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10 into their crash records system up to a year or more after Graphical user interface (GUI) the crash occurred. GIS Computer-aided dispatch Decision Support CRASH DATA MANAGEMENT GUI Context-sensitive help Management of crash records systems also affects the qual- Voice recognition ity of these data by duplication of the data handling, outdated Artificial intelligence software systems, and a lack of system compatibility with Analytical Tools other components of a traffic records system. Many of the Modeling older legacy systems for crash management were designed Simulation. with linkages to other components of a traffic records system (e.g., Roadway, Vehicle, and Driver systems) to edit data as There have been numerous pilot tests and uses of these it was entered. In addition, extensive system validation edits technological strategies to improve crash records systems, were in place to improve the quality of the crash data. with varying degrees of success. In regard to this report, it was concluded that technologies could address some of the As resources are reduced, fewer coders are available to issues of data collection, management, and use. Indeed, a sin- enter the crash data and the data entry falls further and fur- gle technology might address numerous issues. However, it ther behind. To overcome these data entry delays, many states was clear that technology would not solve all of the problems have removed system validation edits, reduced the number of of crash records systems. data elements entered, and raised the crash reporting thresh- olds. In many cases, those variables required to link the crash Beginning in the early 1990s, many technologies were file to other data components (e.g., vehicle tag or vehicle proven useful in the area of crash records systems. These identification number, driver's license number, and location included the following projects: coding) are also removed. The result is that crash data are processed more quickly, but the ability to use these data for Technocar 2000--This project, funded by FHWA, analyses is severely limited. NHTSA, and the Texas DOT, proved the use of inno- vative technologies in a law enforcement vehicle to TECHNOLOGY STRATEGIES improve the ability of the officer to collect data and report locations, and the ability to establish a link with In a study to identify possible improvements in safety infor- other sources of information. The vehicle contained a mation to support highway design, technological strategies mobile videotaping system; GPS; a pen-based com- with the potential for improving safety information are pre- puter system with touch screen and in-vehicle docking sented (24). The following list is adapted from these techno- and keyboard; and the TRASER database software sys- logical strategies. tem for crash, citation, and commercial motor vehicle inspection forms. The TC2000 was examined for human Data Collection factors conditions and withstood crash tests of the Portable computers installed equipment and mounting systems (25,26). Prerecorded data readers ALERT--The Advanced Law Enforcement and Artificial intelligence Response Technology (ALERT) project, funded by Location technologies FHWA, National Institute of Justice, and International Laser-based measurement Association of Chiefs of Police, continued the work Digital photography started in the Technocar 2000 project. A vehicle was Aerial imaging outfitted with an integrated network of devices to sup- Data Communications port the mobile data collection requirements and pro- Cellular systems vide wireless access to local, state, and federal data- RF (radio frequency) systems bases, controlled through a single GUI (27). Although Fiber optic systems this study has ended, automotive and other companies Data Management continue to identify vehicle-based technologies for data Optical scanners (optical mark recognition and opti- collection. cal character recognition) Expert systems--This crash data collection program, Artificial intelligence funded by FHWA, tested the use of expert systems Error-trapping and correction technology to improve the accuracy of police-reported Databases data. Three expert systems were developed, evaluated, Relational and implemented in mobile software programs in use in Object-oriented Iowa: (1) seat belt use, (2) vehicle damage rating, and User Interfaces (3) roadside barrier problem identification (28).