D.C. introduces daily updates to crash data on open gov portal

The information flow will support the Vision Zero initiative, which aims to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and serious injuries in the city to zero.

Up-to-date traffic crash data just got a lot easier to find in the District of Columbia.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that D.C. will now publish crash data every 24 hours in an effort to support its new open data policy, which took effect in May. 

Crash data isn’t new to the open data portal, a representative from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer told StateScoop, but the frequent updates will mark a departure from the previously published information. The updated data will join more than 900 datasets currently available on the district’s open data portal, reflecting D.C.’s continued efforts to utilize data to catalyze city solutions, city representatives said.

The updated crash data will support the district’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and serious injuries in the city to zero by 2024, Bowser said in a statement.


“Evaluation of safety data is critical in improving the district’s street design, education, and enforcement efforts,” Bowser said. “With this near real-time publication of open data, data scientists, coders, and civic hackers in the district and worldwide can aid the district in safety analysis and get us closer Vision Zero.”

Data from all crashes reported in the district will be made available. The data will include each incident’s location, the number and classification of injuries, the types of vehicles involved, the involvement of impairment, the involvement of speeding and the distance of the nearest intersection.

Summary details — not including personally identifiable information — about participants involved in each crash, such as type (driver, occupant, bicyclist, pedestrian), age, injuries, whether or not a ticket was issued, vehicle type and vehicle registration jurisdiction will also be available.

“The greatest value from the district’s investment in data can only be realized when the data is freely shared,” D.C. Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli said in a statement. “This type of real-time data has the potential to truly save lives and make our city stronger, safer and smarter.”

Vision Zero also posts data from public reports of dangerous drivers collected via the city’s website and a smartphone app.

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