Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Enhancing CRASH to Support New HSIP Reporting Requirements

  • Sponsor: Florida Department of Transportation, State Safety Office
  • Contact: Dr. Albert Gan, (305) 348-3116, gana@fiu.edu

  • Section 1401 of SAFETEA-LU amended Section 148 of Title 23 USC to create a new Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) as a "core" FHWA program with separate funding, replacing the Hazard Elimination Program in 23 USC Section 152, effective October 1, 2005. As part of the new HSIP, States are required to submit an annual report describing not less than 5 percent of their highway locations on all public roads exhibiting the most severe safety needs..

    Section 148(c)(1) provides four conditions that a State's HSIP must meet in order for a State to fully obligate HSIP funds. Included in these conditions are the development and implementation of a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and submission of an annual report to the Secretary of Transportation. Sections 148(c)(1)(A) and 148(c)(2) further discuss development and implementation of a SHSP that identifies and analyzes highway safety problems and opportunities on all public roads. As part of its SHSP, a State must have a crash data system with the ability to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis. The analysis must identify hazardous locations, sections and elements and, "using such criteria as the State determines to be appropriate, establish the relative severity of those locations in terms of accidents, injuries, deaths, traffic volume levels, and other relevant data." Section 148(c)(1)(D) requires submission to FHWA of an annual report that, using criteria noted above established through the SHSP process, describes not less than 5 percent of locations exhibiting the most severe safety needs. The report must also contain a discussion of:
    • Potential remedies to the hazardous locations identified,
    • Estimated costs of the remedies, and
    • Impediments to implementation of the remedies other than costs.
    The Department currently operates two computer systems that can perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis, as required by the SHSP process:
    1. Crash Analysis Reporting (CAR), a IBM mainframe system equipped with functions to identify high-crash locations, and
    2. Crash Reduction Analysis System Hub (CRASH), a web-based application designed to perform economic analysis of countermeasures.
    One major shortcoming in these systems in terms of meeting the new HSIP reporting requirement has been that the data in the systems are limited to only those for the state roads. Accordingly, part of the Department's effort to comply with the new HSIP requirements over the past two years has been to acquire the data needed for the off-system roads. This includes creating a base map that covers off-system roads with linear location referencing. Also completed were the acquisition of AADT data and the geocoding of crash records for off-system roads.

    The goal of this project is to enhance CRASH to support the 5% reporting requirements, with a particular focus on developing a process to identify potential remedies, their estimated costs, and impediments to their implementation. To support this goal as well as the long-term goal of the Department and the SHSP to develop a user-friendly information system that is capable of both crash analysis and data visualization, this project also includes several tasks that aim to further strengthen CRASH in terms of database management system, system security, high-crash location identification, system-wide problem identification, data visualization, and miscellaneous other improvements. The specific objectives of this project include:
    1. Converts the current CRASH databases from MS Access to SQL Server to improve their robustness, stability, scalability, and security to better support the new functions to be developed in this project, as well as to meet the Department's system security standards.
    2. Develops capabilities to identify and visualize hazardous locations on GIS maps.
    3. Develops a process to populate and generate HSIP annual report that includes an assessment of potential remedies, their estimated costs, and impediments to their implementation other than cost for each location identified.
    4. Resolves an existing deficiency in CRASH that does not extract the complete crash records for intersections involving two state roads, implements miscellaneous other improvements, update CRASH user's guide, and provides technical support.