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30 with the fixed format (e.g., constraints on the number of dig- schema in the safety arena are for crash reporting and high- its for certain data items). It would allow for development of way safety analysis. These are discussed below. standard web services for validation, queries, and reports. Several changes to the NBI data items have been proposed, Crash Reporting and an update is likely over the next couple of years. It would be best to roll out a new NBI XML format in conjunction with Crash records are an obvious candidate for an XML schema. this update. Therefore, the timing was not right for develop- Crash records are used by many organizations and individu- ment of an NBI XML schema as part of NCHRP Project 20-64. als for a variety of different purposes. They are sufficiently complex to make manual reentry of data costly. Their accu- racy is critical. Even though crash data are not currently 4.5 Transportation Safety standardized, the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria The transportation safety area involves many different (MMUCC), the FARS reporting requirements, and ANSI business processes on the part of multiple agencies. Major D20 and D16 provide a solid base of widely adopted stan- processes include the following: dards on which to build an XML schema. Many states have uniform crash reports and are in various stages of imple- Collection and processing of crash reports, including work menting electronic crash reporting systems; several are already flow to validate and approve reports across multiple agen- using XML. The AASHTO TSIMS design (5) recommends cies (state and local law enforcement, state highway safety XML as the primary data exchange format for import and export functions, passing data to and from external legacy office, state DOT); systems and the TSIMS data warehouse, and between TSIMS Federal reporting of safety data from state agencies and and external safety analysis applications. (Please note: As of operators to NHTSA (Fatal Accident Reporting System, the time NCHRP Project 20-64 was completed, the TSIMS State Data System), FMCSA (SAFETYNET) and FRA; project had been discontinued. It is anticipated that this proj- Linking crash data with other data sources (highway ect will be replaced by a new, reduced scope project entitled inventory, vehicle registration, driver licensing, enforce- "Safety Management System.") ment, medical/injury control, road weather information) A standard crash record document (even a base that could to provide information needed to analyze causal factors be adapted by individual states) would facilitate implementa- and outcomes; tion of electronic crash reporting systems, reducing the time Sharing of crash reports within and across multiple agen- and cost of crash records processing. It would allow for devel- cies and organizations; opment and sharing of software (e.g., web services) for Querying, reporting and mapping crash data based on a variety of criteria; Validating individual crash reports, Determining high-accident locations by conducting statis- Aggregating crash reports from different sources, tical analysis of crash data and vehicle miles of travel on Querying and reporting of crash data, different types of roadway sections; Mapping of crash data, and Analyzing crash information to develop strategic safety plans; Analyzing crash data. Identifying and evaluating safety countermeasures for specific locations; During the course of this project, NHTSA released an XML Evaluating the safety implications of alternative facility schema for crash records based on the MMUCC. This schema designs and of alternative construction and maintenance was developed in coordination with the Global JusticeXML practices, (including work zones); effort, which had previously included some material for the Commercial vehicle licensing, inspection, and permitting driver history and citation elements of a comprehensive crash processes, including those related to hazardous materials records schema, but not most of the MMUCC elements. transport; Real-time (ITS) management of incidents and emer- Highway Safety Analysis gency response activities; and Real-time (ITS) work zone safety management processes. While the MMUCC elements include some information on the characteristics of the crash site, it is impractical to col- Real-time exchange of incident information is already lect detailed highway inventory information as part of a crash being addressed in the ITS arena; and exchange of motor car- report. In order to identify high-accident locations, evaluate rier safety information is being addressed within FMCSA. potential countermeasures and conduct safety analyses cor- The two highest priority remaining opportunities for XML relating highway characteristics to crash risks, it is necessary

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31 to link crash data to highway inventory data via a common Get highway information for a crash and store it in an location reference. Therefore, in addition to an XML schema archive for statistical analysis and queries; for crash data, it would also be beneficial to define a schema Get highway information for a crash and use it to validate for a standard set of highway inventory elements that could information on the crash report (e.g., consistency of dif- be extracted from existing inventory systems for use in safety ferent location attributes of the crash record, pavement analysis. FHWA's Safety Analyst software database is a good surface type, median type); first cut at defining the inventory elements required for such Get safety-related highway inventory information for an analysis. The draft TSIMS data dictionary (which focused on identified high-accident location in order to identify and highway data elements) and relevant location and linear ref- evaluate countermeasures; and erencing elements needed to link crash records to highway Given a set of crashes over a given time period, establish inventory provide additional sources for such a schema. peer groups based on highway characteristics, calculate Functions/processes that could make use of this schema average crash rates and/or hazard indices and identify include the following: high-accident locations.