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Traffic safety to benefit from grant

POSTED January 29, 2010 11:53 p.m.
Merced County is the recipient of a $30,000 grant to study traffic collisions.
The grant, provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, will pay for a new Geographic Information System that will be used to study the county’s traffic flows and incidences.
GIS is a computerized system which collects, analyzes, and presents data that is linked to specific locations.
“The software will allow for the automatic reading of Statewide Integrated Traffic Record System data files, the storing of relevant traffic count and speed survey data, interface with Geographic Information System mapping software, plot collision diagrams, and produce a variety of data reports,”
said Steve Lyon of Merced County’s Public Works Department.
The addition of this system will allow Merced County the ability to pinpoint the county’s high incident collision locations and analyze the traffic patterns in these areas. In return, these studies will be the foundation for new traffic safety measures and improvements.
“Now Merced County will have the information necessary to better understand why and where traffic crashes occur,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “This is a case where technology will be at work saving lives far into the future.”
Traffic collisions have been an issue for Merced County. In 2008, there were 14 reported fatal crashes and another 253 injury crashes, which occurred on county roadways. Merced County spans 1,972 square miles, including 1,761 miles of county streets, which will now be tracked by the new system.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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