ITSMR plays a key role in supporting New York’s performance-based process for planning and assessing the progress of the state’s highway safety program
by extracting and analyzing data from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) large data files on crashes, tickets and licensed drivers. ITSMR’s capabilities in this area have been expanded recently through the development of software applications designed to facilitate the collection and reporting of various traffic safety-related data.
Traffic Safety Data & Analytical Support Services
At the request of the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), ITSMR provides highway safety data from the DMV’s various traffic records systems to meet the needs of the DMV, GTSC and their major state agency partners, including the Departments of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Health (DOH), the State Police, and other state and local highway safety organizations. This involves querying and retrieving data from four key DMV data systems: the Accident Information System (AIS) database, the Traffic Safety Law Enforcement and Disposition (TSLED) and Administrative Adjudication ticket files, and the Driver License File. ITSMR provides data analysis support to these same partners, generating and distributing statistical reports on motor vehicle crashes and on tickets issued for violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and responding to ad hoc data requests.
- Statewide Crash Data Reports: ITSMR prepares New York’s annual statewide statistical summary report on motor vehicle crashes as well as a series of special reports on crashes involving pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, large trucks and school vehicles; alcohol-related and speed-related crashes; and crashes that occur in New York City. These reports are available on the DMV website.
- County Crash Data Reports: ITSMR also prepares individualized reports of highway safety data for each of the state’s 62 counties for use in implementing performance-based highway safety programs at the local level. Updated annually, these reports contain tables and graphs presenting the results of analyses of crash, arrest and conviction data. The reports are made available on GTSC’s website.
New York’s ability to collect and provide timely access to various types of traffic records data is also critical to the receipt of federal funds to support highway safety efforts. In particular, these data are used to fulfill the requirements for receipt of federal highway safety funds under the Section 402 Highway Safety Program and the Section 405 National Priority Grant Programs.
Because of its extensive experience and expertise with the major traffic records systems housed at the DMV and its familiarity with the traffic-related data systems maintained by other state agencies, ITSMR plays a prominent role in efforts to improve the state’s traffic records systems. A major component of the state’s traffic records program is its Traffic Records Coordinating Council (TRCC). The TRCC is a multi-agency group of state agency personnel responsible for various traffic records systems in DMV, NYSDOT, DOH, the State Police, and the court system.
The TRCC serves as the working committee for the GTSC member agencies in the development of the state’s annual strategic plan for traffic records improvements. The TRCC assists the agencies in identifying and prioritizing traffic safety improvement projects and preparing the strategic plan. NHTSA requires states to have a TRCC and, under the auspices of the TRCC, further requires states to develop an approved Traffic Safety Information Systems (TSIS) Strategic Plan in order to qualify for federal traffic records grant funds each year.
ITSMR plays a key role in the TRCC, with its Deputy Director serving as the state’s Traffic Safety Information Systems (TSIS) Coordinator. The TSIS Coordinator assists the GTSC and the TRCC in preparing and implementing the strategic plan and preparing the state’s application for federal funding in the area of traffic records.
NYS DRE Data Entry & Management System
New York State has participated in the International Drug Evaluation & Classification Program (DEC) since 1987. The goal of the DEC program is to assist police officers in identifying drivers who are under the influence of drugs. Using a standardized protocol, an appropriately trained police officer can successfully identify drug impairment and accurately determine the category of drugs causing such impairment. Originating with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1979, the DEC program operates under the guidance and direction of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Commonly known as the Drug Recognition Expert program (DRE), today all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and the United Kingdom participate in the program.
To enhance New York’s participation in the DRE program and to improve its oversight and monitoring of the program, the GTSC is funding ITSMR to develop an electronic data entry, reporting and management system. To date, ITSMR has developed and implemented a comprehensive system that captures data on police officers who complete the DRE training and data on the drug evaluations conducted by these DREs. The system has two primary components, a web-based application and an android application, that can be used by DREs in the field to submit their evaluations and corresponding toxicology results into the DRE database developed by ITSMR.
With the support of the GTSC, the states of Vermont and West Virginia are participating in ITSMR’s pilot test of the applications. In addition, ITSMR has provided demo versions of the DRE tablet and web applications to several other states interested in having New York’s applications customized for their use.
ITSMR is continuing to enhance the system through the development of two additional applications. One is a robust reporting/query application that can be used to generate standardized and/or ad hoc reports by the DRE program management. The other application is an announcement, scheduling & e-registration application which will allow officers to register for DRE-related classes on-line.
Traffic Safety Statistical Repository
The Accident Information System (AIS) maintained by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles is the state’s primary crash information system. The AIS captures a wide variety of data from the crash reports submitted by police agencies and motorists. Since neither the public nor the research community has direct access to the AIS, the GTSC funded ITSMR to design and develop a traffic safety data repository that is accessible to both the public and the research community via the Internet. As a result, ITSMR has built a multi-dimensional model that not only captures crash data but can be expanded to incorporate additional data, as warranted, to meet users’ needs (for example, citation data). This new data repository is known as the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository (TSSR). In addition to designing and building the TSSR, ITSMR has developed standardized reports and query tools to facilitate access to the data via the internet. The TSSR’s web-based application was released in March 2016.
ITSMR has established a Technical and User Advisory Council to provide guidance and assist in the design and development of the TSSR and its web-based application. The Council has also assisted the ITSMR development staff in identifying the standard reports and ad hoc query capabilities needed by potential users. The Council includes representatives from DMV, NYSDOT, DOH, State Police, local police agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Police Department (NYPD), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and other groups as warranted.