In March 1994, the Training Section of the UHP obtained a computerized Accident Investigation Mapping System (AIMS) from the Nikon Corporation for testing and evaluation. Sergeant Kirk Middaugh, Trooper Stan Locker, and Trooper Greg Lundell received training with the AIMS. The system was then assigned to Davis County for an evaluation period.
Upon completion of the evaluation, efforts were made to secure funding for an AIMS system for the Patrol. Funding was obtained through the Utah Department of Transportation as part of the I-15 Incident Management Plan, a federally funded program designed to reduce traffic congestion and to increase air quality along the Wasatch Front. Three AIMS units were purchased including the necessary computer hardware and software. These units are currently assigned to Weber County, Davis County, and Salt Lake County. In November 1995, 20 troopers were trained to operate the AIMS system.
The AIMS system is designed to collect large amounts of information at an accident scene in as short a time as possible. This information is then used to reconstruct a detailed scale diagram of the accident scene.
The AIMS system utilizes infrared technology. An infrared beam is reflected off a prism to record various locations. This information is stored in a data collector which is later downloaded to the AIMS computer. The computer then analyzes and edits this information and produces a scale diagram of the accident scene.
With AIMS technology an investigator can record several hundred points at an accident scene, with more precision, in the same time required to gather 20 to 30 points using conventional methods. The AIMS system can then produce a scale diagram in minutes, versus hours using conventional methods. By utilizing technology such as the AIMS system, the Utah Highway Patrol continues to be a leader in accident investigation and reconstruction.