite
emotionally the driver’s skill while behind the wheels.

2. Storm

This atmosphere disturbance with strong winds and rains

is usually accompanied by thunder and lightning. With these
ambient atmosphere and environmental mal-conditions, the
drive on wheels is affected physiologically and emotionally.
At the height of heavy downpour and torrential rains the
visual range is limited impairing his effective control of
the vehicle.

Under these adverse conditions, the driver must have

stock of theoretical and practical knowledge in driving for
experience alone is not sufficient to measure proficiency.

3. Fog

Unlike the cloud which is visible mass above the
earth’s surface, fog is condensed water vapor in cloudlike
masses that forms close to the ground. This feature is its
distinctive difference.

Sometimes fog is caused by masses of floating materials

of either dust or smoke that obscures the visibility of the
driver to less than 1, 100 yards. Irritated by this
environmental phenomenon, judgment of the driver is
substantially affected not knowing what to do and what not
to do. Against those backdrops, driver should be guided not
by the dictates of the heart but by the wisdom of the mind.

In countries where the weather condition is foggy,

vehicle should be equipped with a yellow for lights.
Although there is negative finding that yellow light does
not totally penetrate the foggy weather, however, in the
absence of viable alternative, the usability of yellow fog
lights has its universal acceptance.

Internal Factors

Internal factors is a behavioral pattern of man which

appears early in life. Many voices are advocating the
hypothesis of relationship between stress and environment.
Even doctors failed to identify the true traits of the
individual which most often do not surface in his
personality test.

While today there is commonality of consensus that

internal factors reacts on the chemistry of environment,
still a need arises for savants to the further flex their
intellectual muscles to act as arbiter of the present and
future destiny of the drivers tailored on human dimensions.

The following are the most common identifiable internal

factors that cause road accidents:

1. Personality

It is in this internal factor that distinctly

distinguishes an individual driver from other drivers in
relation to environment. The qualities of the driver
constitute his personal being and social traits. His

personality is best tested when confronted by the greatest
odds of the environmental factors.

2. Character

From the beginning of time, the complex characters as

to behavior and habits, attitudes and interests and personal
philosophy in life distinguishes a particular driver from
the other. Another scientific marvel is the discovery of a
detectable organism that is the result pf the presence of
gene or group of genes that differentiates one driver from
the other.

Driver may probably have developed the tenacity for

survival, but his character may yield to massive onslaught
of a violent environment, and thus brook peril and
misfortunes while behind the wheels. Drivers by way of
omissions succumb to human lapses and adversarial curse of
the environment which may end in road accident.

3. Epilepsy

The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek word,

“epilambanein,” meaning to take hold. It is defined as a
chronic nervous disorder of the human brain affecting the
man’s consciousness and muscular control with various
degrees of severity. It may be congenital of brain damage
caused by tumor, injury, glandular imbalance or toxic
substances and may result in convulsions or lost of

4. Sleeping Sickness

A chronic disease e occurring in tropical countries

like Africa, this is caused by parasites “trypanosoma
gambiense” and “rhodosiense” and carried by flies.

It causes fever, physical and mental lethargy, and very

often death. It also occurs in Central Africa and commonly
called “encyphalitis lethargica.”

What is pathetic is that this incidence becomes common

to drivers while cruising along the mountain trails and
forested areas, when stung by these insects, the tendency of
the driver’s body function is to diminish or at worst,
cease. This in effect is an ominous sign that danger lurks

ahead as the driver may lose control off the vehicle which
may ultimately end in road mishap or may flung into the deep

Threats to Environment

As one travels on the highways or roadways, probably

they are unmindful of the following environmental threats to
man and nature:

1. Greenhouse Effect

Scientifically, the greenhouse effect is a natural

phenomenon that makes earth habitable, without which the
earth would be frozen like Mars and other celestial bodies.

2. Ozone Depletion

The disastrous effect of ozone depletion is the

uncontrolled emission of ultra-violet light and not climatic
change. Ozone per se is an allotropic form of oxygen
created when oxygen molecules are bombarded with ultra-
violet rays from the sun. If the ozone layer fails to
absorb the ultra violet rays from passing the earth’s
surface, the ultra-violet radiations causes skin cancer and

3. World-wide Effect

Change in UV-B radiation may have been caused by a

chemical reaction as a consequence of gases spewed into the
atmosphere by volcano eruption. Other scientific findings
have reported that measurements by satellite and by high-
altitude balloons detected record of thinning of ozone due
to volcanic eruption.

4. Effect in Climate

The transition fro the Ice Age to warmer weather in

which our civilization flourished took only a few decades,
and the climate could change as quickly as possible.

Motor Vehicle and Its Effects to Environment

In so many words the major environmental effects of the
use of motor vehicles are air and noise pollution:

1. Air Pollution

The most lethal effect of motor vehicle is the

pollution caused by engine exhaust. The finding shows that
the carbon monoxide emission has higher percentage in highly
urbanized areas.

Air pollution is usually measured in terms of

concentration of pollutants over time, such as parts per
million of air per hour or in terms of pollution to vehicle
usage in grams per vehicle-mile.

The primary pollutants in motor vehicles exhausts are

carbon monoxide (CO); hydro-carbons (HC); nitrogen oxides
(NO); mostly nitrogen dioxide; lead (Pb), and particulate
matter. Likewise, larger engines emit considerable amounts
of sulfur oxides (SO), mostly sulfur dioxide.

2. Noise Pollution

Less dangerous than air pollutions, but admittedly more

vexing and annoying, is the problem of vehicular noise. Of
several sources of vehicular noise, the cars tire-roadway
interaction and truck exhaust noise have been identified as
the primary cause of noise pollution.

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) on a

logarithmic, rather than in arithmetic scales. Study showed
that a decrease of only 10dB would whisper at 5 feet (1.5 m)
will register about 34 dB; the interior of a quiet office
will average 55 dB; and the sound level at the side of an
expressway may be as high as 90 dB.

The effects of traffic noise on human seem to be more

psychological than physiological. Several studies have
pointed to “annoyance” as being the widespread effect.
There is no question that highway noises alone can causer
hearing damage, but the effects of noise annoyance on
behavior and mental health cannot be disregarded.

Pollutants Caused by Motor Vehicles

The following pollutants are known to cause damage to
vegetation and thus, to man:

1. Ozone

As a component of the photochemical complex, ozone is

considered to one of the most damaging air pollutants to
vegetation. Ozone produces a characteristics fleck of
stipple on the upper surfaces of sensitive plants.
Prolonged exposure or high concentrations will cause
complete tissue collapse.

2. Peroxyacyl Nitrate (PAN)

PAN can produce the characteristics systems of glazing

or bronzing of the lower surfaces of the younger leaves of
sensitive plants. Even a low concentrations, i.e., 0.01 ppm
for 8 hours, PAN produces chlorosis and early senescence.

3. Hydrocarbons

Ethylene is the only hydrocarbon from vehicle exhaust

that is known to cause a variety of symptoms in many plants,
including early senescence, chronic injury, flower and fruit
drop, and growth suppression.

4. Carbon Monoxide

The effects produced by carbon monoxide are similar to

those of ethylene; however, the concentrations must be very

5. Petrol Additives

Lead, nickel, boron and manganese are known to be toxic

to plants to accumulate in sufficient quantities. The
additives may accumulate in plant tissue without injuring
the vegetation, but they may prove toxic to animals and
human being who obtain food from these plants.

The Laws of Nature as Applied to Motor Vehicles

Some of known laws of nature that affects the skill of
the driver and efficiency of the machine in relation to
environment are as follows:

1. Inertia

It is the first law of motion as espoused by an

undisputed man of science.

1) Inertia of Rest

Any object at rest will remain at rest unless no

external factor forced it to move. This is the reason why
it is difficult to push stalled vehicle at rest.

2) Inertia of Motion

Any object in motion will constantly move in

straight line unless other forces intervene to change its
speed or course. This explains why a stalled vehicle when
in motion finds no greater obstacle to gain momentum of
speed. This law of motion gives birth to the development of
seat belt and other accessories to cushion the impact from
the abrupt change from inertia of rest to inertia of motion.

2. Centrifugal Force

A scientific term of force that pushes a moving object

in circular motion away from the center. To better
understand its effects, if a ball is tied to a string and
whirled around in fast speed, the pulling of the ball in
circular path away from the center is known as centrifugal
force. And is the string breaks from the ball it shall not
follow the circular path of motion but will follow the
direction where the string breaks.

Similarly, a car negotiating a curved road is subject

to same force as the ball and string model. The car is to
the ball and the string to the friction between the tire and
the road. Thus, if the friction breaks the car will skid or
careen-off the roadways.

To cushion the effect of centrifugal force on curve

roads, man has developed three kinds of road surfaces on
curves, these are:

1) Crowned Curve

Is designated to better serve the drainage system

but not necessarily the safety factor, especially on high
speed. The curve according to studies, press the car
against the road surface, in effect lessening the friction
between the tires and pavements.

2) Flat Curve

According to authorities it offers no resistance

to skidding onward, hence, dangerous at high speed.

3) Bunked Curve

Of the three, bunked curve is unquestionably the

best for the inertia of motion—it is counteracted by the
nature of the road on the car.

3. Gravity

Simply stated, it is a kind of force that tends to pull

all objects to the center of earth. To the layman, the
effect of gravity can be better noticed when a car is
negotiating an uphill trend. Because of the gravity, it
needs to accelerate its power to counter-balance the pull.

But in downhill course, driver should be extra-cautious

because of the braking force of the engine pull and gravity
pull are on the same direction and must be counteracted,
otherwise the car may careen off the roadway if

It should be noted that the center of gravity of an

object is the point where its weight is evenly balance.
This is the rationale why the car designs—the center of
gravity is taken into consideration to forestall a turn-
turtle when the car suddenly changes its course while in

4. Kinetic Energy

It is an established fact that anything that moves

possesses this kind of energy. It is safe to conclude,

therefore, that any energy of motion is denominated as
kinetic energy.

To better appreciate its importance, a car traveling at

higher speed demands a period of time before it can totally
stop, because the greater the speed of moving object, the
greater it is kinetic energy. Unless the driver is
conversant of the implication of this law of nature, he is
at peril to meet an accident on sudden brake.
5. Friction

It is that kind of natural force that causes resistance

of one surface against the other when it comes to contact.
This could be better observed when a car either moves or

According to studies, the increase or decrease of

friction on the pavements depends whether the road is dry or
wet. However, there are three factors that could reduce the
road-wheel friction.

1) Weather condition.

2) Worn tire thread.

3) Bumpy road.

6. Force of Impact

The amount of force when two objects collide is known

as force of impact and it expressed in pounds. This force
according to authorities is determined by:

1) The speed of the moving object and the angle at

which they collide.

2) The weight of the object or objects.

3) The distance within which an object is stopped

after the initial impact.


Economy, oils the wheels of traffic. Time has come

that the economics of traffic be rescued from the barred

waste of wrong perceptions: traffic and economics are
strange bedfellows and their unity in diversity is a mere
fiction. Experts must have an open mind not just revite4d
to the narrow confines of 3E’s of traffic and refuse to look
beyond the costly illusion of its advocate. These are
decisions that might be charting unpopular course but hope
to give shapes and sinews to empty illusions of the past and
to look forward to the new complexion of the present system
with new vision of the future: the crowning of the 5 th E of
traffic, economics.

This is not a choice of necessity but signs of time.

For decades, scholarly studies have noted the fast decline
of the 3E’s philosophy from the pedestal of respect and the
patterns is traceable to the shifting demands around the
world. The fact that there is indeed a mountain of books in
the fields of 3E’s does not alter the unseen forces of

Economy-Traffic Interactions

Human gregariousness craves for many wants and seems to

admit no satisfaction: problems begin. But all of these
wants are not free and can only be acquired at the altar
of sacrifice: most goods are scarce. Goods are not
necessarily chosen to satisfy basic wants either directly
or indirectly. Capital goods are produced for industries
to produce goods for consumption. The element of choice
on how to satisfy the present wants for the future

Even with modern infrastructure as an alternative

solution to the ills of traffic will put to naught if the
resources is scarce, a classical balancing interaction of
traffic and economics.

Economy as the 5th E’s of Traffic

Non-incorporations of economics as the 5th E’s of

traffic is complex pattern that traffic taipans would find
it difficult to defend. As long as these traditional
thinking experts refuse to veer away from the old-school to
the modern traffic ideology, then we are creating more
problems than solutions on the road.

This argument is broadened further by the studies that
technocrats are guided and influenced by their own self
interest in shocking disregard of the changing world
behavior on the traffic system.

Traffic Accident Investigation

Successful traffic accident investigation requires

considerable basic background knowledge. To know what
question to ask, and what to look for, you must also have
some fundamental ideas about accidents and their causes. To
avoid wasting time and making mistakes, especially during
the urgent activities at the scene of an accident, you need
to plan what you are going to do and to continually revise
your plan as you proceed.

What is a Traffic Accident

A “traffic accident” is that occurrence in a sequence

of events which usually produces unintended injury, death,
or property damage, or a “traffic accident” is something
happened that was not expected. Criminal charges arising out
of traffic accidents are mostly due to negligence on the
part of the driver. Negligence means “failure to take
proper care.”

There are two (2) main kinds:

1. Errors of Commission

Where a person does thing that he should not have


2. Errors of Omission

Where a person does not do something he should

have done.

Classification of Traffic Accidents

1. Motor-Vehicle Traffic Accident

Is any motor-vehicle accident occurring on a traffic
way, for example, the ordinary collision of motor vehicles
on a highway?

2. Motor-Vehicle Non Traffic Accident

Is any motor vehicle accident which occurs entirely in

any place other than a traffic way, for example, a motor
vehicle accident on a farm or in a private driveway?

3. Non Motor-Vehicle Traffic Accident

Is any accident occurring on a traffic way involving

persons using the traffic way for travel or transportation,
but not involving a motor vehicle in motion, for example,
collision between a pedestrian and a bicyclist on a

Definition of Motor Vehicle

It is every device which is self-propelled and every

vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from
overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails.

Definition of Traffic Way

It is the entire width between the boundary lines of

every way or place of which any part is open to the use of
public for purposes of vehicular traffic as a matter of
right or custom.

Chain of Events of a Traffic Accident

1. Perception of Hazard

Is the seeing, feeling, or hearing and understanding

the unusual and unexpected movement or condition that could
be taken as a sign of the accident about to happen.

2. Encroachment

Is the movement into the path assigned to another

traffic unit, perhaps the most important encroachment is

crossing a center or barrier line. Another is entering a
crosswalk when it is occupied. Pedestrians can encroach on
the path assigned to motor vehicles.

3. Leaving the Roadway

Is the moving off the roadway, “Roadway” is that

portion of traffic way which is improved, designed, or
ordinarily used for vehicular travel exclusive of the
shoulder. The event takes place when one wheel of the
vehicle may leave the roadway. A vehicle may leave the
roadway on the left as well as on the right side.

4. Leaving the Road

Is the moving off the road and shoulder, if any, this

may mean going into the ditch or over a curb. The event
takes place when one wheel of the vehicle climbs the curb or
goes off the shoulder,

5. Initial Contact

Is the first accidental touching of an object collided

with by a traffic unit in motion, before this, there is no
force between the objects colliding, and afterwards there is

6. Maximum Engagement

Is the greatest collapse or overlap in a collision, the

force between the traffic unit and the object collided with
are greatest at maximum engagement.

7. Disengagement

Is the separation of a traffic unit in motion from an

object which it has collided. Force between the objects
ceases this time.

8. Stopping

Is the coming to rest. It usually stabilizes the
accident situation. Stopping may occur with or without
control by the driver or pedestrian.

Definition of Injury

Is receiving bodily harm.

Definition of Key Event

It is an event on the road which characterizes the

manner of occurrence of a motor-vehicle traffic accident.
There are several types of collisions and non-collisions on
the road, but there is only one key event in a traffic
accident regardless of how many traffic units are involved.
It fixes the accident with respect to time, place, and type.

Key Events of Traffic Accident

1. Running off the road.

2. Non-collision on the road.

3. Collision on the road.

Classification of Accident According to Severity

1. Property Damage

It is nay motor vehicle accident in which there is no

injury to any person but damage to the motor vehicle, to
other property including injury to animals.

2. Non-Fatal

It is any motor vehicle accident that results in

injuries other than fatal to one or more persons. The
injuries maybe as follows:

1) Fatal Injury

It is an injury that results in death within 12
months of the motor vehicle traffic accident.

2) Serious Visible Injury

It is a bleeding wound, distorted member, or any

condition that requires the victim to be carried from the
scene of the accident. Consider the injury to be visible if
symptoms are present even though the injury itself is not

3) Minor Visible Injury

It is an abrasion, bruise, swelling, limping, or

obviously painful movement.

4) Non-Visible Injury

It is complaint of pain without visible signs of

injury; or momentary unconsciousness.

3. Fatal

It is any motor vehicle accident that results in fatal

injuries to one or more persons.

Crucial Events

It is used instead of key event to characterize what

occurs to each traffic unit individually rather than to the
whole accident and with reference to the available path
rather than the entire road.

Crucial Events in a Traffic Accident

1. Leaving the available path, not the same as

running of the road.

2. Turning over in the path without collision.

3. Other non-collision in path.

4. Collision with non-traffic object in or adjacent
to the path.

5. Collision with other traffic unit in the path, not
marked vehicle.

The Three Points in Traffic Accident

1. Point of Possible Perception

It is the place and time at which the unusual or

unexpected movement or condition could have been perceived
by a normal person. This point always comes at or before
the point of perception. Delay in perception or perception
time between the point of possible perception and the actual
perception. If the hazard is actually perceived as soon as
nearly as possible, perception is said to be prompt.
Maximum delay of perception occurs when the traffic unit
does not sense a hazard until hit it.

The perception point and the point of possible

perception are used mainly in trying to discover and
evaluate contributions of drivers and pedestrian to
accidents. Did the driver do anything or fail to do
anything before the perception point that contributed to his
difficulty. Inattention is probably the most common
contribution of driers to their delayed perception; but
speed is a common contributor to accidents before perception
point. The perception point is particularly useful in trying
to discover what the driver or pedestrian did or should have
done but did not do to avoid the accident or to make it less

2. Point of No Escape

Is that place and time after or beyond which the

accident cannot be prevented by the traffic unit under
consideration. Nothing the driver or pedestrian can do will
save him from this point on, although he still may be able
to mitigate the accident—for example, by slowing down as
much as possible before a collision. Sometimes the point of
no escape and point of perception are the same. Sometimes
the point of no escape comes before the point of perception,
for example when a person’s attention is diverted until just
before the crash. Often the point of no escape comes after
the point of perception. This circumstance generally
indicates faulty judgment on the part of the driver in his
attempt to prevent the impending accident.

3. Point of Impact

It is term which, although widely used in connection

with traffic accidents, does not seem to have very precise
meaning. Impact generally means the same thing as collision
but it also means the force involved. Point of impact is
sometimes used to mean the same as point of initial contact,
sometimes used to mean the same as point of maximum
engagement and sometimes center of force. Because the term
has varied meanings, other more specific terms are

Technical Aspects of Traffic Accident Investigation

The traffic accident investigator should know how to

make proper sketch of an accident with correct measurements
of all the important data. He should know how to photograph
the scene of the accident properly, to show the important
facts. He should know what kind of physical evidence to
look for in hit-and-run cases. He must know how to get the
facts, records the facts correctly, and then figure out what
happened in order to help the prosecutor present the case in

Definition of Attributes

An attribute is any inherent characteristics of a

traffic way, a vehicle or a person making a trip on a
traffic way that affects the probability of a traffic

Purposes of Traffic Accident Investigation

1. Everyone involved is curious about causes and

circumstances of the accident.

2. Police are also interested in finding out whether

there is enough evidence of law violation in the accident to
take enforcement action.

3. Insurance agencies and adjusters want to determine

negligence on the part of the drivers involved in the
accident so that damage claims can be properly adjusted.

4. Government officials and other concerned
authorities want specific information about accidents to
know better how to prevent future accidents.

Basic Steps in Traffic Accident Investigation

1. Go to the scene as quickly as possible.

2. Park correctly to avoid further collision and

facilitate traffic flow.

3. Assess the situation and call for whatever

assistance is necessary.

4. Care to injured and protect their personal


5. Protect the scene against additional collision.

6. Locate drivers and establish identities.

7. Interview drivers, participants and witnesses.

8. Note and record physical conditions at the scene,

locations of vehicles and evidence.

9. Take photograph when possible

10. Test and inspect the vehicles when applicable.

11. Arrest or cite violators when applicable.

12. Have the scene cleared up.

13. Follow-up at the hospital.

14. Notify relative and survivors.

15. Prepare reports.

Levels of Activity in Accident Investigation

1. Reporting

2. At-scene Investigation

3. Technical Preparation

4. Professional Reconstruction

5. Cause Analysis

Hit & Run Investigation

The search for physical evidence at the scene of a hit-

and-run accident must be done properly and quickly because
it is not possible to close-off and guard the scene of this
kind of crime? The roads must be cleared to permit ordinary
flow of traffic as soon as possible? Another problem is
that passing vehicles will crush of blow away important
pieces of small physical evidence. The following are the
good ways of searching the scene of a hit-and-run accident:

1. Look over the ground at what seems to be the point

of collision.

2. Follow the path that the vehicle took in leaving

the scene to find out if it left tire prints in the soft
dirt, or where parts of the vehicle or broken glass fell off
as is drove away.

3. Study the objects the vehicle has struck to see if

there is a transfer of physical evidence like paint.

4. Look for things that may have spilled from the


The investigator should collect all materials found at

the scene of the crime which cannot satisfactorily
explained. Broken parts of the motor vehicle are the most
important physical evidence in hit-and-run accidents. When
the broken parts match parts still on the car, this is a
good positive identification. Broke parts are more
important than damaged parts. Part of a broken bumper of
door handle is better than a damaged hubcap.

Proving Driving

In all case of traffic offense, intoxicated driving or

hit-and-run, the first and most important thing that must be
proved is that the accused person was driving the car at the
time of the offense. This can be done either by eye
witnesses or by physical evidence. But it must be proved.
The investigator must not assume that the owner of the
vehicle was the person actually driving it.

Nature of Common Hit & Cases

1. Run over of pedestrian crossing on the roadway or


2. Sideswiped of pedestrian on the sidewalk or road


3. Collided with a moving vehicle while overtaking on

same direction.

4. Collided with a moving vehicle while overtaking on

opposite direction.

5. Damaged parked vehicle along the roadside and

parking areas.

6. Crushed police road blocks.

7. Bumped stray animal on the roadway.

Technical Preparation

Delayed traffic accident data collection and

organization for study and interpretation. The data
collected are essentially factual. Technical preparation
includes making additional measurements and photographs,
preparing maps and diagrams, simple speed estimates,
matching damage areas, and making experiments to obtain
specific data. It is third level of traffic accident.


A method of locating a spot in the area by measurements
from two or more reference points, the location of which are
identical for future reference. Compare with coordinates.

Determining Speed from Skid Marks

One of the most common problems in accident

investigation is: “How fast was he going?” it is difficult
question to answer, but speeds in excess of the legal limits
are important to the police, because they must decide if the
driver did his best to avoid accidents. The criminalist
cannot determine exactly how fast a vehicle was traveling,
but he can make a very good estimate by mathematical
calculations based on the skid marks left by a vehicle
before the collision. It is important that the field
investigator take correct and accurate measurements to help
the criminalist make correct calculations.

Skid Marks

Skid marks are marks lefts on the road by tires that

are not moving because the brakes are applied strongly
enough to lock the wheels. There are two (2) kinds of skid

1) Made by a car going straight ahead, and

2) Made by a car going sideways.

The second type is commonly called “scuffs.” It is

important not to confuse skid marks with tire prints. Tire
prints indicate that the wheel was still turning. Tire
prints should not be used in calculating speed. To make an
accurate estimate of speed, it is important that the marks
of all four tires are obtained.

A car is always going faster than the speed calculated

from skid marks, because in addition to losing speed in
sliding as shown by the skid marks, the car also losses its
speed in one or more of the following ways:

1. Skid marks do not happen until the tire slides far

enough to get hot enough to smear the rubber on the paving.

2. The total distance of the skid marks cannot be
seen because the car hits something before stopping.

3. Some braking action occurs before the skid marks


4. The brakes are not put on hard enough to lack the


In accidents with pedestrian, the skid marks are most

reliable because there is nothing to stop the forward
movement of the car. In a collision accident, the amount of
damage to the cars must be considered in determining the
reliability of speed from skid marks.

Scuff Marks

A friction mark on pavement made by a tire which is

both rotating and slipping, acceleration scuff yaw marks,
flat tire marks.

Skip Skid

A braking skid marks interrupted at frequent regular

intervals, the skid mark made by a bouncing wheel on which
brakes keep the wheel from turning, compare with gap skid.

Gap Skid

A braking skid marks which interrupted by release and

reapplication of brakes or which terminates by release of
brakes before collision, compare with skip skid.


The movement of vehicle without touching the ground

from a place where its forward velocity is suddenly stopped
by an object such as curbs or furrow-in below its center of
mass with the result that the ensuing rotation lifts vehicle
off the ground. A flip is usually sidewise, but if it is
endwise, it is spoken as a vault.

Length of Vehicle

The investigator sometimes makes mistakes of

determining the speed from the total length of the skid
marks he finds. Remember that the beginning and end of the
skid marks may include both the front and rear wheels of the
car and unless it is possible to measure each wheel base,
distance between the middle of the hubcap of the front wheel
to the middle of the hubcap of the back wheel, should be
subtracted from the total length of the skid marks.

Grade or Slope

Grade or slope means the steepness of a hill and is

important in calculating speed from skid marks, because a
car going downhill take longer to stop than a car going
uphill, or slope is the number of meters the road rises for
each meter of level distance along the road. The resulting
number is less than 0.1 except for very steep hill. It can
be measured by using traffic template or with an ordinary
carpenter’s level. Put the carpenter level on the road with
one end uphill and the other down. Raise the down hill end
until the bubble centers. Hold the level in that position
while you measure the distance from the bottom of the level
down the road. Divide this distance by the length of the
level. For example, if the level is one meter long and
lower end is one centimeter off the ground the grade would
be 0.01.

Calculation of Speed from Skid Marks

There are charts and tables and even special measuring

devices from which the speed can be calculated from the skid
mark. The criminalistic investigator, however, should
understand the exact mathematical formula which the speed is
calculated because he may ask by the judge in court to
explain how he arrived at his estimate. The formula is not
difficult and the only hard part is determining the square
root. This can be easily done by means of a set of tables
or a slide rule, but in the range of measurement with which
the investigator is concerned, there is a simple formula for
determining square root that is sufficiently accurate for
the purpose.

Find the nearest number to your measurement which has
an even square. Example: 4, 9, 25, 36, 64, 81, 100, etc.
If the number in your calculation is 30, for example, the
closest number is 25 which is only 5 numbers away rather
than 36, which is 6 numbers away. Since 5 X 5 equals 25,
divide your number by 5, then average the result by the
divisor, and you will get a square root sufficiently
accurate for the purpose.


S = 15.9 d X (F + g)


S = speed in kilometer per hour

d = slide-to-stop distance in meters
g = grade or slope
F = drag factor

S = 5.5 d X (F + g)

S = speed in miles per hour
d = slide-to-stop distance in meters
g = grade or slope
F = drag factor

A vehicle going down hill with a slope of 0.15 and a

drag factor of 0.70, leaves a skid marks of 20.6 meters.
What is the speed of the vehicle?

1. SPEED = 15.9 20.6 X (0.70 - 0.15)

The vehicle is going down hill, so the grade is

negative and is subtracted.

2. SPEED = 15.9 20.6 X 0.55

= 15.9 11.33

The nearest whole number whose square is closest to
11.33 is 3 (3 X 3 = 9).

3. 11.33/3 = 3.78

4. 3.78 + 3 = 6.78/2 = 3.39

5. SPEED = 15.9 X 3.39 = 53.90 km/hr

All calculations are resolved in favor of the driver,


6. SPEED = 54 km/hr


Any circumstances contributing to a result without

which the result could have not occurred; an element which
is necessary to produce the result, but not by itself,
sufficient, operational factor and conditional factor.

Operational Factor

Functional failure of the highway transportation system

that contribute to the cause of traffic accident. The
failures may be malfunctions or perception, decisions, or
performance in trip planning driving strategy, or evasive

Sequential Factor

Factors which must be present at the same time to

contribute to the cause of an accident, generally
operational factors.

Simultaneous Factor

Factors which must present at the same time to

contribute to the cause of accident, generally condition

Drag Factors

It is a number representing the acceleration or

deceleration of vehicle or other body as decimal fraction of
the acceleration of gravity, the horizontal force needed to
produce acceleration in the same direction divided by the
weight of the body to which the force is applied. When a
vehicle slides with all the wheels locked, the coefficient
of friction and drag factor have the same value.

Co-Efficient of Friction

The number representing the resistance to sliding of

two surfaces in contact; the drag factor of a vehicle or
other object sliding on a roadway or other surfaced required
to keep an object sliding on that surface in motion, divided
by the force of the object against that surface, measured in
pounds per pounds, often designated by the Greek letter Mu.

Reaction Time

The time from perception to reaction.