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eCrash – Electronic Traffic Crash Reporting
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General eCrash Description

eCrash Overview Video

eCrash Functionality

Total Paperless

Total MOVE Compatibility

Ease of Data Entry

Flexibility

Additional eCrash Highlights

eCrash Training Documentation

eCrash Brochures

eCrash Overview Flyer

MOVE Flyer


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General eCrash Description


In 2003 the electronic citation (eCite) system was introduced in the state of Alabama, beginning with the Heflin weigh station. This system allows officers to utilize a license scanner, GPS device and laptop to write traffic citations quickly and easily from their vehicles. By 2007 this program was deployed to every state trooper, and it is now being rolled out to other law enforcement agencies throughout the state.


The need for a similar electronic crash (eCrash) system for entering and processing the over 130,000 annual traffic crash reports within Alabama was readily apparent, as was the fact that the majority of law enforcement already had the equipment and the software environment (via eCite) to easily handle an electronic crash entry and processing system. For example, eCrash uses the Mobile Officers’ Virtual Environment (MOVE), which enables license scanning, GPS, access to LETS, drag and drop, and all of the other functionality already incorporated into eCite.


At about this same time the state of Alabama made the final decision to move to a new MMUCC-compatible version of its crash report that assures that all states have a minimal set of data elements. Called the Alabama Uniform Traffic Crash Report (AUTCR), the data elements for this updated report had been under development for some time. It was finalized and approved in 2008 for full deployment in 2009. The eCrash system developed and deployed to officers in the state of Alabama totally supports the AUTCR.


To summarize, eCrash is an electronic crash reporting and transmission procedure developed by CAPS working under the direction and close collaboration of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. The eCrash system is the newest addition to the Mobile Officer Virtual Environment (MOVE) suite of applications. MOVE stores information, such as the Driver’s License barcode information, as objects that can be populated into any of the other applications residing under MOVE.


This project is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and directed by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.


If you have questions with regard to eCrash, please call our technical support help desk toll-free at: 1-866-588-9830.


eCrash Overview Video


***Click here to view the eCrash Overview Video.***


eCrash Functionality


The following paragraphs briefly summarize some of the major innovative functions that eCrash performs.


Totally Paperless. It is the goal that by January 1, 2010 all agencies will be reporting all crashes using the eCrash system for collecting and entering the data elements that describe motor vehicle crashes that occur within the State of Alabama. The eCrash system is a major innovation in that it enables the entry of this important data as close to the crash scene as possible, thus assuring completeness, consistency and fewer interpretation errors. It also saves money and resources in reducing all duplicative efforts (i.e., officer’s entering data on hard copy forms only to have these data re-entered into the computer). The electronic submission eliminates the need to mail in paper crash forms. The timeliness of the data is now virtually instantaneous and readily available for processing.


Total MOVE Compatibility.This means that all of the functionality available within MOVE for eCite is also available to eCrash. This includes the following capabilities:


  • To scan all of the drivers’ licenses of involved drivers that are available.
  • To search any of these for information on LETS.
  • To find the current officer’s GPS location.
  • To validate the form data and correct all errors to create the record.
  • To transfer the record and submit it for supervisory approval.
  • To correct any faults in the record found by supervisors.
  • To print the record at the roadside.

MOVE is an environment that enables far more than just eCite and eCrash processing. It is quite simple to start up since once MOVE is installed the following icon will appear on the desktop:




It is just a matter of double clicking this icon and following the directions. This will produce the following image will appear on your screen:


***To view the image click here.***

This MOVE environment screen sits on top of your desktop and gives you easy access to LETS, eCite, Log Book and the eCrash program.


Ease of Data Entry. From the outset the Alabama Department of Public Safety insisted that eCrash would employ the most current technology to make field data entry as effortless and uncomplicated as possible. As a result, CAPS software designers set up eCrash as indicated by the following illustration.


***To view the image click here.***

Note that the screen is divided into four basic sections:


  • A row of icons across the top of the screen that deal with strategic issues (creating a new report, saving an existing report, etc.).
  • A side panel that essentially controls and directs the data collection for the current report. While users can elect to move through the report systematically, this side panel enables direct access to each section of the report. This facilitates updating or changing a previous entry to maintain consistency. Each section has a red background until it is totally completed.
  • The data entry portion of the screen, to the right of the control side panel. This panel will change depending on the particular portion of the report that is under consideration for updating.
  • The validation section at the bottom of the page that keeps track of each data element and will not allow the report to be submitted until all data elements are completed.

Drop-down menus are provided for all data elements that can possibly be described in this way. This approach, along with the flexibility of direct access to all data elements through the quad-screen layout, have been found through field testing to provide the easiest possible data entry method.


Flexibility. The eCrash system as designed enables the entry of any number of involved drivers, units, persons, pedestrians or other non-motorists. Unlike systems that are paper-based, eCrash can automatically generate the data space needed for storing the respective data elements, and it automatically sets up the output report to handle any eventuality.


Additional eCrash Highlights. The eCrash system has been designed and developed to take advantage of the most recent information technology developments. Some of them are listed below:


  • Driver’s license barcode and magnetic stripe scanning;
  • Auto-population of Drivers License and GPS information;
  • Integrated Easy Street Draw Crash Diagramming;
  • Crash Report Validation to minimize errors and maximize consistency;
  • Electronic submission creates a paperless system with information available in real time;
  • No further redundant data entry;
  • Windows XP and Vista compatible;
  • Written in Microsoft .NET 3.5;
  • SQLite database.

The State of Alabama deployed eCrash statewide on June 1, 2009 to all State Troopers and many police departments. The process went very smoothly. Alabama had virtually 100% of agencies using eCrash within one year of the initial deployment.


eCrash Training Documentation


An eCrash User Guide and an eCrash Data Element Training Manual have been developed. These are available upon request to eCrash users. To request one or both of these, please email care@cs.ua.edu.


eCrash Brochures


eCrash Overview Flyer


MOVE flyer


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