Improved Police Accident Recording for Prevention Purposes
PHK Steffen Laskosky, Staatsbetrieb Sächsische Informatik Dienste
Black spot management in Germany practised by the police authority of the state saxony with a focus on the accident recording, practical aspects and the analysis.
Road accident recording by the police is mainly done because of the following reasons: documentation for civil right claims, collecting statistical information and prosecution of administrational and criminal offences. Considering road safety prevention the collected accident information is useful for analyzing trends or identifying target groups for safety measures. When it comes to analyzing accident contributing factors regarding the road infrastructure or traffic conditions this information is not enough for an effective road safety practice. It needs precise and reliable data on the accident locations as well as the traffic situation (conflict) right before the collision. This enables traffic engineers as wells as the police to identify critical parts in the road network and link conflict situations to effective measures regarding design and operation of the road facility and enforcement actions.
Police officers that record accident information in the field have to deal with time pressure and often have a lack of knowledge regarding the requirements for a successful accident analysis. Therefor it needs standardized recording procedures and simplified attributes to support a thoroughly and objective documentation of the road safety situation in a jurisdiction. The definition of the accident type in Germany is unique because most of the comparable international known type definitions often consider only the kind of collision as a consequence of the accident. The German accident type describes and categorizes the conflict situation before the accident occurs and enables analysts to identify similarities and patterns in the accident data that point to infrastructure deficits. This is done with only seven main categories and numerous sub-groups to describe the crucial conflict situations in road traffic. It is an easy method to record one accident attribute that has extensive potential for the safety management of the road infrastructure.
The road safety practice of the police is supported by software tools for recording, evaluation and visualization of the accident data. This software helps the police to improve the quality of the accident data, documentation and even the data workflow at police administrations. Today all road accidents including property-damage-only-accident are provided by the police in the federal state of Saxony. Road engineers, traffic planers, researchers, statisticians and politicians do profit from this comprehensive solid road accident data and the visualization of accident type maps.
Association for European Transport