The State of Colorado has created a new form for reporting crashes. The new form is in effect as of 7/1/2006. This article describes changes that have occured that will probably affect your use of crash data in Intersection Magic.
Starting July 1st, 2006 a new form is being used by all police officers in Colorado. As I understand it, use of this form is required – reports submitted to the Department of Revenue on old forms will be rejected.
The form is described in this PDF document: ColoradoDR2447
This new form is similar, but in some critical ways different from the form in use today. Specifically, a couple of fields have been added, a couple removed, but most importantly: The values in many of the fields have changed! Unfortunately, rather than adding the new values to the end of the list, new values have been inserted into the middle of the list. So a table that used to look like this:
may now look like this:
(this example is contrived, we don’t use vehicle color in our system)
This means that when a yellow car is involved in a crash, the officer will now code it as a “2”. That “2” will likely be written to the file that Intersection Magic imports. Intersection Magic will see that “2” and interpret it as a green car.
The fields which are affected by re-mapping like this are: Harmful Event, Road Description, Road Condition, Weather, Vehicle (type), Vehicle Movement, Most Apparent Contributing Factor.
As you can see, the changes are substantial and will affect any application that uses data from these forms. As a result, you should not import this new data into your existing database. It will result in incorrect data in the program. In theory, this should be all crashes starting with July 1, 2006. In practice, I’m not sure how it will work out with each agency.
Your data providers
The most important information you will need in order to handle this situation is: how is the holder of your data dealing with this change? This may be your police department, the state, the county, etc. It may even be a 3rd party that provides data entry software or services to your agency. You may also be entering the data yourself using IMWEdit.
Your data provider will probably do one of three things (in order of our opinion of preferred strategies):
- Convert all old data to the new values: In this case, all the old values will be re-mapped to match the new values. Once this is done, your data will be consistent and no special handling will be required. However, your existing Intersection Magic configuration will need to be replaced by a new one that uses the new codes.
- Convert all new data to the old values: In this case, the provider is choosing to pretty much ignore the changes. The advantage is that there will be no changes needed on your part. Intersection Magic will continue running without change. However, this strategy will eventually come back to haunt you each time changes are made. You will also not be able to relate your data to statewide stats. You will essentially be using a discontinued format.
- Convert nothing – just continue adding data: In this case, the system where the data is being entered probably doesn’t know anything about the data, and most likely, no one is using it for reporting or other analysis. The type of thing that could occur here is that the value for green in the example above will sometimes be 2 and sometimes be 3. Hopefully the date will tell which format is being used. In this scenario, you will need to obtain all data in the old format – import it into the old IMW configuration, and then start obtaining data in the new format and put it into a new IMW database with a new configuration.
- Create a maintain a new database: In this case, the old format is archived and a new database is created to hold the new format of data. In this case, a new configuration for IMW is needed. In addition, studies will not be able to span the “break” across databases.
Please contact us once you’ve identified how your data provider is handling this change. If you are using IMWEdit, you have the same three choices as above. However, we will only support option #1 or #4 and we will assist you in the conversion process.
Converting old IMW Data
If your data provider has choose option 3 or 4 and you would like to bring your old IMW database forward. Pd’ Programming has prepared a document that describes the changes to the crash form, and how we plan to handle them when converting data from your IMW database.
|For more information click here|
Crash Form Comparison Table
Note: The cost for a new configuration is $1000. We intend to offer a discount for agencies that are ready to move ahead with changes in a specific time period. To receive this discount, an agency must provide payment and sample data within that time period. More information on this will follow soon.
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