South Carolina Safety Data Improvements through Electronic Crash System Deployment: Roadway Safety Data and Analysis Case Study
This case study highlights the methods used for deployment, training, and implementation of an electronic crash system, the South Carolina Collision and Ticket Tracking System (SCCATTS), and documents its benefits to law enforcement, crash data management, and highway safety programs. SCCATTS is a long-term initiative to improve law enforcement data quality and supports decision making with quality data and efficient data sharing among stakeholders.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and the South Carolina DOT (SCDOT) implemented SCCATTS to provide an electronic data capture solution for crash information, citation data, and related personal contacts. SCCATTS eliminated paper reporting and associated manual data entry, and improved efficiency by supporting simultaneous access by multiple agencies. SCCATTS provides a solution for law enforcement agencies to use the SCDOT Linear Reference System to map the crash location. This makes it simpler for the State to link crash data with roadway inventory and traffic volume data. The system also stores the collision data for the State and creates aggregate reports for any data element within the system. SCCATTS applies business rule validations and edit checks for the State’s police crash report form, public contacts, and the Uniform Traffic Ticket. SCCATTS sends the raw data back to the law enforcement agencies and interfaces with SCDOT, South Carolina DMV (SCDMV) and other stakeholder agencies’ systems.
- Gaining support from local law enforcement agencies to use the software is key because they are responsible for a large percentage of crash reports. Their data is the primary source for crash information on local roads.
- More data does not necessarily equal better quality data. The deployment of an electronic crash system can provide more timely crash data and improve its accuracy and completeness, which increases the reliability of the data for safety decision making. It reduces errors introduced by human factors by eliminating multiple data entry/handling steps and by prompting officers when potential problems are identified in data at the time the report is submitted.
- One of the largest issues for agencies getting on board was the ability to have access to the data within their own records management systems. While South Carolina’s solution had no licensing cost, a number of agencies have invested in software that they preferred to use to meet their own analytic needs.
- By working together, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and local agencies were able to create the interfaces required to share data back to the local agencies’ records management systems.