Identifying where and why vehicle crashes occur in Riverside County – and finding ways to prevent them – is the goal of a new state grant to the county. The grant will help the county and local agencies share traffic collision data and analyze it more quickly and easily than ever before.

The $340,000 grant, which was awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to the County Transportation Department in October 2014, will aid in developing a countywide system that allows the county and participating cities to collect and share data about collisions on local roads, excluding state highways. The information will help local agencies decide which improvements could make roads safer, and how to prioritize use of limited funding.

Currently, the county and most cities each use their own collision databases. The project goal is to have at least 90 percent of all collision reports that are taken countywide input into the system within 60 days. Having countywide data for all agencies in one database, with access available to all agencies in the county, enables cities and the county to compare regional issues and trends, and to consider possible safety measures that require coordination between agencies.

The grant will pay for new and updated software with analytical tools that can help local agencies to analyze high-collision locations and identify prevention measures. The countywide database will be placed on a remote server so that the state Office of Traffic Safety also has access.

A number of cities within Riverside County support the project. After presentations are made by the county, each city will have an opportunity to participate. The Board of Supervisors officially accepted the award Feb. 3 and authorized implementation.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.