Wednesday, Dec. 29


Crash data evaluations to improve Illinois highway safety     Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 29, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced today that they are in the process of developing a new database that will assist in highway safety decision-making. The Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System database, known as CODES, is being funded by a $281,000 federal grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

"CODES will allow us to link our crash records with public health records to get a better picture of the relationship between crashes and injuries," Department of Transportation Secretary Timothy W. Martin said. "We will be able to see if there are connections between particular types of crashes and injury severity. We can then use this information to make improvements and enhance traffic safety."

The CODES system will allow staff from the departments of Transportation and Public Health to match traffic crash reports with health care data from a variety of sources, including emergency medical service records, hospital discharges and death certificates.

The Department of Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety will use the CODES information to support their decisions to improve traffic safety on Illinois highways. Eventually, the CODES system will be able to better identify the full extent of injuries suffered as a result of impaired driving, not wearing safety belts and not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle.

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"By bringing this data together, we will get a better look at the impact of safety equipment on the types of injuries suffered in traffic crashes," said Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. "The traffic crash reports are filled out by police, most of whom do not have the medical training for accurate injury assessment. By linking crash data with health care data, we will have a more complete picture."

All individual medical and crash information will remain strictly confidential in compliance with state and federal regulations. The departments of Transportation and Public Health are currently in the process of beginning to develop the database and hope to have the full CODES system up and running by the middle of 2005.

[Illinois Department of Transportation news release]

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