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Observatory of Forensic Engineering

The Observatory of Forensic Engineering is currently researching how police forensic engineers in Ecuador investigate motorway infrastructures through the lens of traffic accidentology. We focus on how engineering failures are often overlooked when assessing road safety, partly due to the lack of expertise and partly because of the politics embedded in the country's transport infrastructure, which includes often-unregulated civil engineering building practices and a rapidly growing national vehicle fleet. In conversation with Science and Technology Studies (STS) concerned with road networks, and based on police forensic reports, we ask what can traffic road crashes teach us about the politics of infrastructure in Ecuador? In answering this question, we show that the Ecuadorian transportation system faces several infrastructural performance problems that go beyond engineering failures, ranging from widespread construction corruption to regional illegal vehicle markets.