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Influence of Crash Report Forms on Red Light Running Crash Data

Khaled Shaaban1, Dina Elnashar2, and Essam Radwan 3
1. Qatar University/Department of Civil Engineering, Doha, Qatar
2. Qatar Mobility Innovations Center, Doha, Qatar
3. University of Central Florida/Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering
Abstract—Red light running is a significant problem in urban areas in Florida and the United States and one of the major causes for crashes at signalized intersections. In order to provide potential countermeasures to the red light running problem, these types of crashes need to be studied accurately. Some researchers use crash databases to obtain red light running crash information through filtering crashes reported as “disregarded traffic signal” without going through the actual crash reports. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the actual long form crash reports for a sample of 1,600 crashes and compare them with the data obtained from the database to investigate if errors often occur in how information on red light running crashes are. The analysis of the random sample showed that the percentage of crashes related to red light running reported in the database was 3.1% compared to 5.8% from the actual crash reports. The difference was mainly due to the way of filling out the crash report by the law enforcement personnel. Although, it is always hard to draw solid conclusions about the attributing cause of a collision, it is necessary to standardize the format and coding process for the crash reports and to train the law enforcement personnel to help accurately identify the real cause of the crash. Finally, the findings presented in this research imply that the red light running crashes are being underreported, and that long form crash reports should be considered as part of any future analysis.  

Index Terms—Red light running, crashes, traffic signal, crash report

Cite:Khaled Shaaban, Dina Elnashar, and Essam Radwan, "Influence of Crash Report Forms on Red Light Running Crash Data," Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 197-201,  December 2013. doi: 10.12720/jtle.1.2.197-201
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