JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The blue lights, the backed-up traffic, the injuries and even loss of lives -- Here in Duval County, 898 traffic crashes were investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol last month alone.
That’s why Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Keith Gaston is stepping in, or really clicking in. He’s hoping to put that staggering statistic to good use.
"The idea came from the fact that there are so many attributes that we collect data from in the crash reports and how do you use those,” asked Gaston.
The answer has been about 10 years in the making, but is now finally up and running. With the help of the GeoPlan center at the University of Florida and the Department of Traffic’s Safety Office, Gaston co-developed a traffic crash database using GPS coordinates. It’s called Signal Four Analytics. It’s an interactive web-based system that provides current crash and streets data along with interactive analysis.
This helps break down the details and pinpoint the problem spots.
"Is there a certain section of town that has a certain type of accident at a certain time of day? Where do I need to deploy the troopers to take preventative patrol? Can I use this as a predictor of future events?” Gaston asked. “The answer so far has been yes.”
Instead of reactionary, it’s proactive.
"The idea is that we will have enforcement in the right place to prevent the accident, rather than investigating the accident,” said Gaston.
The program was funded by the state of Florida through the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee.
FHP has already shared the database with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and is in talks with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The goal is to eventually have it accessible to all law enforcement agencies statewide.
Vist Signal Four Analytics
for more information.