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20 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis data (including crash causation determination and type of accident), consistent data submission and enforcement across states, and making the data visible immediately after it is submitted. 2.2.12 Safety Report: Transportation Safety Databases This report (NTSB 2002) evaluated the data quality issues of the many external databases used to perform accident investigations, safety studies, and special investigations. The main purpose of this report was to identify information gaps and establish data quality standards to ensure compatibility between databases and increase the usability of these databases. Aside from developing a new database that would contain all of the necessary information for the various analyses, NTSB felt that it was most important to modify existing databases to be more compatible with each other (namely the NASS, FARS, and state databases), and improve the accuracy or completeness of submitted information (many databases have fields for infor- mation that are not recorded by the data collector). 2.2.13 Illinois Department of Transportation Crash Data Process Audit This report (Scopatz 2006) was compiled after a study team collected information about the processes the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) uses to collect motor vehicle crash data. It was concluded that the current accident reporting system was not working well. This audit was not conducted because of incorrect or incomplete information, but rather due to untimely information. Because of inefficient recording processes, IDOT was experiencing a backlog of nearly six months for reporting crashes to the necessary databases (FARS and MCMIS). Recommendations included reducing the number of unnecessary reports that are filed (for crashes that do not meet the FARS or MCMIS reporting requirements) and implementing electronic file transfer instead of printing out reports and hand keying them into the necessary database. 2.2.14 User's Guide to Federal Accidental Release Databases This report (EPA 1995) focuses on the incompatibilities of the various federal hazmat databases hosted by agencies such as NRC, EPA, and DOT. It was concluded that it is difficult to evaluate the overall effect of an accident without gathering information from more than one database, which can be time consuming. It was recommended that, in the future, the databases be linked by key identifiers to give users access to all of the available information for a given accident. 2.2.15 Comparative Risks of Hazardous Materials and Non-Hazardous Materials Truck Shipment Accidents/Incidents Although this report (Battelle 2001) is a risk assessment for hazmat and non-hazmat accidents, it includes discussion of the federal databases being used in hazmat root cause analysis. From reviewing these databases, the following recommendations were made: Standardize the definitions of what constitutes an accident, what accidents must be reported, and what information must be reported. Include common fields in various databases so that pertinent information can be shared and not duplicated. Implement electronic filing for the major databases to reduce any backlog time. 2.2.16 Hazardous Materials Serious Crash Analysis: Phase 2 This report (Battelle 2005) details the process that the study team implemented in order to develop a hazmat accident database by combining data from MCMIS, HMIRS, state police accident reports (PARs), and interviews of carriers involved in the accidents. By joining these data, a higher