The SHSP is a Data-driven Plan

Data is the lifeblood of any traffic safety effort because it helps determine where to focus effort and resources and evaluates effectiveness. In selecting the critical emphasis areas, safety stakeholders carefully reviewed data to determine the most serious transportation safety problems.

The data used to develop and monitor the SHSP includes crash data involving fatalities and serious injuries. This data is collected by police officers at the scene of a crash.

Information related to crashes, vehicles, drivers, and passengers is captured and maintained in a statewide database. This database contains a wealth of crash information, including date, time, location, severity, manner of collision, contributing factors, weather, traffic controls, and design features of the road.

Vehicle information may include year, make, model, and registration of the vehicles involved. Driver and passenger information typically includes age, gender, license status, and injury data. Injury Surveillance Systems (ISS) typically provides data on emergency medical services (EMS), emergency department (ED), hospital admission/discharge, trauma registry, and long-term rehabilitation. Roadway information includes roadway location and classification (e.g., interstates, arterials, collectors, etc.) and a description of the physical characteristics and uses of the roadway. Location reference systems vary around the country but are becoming increasingly dependent upon GPS for accurate location information.

Ideally, a state should be able to track a citation from the time it is issued by a law enforcement officer through prosecution and disposition in a court of law. Citation information should be tracked and linked to driver history files to ensure unsafe drivers are not licensed. States have found that citation tracking systems are useful in detecting recidivism for serious traffic offenses earlier in the process (i.e., prior to conviction) and for tracking the behavior of law enforcement agencies and the courts with respect to dismissals and plea bargains.

Additional information on Crash Data is available from NDOT.