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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

Section 8: Investigator’s powers

30.Section 8 gives RAIB inspectors the powers necessary to conduct an investigation. These provisions are modelled on the powers available to AAIB and MAIB accident investigators.

31.Subsection (3) creates new offences, designed to prevent RAIB inspectors from being hindered in their investigations. For example it is to be an offence for a person to fail to comply, without a reasonable excuse, with a requirement made by an inspector or to provide an inspector with evidence that person knows or suspects to be misleading. A person will also be committing an offence if he obstructs a person who is accompanying the inspector and who has been authorised to do so by the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents.

32.Subsections (5) and (6) give the RAIB primacy in an investigation. This is to ensure that while the different parties involved in investigating an accident will work alongside each other, one body, the RAIB, is to be in the lead. This provision clarifies that where a person (such as a police officer or any other investigator) seeks to take a particular course of action during an investigation, the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, or a person acting on his behalf, is able to make the decision on whether that course of action may be taken.

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