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Ministry of Transport

The Ministry of Transport is the government's principal adviser on transport issues, both leading and generating policy. The Ministry acts as the Minister of Transport's agent, managing the interface with the transport Crown entities, the Aviation Security Service, and the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand.

Ministry of Transport's website

 

Data collection: Crash Analysis System (CAS)

Purpose / objective

Data is collected to monitor the incidence of road crashes in New Zealand and to guide road safety policy. Data also serves an operational purpose, assisting engineers to identify problem areas on the road.

Description of key content, including relevance to injury

The CAS is an integrated computer system that provides tools to collect, map, query, and report on road crash and related data. It contains data from all traffic crashes attended by police. For each crash, information is recorded on the location and cause of the crash, the environment in which the crash occurred, and the vehicles and individuals involved in the crash. A diagram of the crash is included, and there is a free-text section where details of the crash and contributing factors can be recorded.

Start date of data collection

1980

Frequency of data collection

Ongoing

Methods of data collection

Police record information collected at the crash site on a Traffic Crash Report (TCR) form. Information recorded on this form is then coded and data entered into CAS by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA). The CAS is managed by the Ministry of Transport.

Description of the injury data collected

The severity of injury is recorded based on a simple 'fatal/serious/minor' classification. There is no information on the nature of injury. There is detailed information about crash dynamics and factors that contributed to the crash.

Coding system used to classify the injury data

In crash reports the police classify injuries as fatal/serious/minor based on these guidelines:

Serious injuries: Fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushings, severe cuts and lacerations, severe general shock necessitating medical treatment, and any other injury involving removal to and detention in hospital.

Minor injuries: Injuries of a minor nature such as sprains and bruises. There is no further medical coding.

Potential weaknesses
  1. Police are not properly qualified to assess the type and severity of injuries.
  2. The information collected for a TCR has implications for a prosecution. This may affect the willingness of the people involved in a crash to provide police with complete and accurate information.
  3. Police do not attend and report on all injury crashes. It is estimated that crash details for about two-thirds of hospitalised casualties are recorded in the CAS.

Access

Publicly available data

Application to access the CAS can be made through the NZTA's website. Users must pay an annual fee for access to the CAS. Daily road toll updates and annual regional and district road safety issues reports are available on the NZTA web site. The Ministry publishes monthly road toll updates, an annual statistical statement (Motor Vehicle Crashes in New Zealand), and a number of annually-updated crash fact sheets on specific subjects such as alcohol and young drivers.

Links to data and reports

Crash Analysis System: The CAS front page includes links to the district road safety issues reports.

Ministry of Transport research: This includes links to the monthly and annual statistics reports and the Crash Fact Sheets.

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