Officials crash cars in Bethpage for safety education

Posted: Updated:
BETHPAGE -

The sound of crashing cars could be heard in Bethpage Wednesday – under the watchful eye of officials and experts.

Rusty Haight, who runs the Collision Safety Institute in Texas, is on Long Island this week doing crash data retrieval training for law enforcement in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Representatives from the counties' police departments, crime labs and district attorney's offices learned how to download and interpret data that's similar to information retrieved from a black box after a plane crash.

"The data captures a snapshot of about five seconds leading up to a crash and it really gives you a good objective, solid picture of how the crash happened," Haight says.

Event recording technology is available in about 90 percent of cars currently on the road, according to the Nassau District Attorney's Office.

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued regulations requiring car manufacturers to make that information commercially available to investigators. Law enforcement is required to get a search warrant before being allowed to access the data.

Both counties used asset forfeiture to pay for the training.

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