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Michigan DOT Uses MOU to Define Roles Among Data Generators

Original publication: SHSP Implementation Process Model, Supplement Number 1 – Case Studies; FHWA-SA-10-025; 2010 (PDF, 1MB)

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Publication Year: 2010


Key Accomplishments

  • Developed an MOU to clearly define roles, responsibilities, and funding obligations related to crash data management.
  • Improved data quality and timeliness.
  • Ensured consistent use of data Statewide through uniform data queries.

The Michigan DOT (MDOT), Department of State, and State Police signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) defining crash data management and funding. The State agencies invested in a team of three people, including a dedicated project manager, over a five-year period. The MOU provided a basis for ongoing cooperation and communication concerning Michigan’s data systems. Researchers can review current data without personal identifiers within 24 hours of receiving crash reports. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) provides funding for a research center at Wayne State University, which provides public access to annual reports on safety data.

The State’s safety stakeholders understand they all need to be working with the same data and statistics for each crash type; therefore, a uniform data query was developed for Statewide use to ensure consistency in the number of crashes for each emphasis area and other crash types.

Michigan currently is transitioning to electronic crash reporting and citation management to reduce reporting errors. Paper crash reports have an average of 1.5 errors per form, while the error rate for electronic crash reports is very low given the quality checks that can be implemented (e.g., it is impossible to enter conflicting data such as the weather was sunny and the crash occurred at midnight). The OHSP contributed $1 million in funding in 2007 for electronic crash reporting equipment. One county currently operates a completely paperless system. Citation information is processed quickly; therefore, in areas with electronic data processes, a person can drive directly to the courthouse to pay the fine after receiving a citation.

Results

The State established a uniform crash reporting system with improved data quality, reliability, and timeliness. Data are now widely available to all potential users to improve safety data analysis and dissemination.

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Contact:
Dale Lighthizer
Supervising Engineer
Michigan DOT
517-373-2334
lighthizerd@michigan.gov

Publication Year: 2010

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