Piloting a digital version of the Self-Administered Interview for Road Traffic Collisions: Modernising interview techniques

Swansea University

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Uploaded to Knowledge Centre
13 June 2024

This report summarises the results of a pilot study evaluating the feasibility of a digital version of the Self-Administered Interview for Road Traffic Collisions (SAIRTC), an investigative tool designed to secure comprehensive, high-quality accounts from witnesses to road traffic collisions. The digital SAI-RTC is a secure form designed to elicit detailed, comprehensive reports from witnesses to road traffic collisions. The form was co-created with the Digital Services Team and the Roads Policing Unit within South Wales Police.

The digital SAI-RTC pilot was conducted between 28th March 2023 and 31st May 2023 by officers from a single team within the Roads Policing Unit. Over the study period, 9 eligible digital SAI-RTCs were received and coded, which came from 7 different collisions. Return rates, delay, and the content of the witness reports were examined. These were statistically compared with reports from pen-and-paper SAIRTCs from a previous field trial, which was conducted between 2019 and 2021 (Horry et al., 2022).

Reports from digital SAI-RTCs were highly detailed, with as many or more details reported as in the pen-and-paper forms from the previous field trial. However, return rates were substantially lower, and delays substantially higher, for the digital SAI-RTC than for the pen-and-paper SAI-RTC. These findings suggest that a digitised version of the SAI-RTC could be a useful investigative tool, but that there would need to be changes made to the way in which the tool is administered in order to improve return rates and reduce delays.

In particular, any organisation that wishes to implement a digital reporting tool should focus on simplifying the process through which an officer can invite a witness to provide their report. To improve return rates, automated reminders as well as scheduled follow-up phone calls should be considered.

Visit The Road Safety Trust website to view the full report (phase 2):