EVALUATION AND TESTING OF POLICE VEHICLES FOR ROLLOVER STABILITY
Following a Police vehicle rollover crash resulting in the death of the driver and front passenger, major concerns were raised by the Police Force regarding the safety and handling performance of certain Police vehicles.
As a result, a study of vehicle handling and stability for different vehicle types in the Victoria Police fleet was carried out by MUARC. This Stage 1 study comprised two main tasks: (i) analysis of the Police vehicle accident database with regard to determining the incidence and rate of rollover involved crashes for each vehicle type; and (ii) determine stability and dynamic handling characteristics of a range of Police vehicles using Tilt- Table tests, and Steady State Turning and Double Lane Change Manoeuvres. The tests were carried out by the Army Engineering Agency (AEA) Mechanical Laboratories, at the Army?s Monegeetta Proving Grounds. The analysis and handling tests helped identify vehicle models that had an unacceptably high rollover risk, resulting in the Victoria Police changing certain key vehicles in their fleet, and interstate Police Forces also reviewing their vehicle operational policies. Following this work, a Stage 2 project is in progress, with the aim of defining performance and evaluation criteria to be used in the specification and procurement of new Police vehicles.