New Crash Forms / ALISS database

ALISS — stands for Accident Location Identification Surveillance System… it apparently feeds the ADOT Safety Data Mart.

As of Jan 1, 2009(?); Arizona has new forms. The old “Arizona Traffic Accident Report” will now be an “Arizona Crash Report” (as an aside, if you don’t know why that is significant, please see here). You can see what’s on the new form here, in a presentation by Rick Turner; includes the tantalizing bullet point “Customers Will Be Able to Query, Analyze and Retrieve Their Own Crash Data”.

The new forms and  ALISS database were restructured in order to become MMUCC (Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria) compliant. They incidentally contain an enormous amount of fine-grained information, some of it specifically tailored to bicycle crashes.

The best directory of current AZ manuals and forms can be found at the NHTSA Traffic Records Team site,  nhtsa-tsis.net, where they are organized by state; click on “State Data Information Resources” and select Arizona. There are there, among other things these two important documents:

The former is used in the correct method of filling out Crash Forms, and the latter is a ‘data dictionary’ that defines tables useful for decoding the ADOT crash database, and understanding how data items flow from the Crash Form to the database.

Below this is mostly old documentation I’m leaving for historical purposes

Here is a (not too clear) scan of all the crash forms on the NHTSA all-state catalog of forms, it also contains several .pdf documents that are “dictionaries” of definitions of the things that are captured in the database, e.g. AZ_Data_Dictionary2009_Attributes_sub7_11_2008.pdf (local copy)

I found a trove of documents via a website called the NHTSHA Traffic Records Team website: nhtsa-tsis.net/ (why is it .net?); from there the “State Project Clearing House“. There were SEVENTY EIGHT arizona projects!? Strangely, each document says things like “completed” or whatever but there is no date given; some of this is years old, I think. Here is one example project “AZ-P20 – Create MMUCC Compliant ALISS DB”, along with a brief description, there is a contact name and email for each which might be useful.

[Az Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Council (GTSAC) was established by Governor Napolitano’s Executive Order. Site is defunct in 2010, possibly some stuff could be resurrected at archive.org … see this comment for more about web archiving of this site. The site, although frozen in time, appears to be living at www1.azdot.gov/data_improvement as of early 2014; which is BTW not web archived] Clear pdfs on the GTSAC data improvement site: including 01-2704 , and 01-2705 (fatal supplement), and significantly there is an instruction manual (local copy of Instruction Manual) on how the forms are to be used. This is the State of Arizona Traffic Crash Report Indexed Instruction manual, 8th edition, Oct 2008. (google unearthed a much older version, the 6th edition from 2000)

see also, Understanding Collision Summaries.

here is the Data Access Agreement that must be executed to get access to either ALISS or the Safety Data Mart (whatever that is?).

… here is a good 1 paragraph summary of  the situation (from some MAG transp meeting) : “ADOT ALISS Crash Database has undergone some changes. All reported crashes are now supposed to be recorded using a new Crash Report Form. This change became effective on January 1,2009. ADOT has developed a system that allows any local agency to retrieve their crash data, provided the local agency has executed a Data Access Agreement with ADOT. This agreement will also allow local enforcement agencies to electronically transfer crash data to ADOT to be entered in ALISS”

I copied Appendix B, below, from PAG 8/15/2008 meeting minutes. It explains a whole bunch of terms.

Arizona Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC)
Accident Location Information and Surveillance System (ALISS)
Crash Data Improvement & Exchange Plan
June 4, 2008 P a g e | 1
This document outlines the TRCC’s and ADOT Information Technology Group’s (ITG) high level plan
to restructure the ALISS database and offer new capabilities, in conjunction with revising the
Arizona Crash Report and supplemental forms. It is intended to help agencies that are interested or
will be impacted to plan accordingly. As with any plan, adjustments may be made when and where
necessary. We are currently developing a section of the Governor’s Traffic Advisory Council Web
site, at www.gtsac.org, to post information such as this as it becomes available.
I. ALISS Database
The ALISS database is being restructured to accommodate the new MMUCC1-compliant AZ crash
report (01-2704), crash diagram and narrative supplement (01-2711), fatal supplement (01-2705)
and truck/bus supplement (01-2710):
1. The new database will be in effect Thursday, January 1, 2009, to coincide with the effective
date f the new Arizona crash forms.
2. All historical crash data will be converted to the new ALISS database structure.
3. Residual (current) crash forms received or entered by ADOT Traffic Records on and after
January 1, 2009 will also be in the new ALISS database structure.
4. The current ALISS database structure will be obsolete starting January 1, 2009.
II. Crash Data Collection System
A standard crash data collection system (AzTraCS) will be made available for use by law
enforcement officers:
1. AzTraCS is custom-built for the new AZ crash forms, using the Traffic and Criminal Software
(TraCS) framework licensed from Iowa DOT.
2. The TRCC licensed TraCS and will continue to pay the annual fees.
3. Agencies wishing to use AzTraCS will be able to do so royalty free.
4. AzTraCS includes client software for standalone laptops and data transfer capabilities.
5. Agencies will be responsible for purchasing hardware and its own central-site database license,
as well as ongoing IT support of hardware and connectivity. ADOT ITG will provide AzTraCS
software support in accordance with Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGA’s) that will be
developed and signed prior to implementation.
6. A limited-scope pilot of AzTraCS with DPS and Phoenix PD is being planned for Q2CY09. Then
AzTraCS will undergo a major upgrade to accommodate the new TraCS platform. General
rollout to DPS, Phoenix PD and other interested agencies will begin Q4CY09.
III. Electronic Crash Data Submission (ECDS)
Starting January 1, 2009, agencies interested may submit crash data electronically to ADOT
Traffic Records, in lieu of hard copy crash reports:
1. While AzTraCS will have all the necessary software components to implement ECDS, the use of
AzTraCS is not a requirement for ECDS. In other words, agencies with unique crash data
collection software and databases can still perform ECDS.

2. Agencies submitting crash data electronically will have processes to submit, query, correct and
resubmit the data. In order to ensure the integrity of crash data, files submitted by agencies
not using AzTraCS will be subject to the same validation and edit rules that AzTraCS will
enforce at data entry. Data not meeting these business rules will need to be corrected by the
submitting agency prior to entry into the new ALISS database.
3. A standard XML data transfer format will be developed, documented and made available to
agencies interested in ECDS.
IV. Crash Data Retrieval
The following three (3) methods for crash data reporting / retrieval will be available to agencies,
COG’s and MPO’s whether or not they participate in ECDS. All 3 will be via a secure ADOT Internet
site for authorized agency personnel. These methods will be operational starting January 1, 2009
for agencies with prior signed agreements with the TRCC and ADOT ITG. All crash data retrieval
represents extracts from the new ALISS database structure, which includes all data elements from
the new AZ crash forms (except Personal Identifiable Information). Data extracts will not be
delivered in either the current or new ALISS database structures.
1. XML File Download: in the same XML format as used for ECDS.
2. Flat File Download: in Excel or CSV file format.
3. Online Queries: pre-built, parameter-driven queries whose results can be extracted to Excel for
further formatting, charts and graphs.
V. Contact TRCC
1. Agencies interested in using AzTraCS, ECDS or one of the three crash data retrieval methods
should send an email to the TRCC coordinator Larry Talley (LTalley@azdot.gov).
2. Documentation and a sample file of the XML format (for use in both ECDS and file downloads)
will be available Monday August 4, 2008. Please indicate in the email contact above if you’re
interested in obtaining copies.
3. Also on Monday August 4, 2008, ADOT ITG will provide Microsoft SQL Server schemas of both
current and new ALISS database structures, as well as code to load the standard XML file
format into the new ALISS database structure. This is a onetime- only availability, as ADOT ITG
will not assume ongoing support and enhancement for these deliverables. Please indicate in the
email contact above if you’re interested.

5 thoughts on “New Crash Forms / ALISS database”

  1. Here is a copy of a previous version of the Manual (version 7, Dec 2000)

    http://www.nhtsa-tsis.net/crashforms/Pages/state/az/AZ_Crash_Manual2000.pdf

    Note that in this older version:
    “It is preferred that Traffic Unit No.1 be the vehicle, pedestrian, pedal cycle or animal rider that caused the collision or was most at fault. That preference is not mandatory to this instruction manual”

    The newer version (8th edition, linked above, in the article) states without qualification: “Traffic Unit #1 is the vehicle, pedestrian, pedalcycle or animal rider that caused the collision or was most at fault.”

  2. Found while googling!? Not sure how this might be relevant now; it is from 2007, and apparently refers to old versions ALISS and the old Arizona “TAR” (the form now called the ACR)…

    MAG (i.e. the Maricopa Assoc of Governments):
    Regional Transportation Safety Information Management System (RTSIMS) Phase I
    http://www.azmag.gov/Projects/Project.asp?CMSID=1155

    Many of the documents linked there have relevance for figuring out how the ADOT databases might work.

    Technical Memorandum 2
    Comparison of Data Fields in ALISS and MMUCC
    https://www.azmag.gov/Documents/pdf/cms.resource/Draft_Tech_Memo_245647.pdf
    local copy http://azbikelaw.org/crashReports/asdm/alissVsMmucc.pdf

    (describing ALISS/ADOT) All accident reports are then microfilmed and the hard copies of accident reports are recycled except for fatal crashes (which are retained)”.

    MMUCC has 111 data elements and a total of 625 data attributes according to the guidelines published in 2003. 77 of these 111 data elements are collected on the scene while 34 of these elements are either derived or obtained through database linkages.

    ALISS database has the accident data entered into several tables. A list of all of the tables
    in ALISS is shown in Figure 2. There are a total of seventy-two tables of which twelve
    tables (i.e. primary tables) house the data

    Table of Common Definitions
    Technical Memorandum 4
    http://www.azmag.gov/Documents/pdf/cms.resource/TSC_2007_Tech-Memo-4_Draft223128.pdf

    AH HA! What other fields are overridden? (we know CollisionManner for fatal cyclists are overridden to be OTHER beginning around 2011).

    It was found in the workshop that ADOT Traffic Records staff do not just accept the
    “intersection related” box being checked by the investigating officer
    , but rather look at
    other crash factors to determine if it is entered into ALISS as intersection related

    From TM3, I learned that several of MAG’s jurisdiction license software called Intersection Magic to perform crash analysis.

    Phase II talks about evaluating software that might be useful: one was AZ LGSP (which seems to me to be defunct, ASU, i think, Arizona Local Government Safety Project); another still sounds interesting, from the Univ of Alabama CARE: http://caps.ua.edu/care.aspx

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