Highway Safety Records
A Vehicle Crash Report (VCR) is filled out for every crash that involves a motor vehicle, occurs on public property and results in more than $1500 ($750 before January 1, 2006) property damage for any one person involved in the crash, or results in and injury to any person involved. All law enforcement agencies in Idaho (City Police, County Sheriffs, and the Idaho State Police) are required by Idaho Code 49-1306 to send VCR forms to the Office of Highway Safety (OHS). All law enforcement agencies are now completing the VCRs on the software program called Idaho’s Mobile Program for Accident CollecTion (eIMPACT).
The software allows local agencies to store the crash information locally and transmit the data to the OHS electronically. This allows easy access to the data for each local agency, eliminates the need for local agencies to keep paper copies on hand, eliminates the need to print off a copy of the report and mail it to the OHS, and eliminates the need to re-key the data into our database.
Coding and Data Entry
Just over 20,800 reportable crashes were entered into the database in 2012. Each report must be coded, checked for completeness and accuracy, and entered into the crash database. Each full-time technician is responsible for approximately 4,700 VCRs per year. Each VCR includes 89 crash level data elements (location, environment, and conditions), 45 unit level data elements plus 16 additional data elements that are filled out for commercial motor vehicles, 19 person level data elements plus 15 additional data elements that are filled out for the person in control of the unit, and 2 additional elements for drivers licensed in Idaho. These elements encompass all three aspects of the crash: environment (including location and road conditions), vehicle, and person information. The accuracy of the data is dependent upon the correct interpretation by the law enforcement officer, as well as the technician in the OHS.
The OHS is currently providing free training to law enforcement agencies in advanced crash reporting to improve the quality and accuracy of the information collected. For more information about the training, contact Kirstin Weldin at Kirstin.Weldin@itd.idaho.gov
The OHS archives hard copy (paper) VCRs using microfilm. The OHS has microfilmed VCRs dating back to 1971. The film is stored in both the OHS and the General Service’s microfilm vault for protection. Crash reports sent electronically are archived in the crash data base.
Access to Crash Records/Database
Crash records are considered public information, and as such, are available to the general public. In accordance with Idaho Code, the OHS charges for each copy of a crash report, if applicable. The charge is $7.00 plus handling. Requests for crash reports may be made Online through Access Idaho. Statistical information not contained in the annual Idaho Traffic Crashes Report can also be obtained through the OHS, with the same charges applicable.
Local and State agencies are able to analyze the crash data using WebCARS, a web based analysis system developed by the OHS. For more information on eIMPACT or WebCARS, contact Margaret Goertz at (208) 334-8104 or Margaret.Goertz@itd.idaho.gov
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