Final Report: An Overview of Virginia’s Computerized Crash Records SystemsAuthor/Presenter: Miller, John S.
This report identifies the various components of Virginia’s computerized crash records systems and explains how these components process crash data. Emphasis has been placed on recording information that was previously not documented. The scope has been limited to systems that capture, store, and report data on traffic crashes. Statewide systems include those of the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, the Department of State Police, the Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Department of Education, and the Department of Corrections. Local users such as planning district commissions, a traffic engineering department, and certain representative local law enforcement agencies were also included in the study. Representatives from statewide and local agencies were interviewed concerning how their respective systems processed crash data. Computer printouts, data dictionaries, and other agency-generated information were used in conjunction with the interviews to synthesize descriptions of how data are processed. Virginia’s computerized crash records are analyzed from several perspectives. These include the diversity of crash data users and providers, the need for access to crash data, existing documentation of database capabilities, coordination among agencies, sources of duplication of effort, the methods used to collect data, and linkage opportunities. In light of this discussion, recommendations are made to improve crash data utility, accessibility, and accuracy.