Using data to save lives

HuffPo has an article about how LA’s police force released some statistics with a visual aid to help spread awareness of pedestrian deaths and the intersections where lethal accidents are more likely to occur. (link at bottom)

Here’s a screenshot of the map: LA accident map

A few years ago, after the Official Havertownie Minivan was t-boned at Earlington and Brookline (by a non-Townie on her phone who blew the light), we called the police station asking if there was any data on “intersections with the most accidents.” Not naming names, but the officer told me the HPD wouldn’t want to release that data because it may imply they are lacking in their duties.

We thought this was a bit of an odd thing to say, seeing that it isn’t the duty of the HPD to control every idiot driver, nor is it their duty to civil engineer the architecture of intersections. It was about 3 years ago, so perhaps the HPD has caught up to the current thinking on open data and safety. The Philly open data project is one such effort.

The officer did point me to (beware of Flash software. Blech.) That isn’t the only crime report site available now. There are plenty to choose from. And we can always spend our days on the police blotter, but like Facebook, that can lead to paranoia and depression.


HPD Police Blotter

download interactive map data from LA

HuffPo article about LA accident data