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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-099
Date: September 2006

Traffic Safety Information Systems International Scan: Strategy Implementation White Paper

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Findings from The Scan

The principal finding from the scan was that each of the countries visited had a well developed strategic plan and were very well coordinated with respect to collecting, managing, and using safety data. The findings were summarized in terms of safety data themes divided among the headings of strategy, efficiency, and utility. Strategic themes refer to those requiring buy-in at the upper levels of an organization such as funding and top-level support. Efficiency themes focus on the collection and management of data, and utility themes are aimed at the actual application of the data. Below are the seven themes (as stated in the scanning team report) that were deemed most important by the scanning team.

Strategy

  • Top-level State and national support needs to be demonstrated. National level creation of a set of measures should be followed with clear communication to the States. The State leadership, in turn, should work to develop goals and ways to assess the completion of those goals.
  • Top-level meetings of stakeholder agencies in the public sector should have a singular focus on safety. Safety should be clearly defined as a core business, and performance measures should be established by which safety improvement can be assessed.

Efficiency

  • A main goal is to streamline and simplify data collection, especially for the officer in the field. This activity requires reviewing the data requirements and looking at quality assurance and collecting only the information needed.
  • Current technology can be used more efficiently to simplify data collection (through linkage rather than field data collection) and improve overall data quality.
  • New technology can be used where it will increase efficiency and/or improve data quality by also decreasing the amount of data collected onsite and through use of edit checks or other quality assurance methods.

Utility

  • Because usage of safety data is a fundamental precursor to improving data quality, marketing traffic safety information is a crucial activity. The use of marketing to raise awareness of the issues and the uses of data will in turn support data improvements.
  • Analytic tools are crucial for helping users get the most of the data and for supporting specific job functions such as performance monitoring, evaluation, and countermeasure selection. Increasing access to the data and the availability of user-friendly analytic tools will help to ensure data quality improvements.

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