This morning’s tragic news about a pedestrian killed in a collision on Britannia road (via MiltonSearch) raises a question about data on similar collisions and accidents in the region. According to HRPS collisions statistics there were nearly 7,000 property damage collisions in 2009, with 1,178 injury collisions. What if there was a way to analyze this data?
Are there any areas across Halton where such collisions occur more frequently? Are there any “patterns” in the data or correlation with factors such as availability of street lights, sidewalks, crosswalks at intersections, etc. Can we gain any insights into areas that are more likely to be dangerous for pedestrians?
The answers could be found if the historic collision data gathered by police were made available as Open Data. Our friends at Open Hamilton were able to get their hands on Hamilton’s raw pedestrian accident data, which can be used to derive various insights, particularly when “mashed up” with other data. A map below, for example, mashes-up geocoded pedestrian accident data with geocoded crossing guard data:
|[map id="map1" z="10" w="600" maptype="ROADMAP" kml="http://openhalton.ca/openhamilton/xingaccidentmashup.kml"]|
|Legend: Pedestrian Accidents Crossing Guards|
There are many ways to derive insights from such data, as long as it carries at a minimum some useful information such as date, time, intersection, distance from intersection & direction (if it occurred between 2 streets for example), vehicles and/or pedestrians involved and an indication of a severity of an accident. This type of data if made public is not just for curiosity sake, but can help potentially prevent accidents & collisions through better knowledge of when such incidents are more likely to occur. Think about analyses like collisions by time of day (day, dusk, night, etc), combined with historic weather data – collisions by weather conditions (and visibility), or as simple as heat-maps of the most dangerous areas or “roads to avoid walking on”.
The possibilities are endless, we just need the data to work with. I sent my request for the data to HRPS tonight, fingers crossed…