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Traffic Safety Information Systems in Europe and Australia

September 2004

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Office of International Programs FHWA/US DOT (HPIP)
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590

Tel: 202-366-9636
Fax: 202-366-9626



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.

The metric units reported are those used in common practice by the persons interviewed. They have not been converted to pure SI units because in some cases, the level of precision implied would have been changed.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the document.

The publication of this document was sponsored by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration under contract number DTFH61-99-C00005. awarded to American Trade Initiatives, Inc. Any opinions, options, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government, the authors' parent institutions, or American Trade Initiatives, Inc.

This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Traffic Safety Information Systems in Europe and Australia


5. Report Date

October 2004

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s) Mike Crow, Michael L. Halladay, Susan Martinovich, DeLucia, David L. Harkey, Donald J. McNamara, James Lacy, Betty L. Serian, Michael S. Griffith, Scott MacGregor, Barbara Hilger W. Ellison, J. Kevin 8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

American Trade Initiatives
P.O. Box 8228
Alexandria, VA 22306-8228

10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of International Programs
Office of Policy
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA COTR: Hana Maier, Office of International Programs

16. Abstract

Safety data is key to making sound decisions on the design and operation of roadways, but the quality of many States' crash atabases has eroded because of resource reductions. The Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of how agencies in the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia develop and use traffic safety information systems.

The U.S. delegation found that, similar to the United States, the countries face a drop in crash documentation by law enforcement agencies, but they are developing creative methods for estimation, linkage, and integration to limit the amount of data collection required. The team also noted that safety is a core function with high-level support in the countries visited, and identified several themes that support a coordinated approach to managing safety data. The scanning team's recommendations for U.S. application include advancing safety themes in the areas of strategy,efficiency, and utility in a project to develop a more comprehensive approach to improving information systems. The team also recommends conducting a U.S. scan to determine best practices for collecting and sharing safety data, simplifying data collection by increasing automation, and evaluating new technologies to improve data collection and management.

17. Key Words

safety data, traffic safety information systems, fatality rate, data collection, data estimation, crash investigation


18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public from the Office of International Programs

FHWA-HPIP, Room 3325
US Dept. of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590



19. Security Classif.
(of this report)


20. Security Classif.
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Traffic Safety Information Systems in Europe and Australia

Prepared by the International Scanning Study Team:

Michael L. Halladay

James W. Ellison
Pierce County Public Works and Utilities

Scott MacGregor
California Highway Patrol

Susan Martinovich
Nevada DOT

Michael S. Griffith

Donald J. McNamara

Mike Crow
Kansas DOT

David L. Harkey
UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Betty L. Serian
Pennsylvania DOT

Barbara Hilger DeLucia
Data Nexus, Inc.

J. Kevin Lacy
North Carolina DOT



American Trade Initiatives, Inc.

LGB Associates, Inc.

for the

Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials

National Cooperative Highway Research Program
(Panel 20-36)
of the Transportation Research Board

October 2004


The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Technology Exchange Program accesses and evaluates innovative foreign technologies and practices that could significantly benefit U.S. highway transportation systems. This approach allows for advanced technology to be adapted and put into practice much more efficiently without spending scarce research funds to recreate advances already developed by other countries.

The main channel for accessing foreign innovations is the International Technology Scanning Program. The program is undertaken jointly with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and its Special Committee on International Activity Coordination in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board's National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-36 "Highway Research and Technology—International Information Sharing," the private sector, and academia.

FHWA and AASHTO jointly determine priority topics for teams of U.S. experts to study. Teams in the specific areas being investigated are formed and sent to countries where significant advances and innovations have been made in technology, management practices, organizational structure, program delivery, and financing. Scanning teams usually include representatives from FHWA, State departments of transportation, local governments, transportation trade and research groups, the private sector, and academia.

After a scan is completed, team members evaluate findings and develop comprehensive reports, including recommendations for further research and pilot projects to verify the value of adapting innovations for U.S. use. Scan reports, as well as the results of pilot programs and research, are circulated throughout the country to State and local transportation officials and the private sector. Since 1990, FHWA has organized more than 50 international scans and disseminated findings nationwide on topics such as pavements, bridge construction and maintenance, contracting, intermodal transport, organizational management, winter road maintenance, safety, intelligent transportation systems, planning, and policy.

The International Technology Scanning Program has resulted in significant improvements and savings in road program technologies and practices throughout the United States. In some cases, scan studies have facilitated joint research and technology sharing projects with international counterparts, further conserving resources and advancing the state of the art. Scan studies have also exposed transportation professionals to remarkable advancements and inspired implementation of hundreds of innovations. The result: large savings of research dollars and time, as well as significant improvements in the Nation's transportation system.

For a complete list of International Technology Scanning topics and to order free copies of the reports, please see the list contained in this publication and at data collection and management.www.international.fhwa.dot.gov, or e-mail international@fhwa.dot.gov.

FHWA International Technology Exchange Reports

International Technology Scanning Program:

Bringing Global Innovations to U.S. Highways


Traffic Safety Information Systems in Europe and Australia (2004)
Signalized Intersection Safety in Europe (2003)
Managing and Organizing Comprehensive Highway Safety in Europe (2003)
European Road Lighting Technologies (2001)
Commercial Vehicle Safety Technology and Practice in Europe (2000)
Innovative Traffic Control Technology and Practice in Europe (1999)
Road Safety Audits—Final Report and Case Studies (1997)
Speed Management and Enforcement Technology: Europe and Australia (1996)
Safety Management Practices in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand (1995)
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in England, Germany, and the Netherlands (1994)

Planning and Environment

European Right-of-Way and Utilities Best Practices (2002)
Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Across European Highways (2002)
Sustainable Transportation Practices in Europe (2001)
National Travel Surveys (1994)
European Intermodal Programs: Planning, Policy, and Technology (1994)

Policy and Information

European Practices in Transportation Workforce Development (2003)
Emerging Models for Delivering Transportation Programs and Services (1999)
Acquiring Highway Transportation Information from Abroad (1994)
International Guide to Highway Transportation Information (1994)


Superior Materials, Advanced Test Methods, and Specifications in Europe (2004)
Freight Transportation: The Latin American Market (2003)
Intelligent Transportation Systems and Winter Operations in Japan (2003)
Traveler Information Systems in Europe (2003)
Meeting 21st Century Challenges of System Performance Through Better Operations (2003)
Freight Transportation: The European Market (2002)
Methods and Procedures to Reduce Motorist Delays in European Work Zones (2000)
European Winter Service Technology (1998)
European Traffic Monitoring (1997)
Traffic Management and Traveler Information Systems (1997)
Snowbreak Forest Book—Highway Snowstorm Countermeasure Manual (Translated from Japanese) (1996)
Winter Maintenance Technology and Practices—Learning from Abroad (1995)
Advanced Transportation Technology (1994)


Contract Administration: Technology and Practice in Europe (2002)
Geometric Design Practices for European Roads (2001)
International Contract Administration Techniques for Quality Enhancement (1994)


Pavement Preservation Technology in France, South Africa, and Australia (2002)
Recycled Materials In European Highway Environments (2000)
South African Pavement and Other Highway Technologies and Practices (1997)
Highway/Commercial Vehicle Interaction (1996)
European Concrete Highways (1992)
European Asphalt Technology (1990)


Performance of Concrete Segmental and Cable-Stayed Bridges in Europe (2001)
Steel Bridge Fabrication Technologies in Europe and Japan (2001)
European Practices for Bridge Scour and Stream Instability Countermeasures (1999)
Geotechnical Engineering Practices in Canada and Europe (1999)
Advanced Composites in Bridges in Europe and Japan (1997)
Asian Bridge Structures (1997)
Bridge Maintenance Coatings (1997)
Northumberland Strait Crossing Project (1996)
European Bridge Structures (1995)
Geotechnology—Soil Nailing (1992)

All publications are available on the Internet at www.international.fhwa.dot.gov

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Term Description
AAMVA American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ABS Antilock Braking System
AIS Abbreviated Injury Scale
ANCIS Australia's National Crash Indepth Study
ARRB Australian Transport Research
AVV Dutch Transport Research Center
BAC Blood Alcohol Content
BASt Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute
CARE Community Road Accident Database
COPS Computerized Operational Policing System
CPI California Profilograph Index
CRSC Community Road Safety Councils
DAL Division of Analytical Laboratories
DART Dutch Accident Research Team
DOT Department of Transportation
EES Equivalent Energy Speed
EU European Union
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GIDAS German Indepth Accident Study
Gipsi-Trac Global Inertial Positioning System Integration Tracking Route Alignment and Crossfall
GIS Geographic Information Systems
GPS Global Positioning System
HSIS Highway Safety Information System
IIHS Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
IRI International Roughness Index
IRTAD International Road Traffic and Accident Database
LAC Local Area Command
LRS Linear Referencing System
MAA Motor Accidents Authority
MUARC Monash University Accident Research Center
NACE National Association of County Engineers
NASS National Automotive Sampling System
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NSW New South Wales
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PAL Police Assistance Line
RAMS Road Asset Management System
RSRM Road Safety Risk Manager
RTA Roads and Traffic Authority
RTR Roads and Transport Research Program
SHRP Strategic Highway Research Program
SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research
TAC Transport Accident Commission
TADS Traffic Accident Database System
TAIMS Traffic Asset Inventory Management
TISPOL European Traffic Police Network
TMC Transport Management Center
TNO Netherlands' Organization for Applied Scientific Research
TOPS Travel Options Planning Service
TRB Transportation Research Board
TRIU Traffic Research and Intelligence Unit
UNC University of North Carolina
USDOT U. S. Department of Transportation
VicRoads Victoria Roads Corporation
VMT Vehicle Miles Traveled
VRU Vulnerable Road Users
VSR Vehicle Securities Register
WIM Weigh-In-Motion
XLIMITS Advisory Speed Limit Expert System
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