A Data-Driven Approach to Traffic Safety

March 2, 2023
Online cloud-based crash reporting solutions allow for better data access and analytics.

As technology progresses, more of the data collected by law enforcement is moving to the cloud, including crash and citation reporting. Steve Person, who retired from the Lansing Police Department in Michigan as a lieutenant after 25 years and now works as a Law Enforcement Specialist Manager at LexisNexis Coplogic Solutions, tells OFFICER Magazine about how the data collected through online citations can help keep officers and the public they serve safer.

This article appeared in the January/February issue of OFFICER Magazine. Click Here to view the digital edition. Click Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

How do agencies use data to pinpoint problem areas on the roadways for patrol?

Modern law enforcement agencies are utilizing data from crash and citation incidents to pinpoint traffic safety issues and trends within minutes and in real time. With crash and citation mapping overlay, agencies can take a holistic view of their community as situations on the ground develop and implement their traffic enforcement efforts accordingly to get ahead of problem areas in a preventive fashion. They can also leverage this information to collaborate with traffic engineering departments to make adjustments to signage and lighting and infrastructure changes as needed. Knowing where, when and why crashes are occurring enable strategic, effective allocation of resources to reduce speeds in high accident areas, for example. Traffic officers and automated signage can also be utilized for high visibility in intersections where accidents are occurring.

How have you seen crash reporting solutions evolve over the years?

Agencies are abandoning the days of paper crash reporting with the huge administrative burden, limited data access and almost no analytics and quickly evolving their processes to automated solutions to collect and disseminate crash reports online via cloud-based solutions. Citations are now cloud-based providing agencies system agnostic capture tools available on PCs, tablets and phones so officers can work in the field from their patrol car, a motorcycle, bicycle or even on foot.

In what ways has the LexisNexis Coplogic Solutions crash and citation products made officers’ jobs easier?

Quick and easy data capture on any PC, tablet, or phone decreases the time spent with a violator or in the roadway of an accident scene which increases the safety of both officers and citizens. In addition, the ability to create, edit and manage required forms on the fly is an added benefit to the officer. Also, the data that is now available in real-time increases transparency between command staff and the officers so they can be more informed on the rationale behind deployments.

How does the data produced by the software help keep both officers and the public safe?

Data-driven, strategic decisioning—when implemented—saves time and reduces errors that can produce safer outcomes for officers and their communities.

Do you think data will begin to play a bigger role when it comes to keeping streets safe?

Absolutely. We are on the cusp of data-driven tools becoming available to the masses of agencies. Historically, this type of robust data capture and the resulting analytics required teams of resources to deliver in real-time. Something primarily available to larger agencies with bigger budgets. Now, this technology is available to all law enforcement agencies at no cost.

This article appeared in the January/February issue of OFFICER Magazine.

About the Author

Paul Peluso | Editor

Paul Peluso is the Managing Editor of OFFICER Magazine and has been with the Officer Media Group since 2006. He began as an Associate Editor, writing and editing content for Officer.com. Previously, Paul worked as a reporter for several newspapers in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD.

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