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71 rity Monthly Summary Form (S&S-50) is a monthly summary Standardized Electronic of the number of safety and security events that resulted in an LRT Incident Reporting arrest/citation but did not meet the criteria of a "reportable To ensure that data relevant to assessing the safety of transit incident." Transit agencies are also required to submit data systems and impact of safety treatments are available, it is pertaining to a reportable incident using the Reportable Inci- critical that these data should be consistently collected during dent Report Form (S&S-40). This form must be submitted the incident reporting process. Since incident report forms are within 30 days of the incident occurrence. the primary source of information used by transit agencies in incident investigation, site-specific conditions such as the right- Redundancies in Data Collection of-way classification and the presence or absence of traffic con- trols, signage, and other safety devices should be consistently As noted in the preceding section, agencies are responsible reported in the incident report forms used by transit agencies. for collecting and reporting data twice. They collect and send data to the SSO (which reviews the data and may develop cor- Develop and implement a standardized, comprehensive, rective action plans), and they collect and send data to the NTD electronic LRT incident reporting form. This form should be through NTD reporting procedures. Agencies that operate on developed and implemented nationally to ensure that the a shared alignment with heavy rail also send in-depth internal same data are collected in all cases and to ensure that the same records and/or report incidents to the FRA. Local LRT agen- data are accessible to all who need them. The form should pro- cies are tasked with the role of reporting the same information to multiple agencies, but all the local agencies visited reported vide useful prompts and other support for the user entering that they rarely receive any feedback or results from the data data to improve clarity and reduce effort to a minimum. they report. Structure of Reporting Forms A Potential National Standard The structure and format of incident report forms is also Accident Data Collection Procedure critical to ensuring that all relevant data are collected, easily This section outlines a potential method to facilitate the transferred into an electronic database, and easily analyzed. compilation of transit accident data in a coordinated and Checkboxes and pull-down menus should be used for data consistent manner across the United States, with a focus on fields, and the number of possible or relevant responses should collecting data that can be used to assess the impact of safety be limited, avoiding free-form input where practical. The treatments. responses can be supplemented with text descriptions that can Two sources provide the data required for safety analysis: be used to report unusual circumstances. The text descriptions can also be used to verify data accuracy. For example, report 1. The local LRT agency investigation of a collision, coupled forms may include a comprehensive list of safety treatments with an associated report from police, necessary for assess- and require the investigator to indicate if each is present or ment of causal factors. absent, followed by a text field where the investigator can 2. The local authority responsible for traffic data manage- describe any relevant features not included on the list. This for- ment, which could provide exposure data such as road and mat will not only provide the investigator with a sense of what pedestrian traffic volumes, necessary to establish rates. information is relevant to collect, but will also result in data that is more useful for analysis. Since both of these sources are at the local level, all data col- The responses in the checkboxes and pull-down menus lection and entry should take place locally and electronically should conform to national or industry standards where to minimize data manipulation and transcription problems applicable (e.g., right-of-way classification by alignment later. The database format and structure should be designed type as developed as part of TCRP Report 17 and described to easily permit all data users (for whatever purpose) to extract in Chapter 2). Sources such as the Model Minimum Uniform the information they need with a minimum of manual effort. Crash Criteria (MMUCC) can be extremely useful in provid- This will increase efficiency by reducing the redundancy of ing transit agencies with guidance as to what categories of reporting differently to the various agencies involved at local, information are critical to include in incident reporting. The state, and national levels. It will also increase accuracy by use of data reporting methods such as hand-drawn sketches avoiding subjective decisions and second-guessing of evidence that cannot be used for queries in electronic databases should (e.g., during transcription of one report into another sys- be minimized, and additional categorized data fields should tem) that weakens the resulting data and any conclusions be included to ensure that relevant information in sketches is drawn later. also provided in a more usable format.