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Police Crash Cars for Training | Crime

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Police Crash Cars for Training

LAS VEGAS -- Police are creating car accidents at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. No one has been hurt. It's all part of a crash conference being held Monday.

The conference helps police departments analyze speed, driver attention and other factors that lead to accidents and looks at ways to prevent them.

There have been cars crashing into each other and motorcycles crash into cars, all to help law enforcement learn how to investigate crashes. That analysis can be the difference between guilty and innocent.

"On the criminal side, you want to make sure if you're ascertaining somebody for a misdemeanor or felony prosecution that you've dialed in who's at fault correctly, as well as if someone was going too fast or too slow," said Officer Jim Byrne with the North Las Vegas Police.

After the crashes, conference attendees got to get up close to see what damage it did. Organizers use cameras on the ground and in the air to collect data, as well as the car's black box. There are law enforcement officers from all over the world participating. 

One retired police officer from the Cayman Islands says this information and experience is invaluable.

"It lets you know what to look for when you see something. 'Oh, I saw that there in the crash test,' and you can compare it. 'That was 30 miles an hour, this is what it should look like,'" said retired officer Collin Redden.

Redden says there are only 15 to 20 fatal accidents in the Cayman Islands every year.

North Las Vegas police say speed is not the main factor in most crashes anymore. Now, it's speed combined with inattentive drivers.

All of the data collected at the four-day conference is compiled onto a DVD. It has crash pictures, speed calculations, driver impact, damage and everything that happened in the crash so each attendee can take the DVD back to his or her department to educate other officers.