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State Law Enforcement Entity Refining New Crash Reporting System

The California Highway Patrol debuted the new online solution late last year. It’s designed to improve efficiency and users’ experience in the field, and is being refined in the current fiscal year.

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One of the state’s top law enforcement entities has debuted a new solution aimed at doing a better job of collecting and reporting crash data.

It’s not entirely final, but the California Highway Patrol has gone live statewide with Crash Manager, which is new crash reporting software designed to be more efficient and offer a more “user-friendly experience in writing crash reports,” the CHP told Techwire via email. Among the takeaways:

  • Designed and developed entirely in-house, the new software is in its infancy and will undergo “revisions and improvements” during the current fiscal year, which began July 1. (Crash Manager doesn’t appear to be specifically referenced in CHP’s new $2.9 billion budget for FY 2021-2022.) The system is internal-facing, designed for use by the department only, but information in the system including statistical data “is continuously provided upon request,” the CHP said – and the solution’s long-term vision is to enable public access to completed reports via a “web service.” As is customary, some data collected is shared with state and federal agencies including the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the Office of Traffic Safety, the California State Transportation Agency (CHP’s umbrella agency) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • For field officers, Crash Manager streamlines their entire report writing process via improved navigation, report writing guidance to reduce data entry mistakes, and as-needed display fields based on selections made. It also offers populated fields utilizing the same data but in different locations within the app; the single-click ability to view GPS coordinates; improved editing and corrections and the removal of “redundant functionality that extended the approval process.” As part of the solution’s process, data is written to a relational database, the CHP said, so it can “easily identify trends and share statistics internally and externally.”
  • CHP’s previous crash reporting software, the California Automated Reporting System (CARS), was also developed in-house with CHP staff and consultants. It was based on Delphi and implemented in the early 2000s. The Crash Manager project started in early 2019 and, after about 18 months of planning and development, entered its pilot phase in November. Specifically, it was developed by CHP’s software development group within its Information Management Division, which is overseen by the CHP’s chief information officer, Chief Chris Childs. The new Crash Manager system is designed, CHP said, “to be updated as needed to support roadside officer safety and to support new legislation.”
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.