Halifax police will pilot a crosswalk statistics program that uses an outside company to gather data on accidents.

Accident Support Services International is a private, Toronto-based company that collects information from police and citizens on accidents and keeps detailed electronic reports.

Currently, police have an unsystematic approach to recording information about accident scenes. It’s stored in filing cabinets.

Halifax Regional Police Supt. Sean Auld said there's no charge to the city.

"They collect a lot more data than we currently do, including photographs and measurements of the damage. That information is offered to other insurance companies," he said.

Insurance companies in Ontario and Alberta use the reports to prevent fraud and speed up claims.

The detailed information will track which intersections have the most accidents, which days and which times of day are the most dangerous, and specifics like how many crashes involve left-turning vehicles.

No more guess work

Coun. Barry Dalrymple said it's a more scientific approach.

"We won't be so much doing guesstimates. We will have hard data for what improvements we want to see in our pedestrian safety program," he said.

Accident Support Services will attend scenes and file reports starting next month. The pilot program will run for one year. The company will work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. Police will handle the other time periods. 

In October, the software will be installed on all police cars so they can file electronic forms.

The company began as a pilot project with the Toronto Police Service and six insurance companies in 1994. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated Accident Support Services International goes to accident scenes and files detailed electronic reports. In fact, Accident Support Services International representatives do not go to accident scenes; citizens are encouraged to file reports at designated collision reporting centres which are usually at police stations.
    Jun 13, 2014 11:47 AM AT