The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) recognized a need to provide transportation safety data in a more user-friendly format. Providing easier access to data and enhanced analytic capabilities would encourage participation by safety partners in the State’s various safety programs, including its SHSP efforts.
The State contracted with the Rutgers University Transportation Safety Resource Center (TSRC) to develop a roadway safety decision support tool. This software program enables users to quickly filter, analyze, and map crash records. The tool also allows merging of specialized data sources with crash records, enabling in-depth analysis.
The TSRC developed the software as a web-based application to enable public agency personnel to quickly analyze safety data. By hosting the tool on a platform of servers, large amounts of data can be accommodated with little effect on execution speed. The application processes queries submitted on-line, produces reports mapping crash location and severity, and identifies contributing factors. Users can access the software from any Internet-enabled computer without requiring a high level of computing power. The program is secured through the use of login IDs and passwords to protect content and allows users to save filters and preferences. The program enables network screening, economic analysis, and diagnosis. The network screening layer integrates methodologies currently used by safety engineers to locate high-crash intersections or segments. Crash rates can be calculated for any filter/query. The software also includes a model to predict crash frequencies and severity for selected roadways. Future elements will incorporate the safety performance function calculations from the new Highway Safety Manual into the program for all classifications of roadways to determine which locations have the greatest potential for safety improvement.
The Center also provides engineering, planning, training, and outreach services to local governments and assists with crash data analysis to support SHSP implementation. NJDOT funds work of the TSRC through the HSIP.
- Developed new system for on-line access to transportation safety data enabling safety partners to make data-driven safety decisions.
- Enhanced capabilities to analyze data and tailor reports to support safety initiatives.
- Distributed safety data broadly to encourage greater SHSP participation.
The web-based software tool supporting collection, analysis, and distribution of transportation safety data has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the SHSP. The approximately 500 agencies using the analysis software enjoy easy access to transportation safety data and can perform analyses to support their local safety initiatives as well as those at the state level. Broad dissemination of safety data and the availability of this tool has encouraged participation in the SHSP by safety partners at all levels.
Assistant Commissioner of Capital Investment & Grant Administration
NJ Department of Transportation