State Highway Safety Showcase
Working With Your FARS Analyst to Increase BAC Reporting
In June of each year, a meeting is set up between the Kansas FARS Analyst, Highway Safety Office staff, and the three Law Enforcement Liaisons (LELs)–one full-time, two part-time. The FARS Analyst prints out a list of all fatality crash reports from the previous calendar year in which the BAC data is missing. The print-out includes the officer and law enforcement agency that submitted the report. The LELs go through the reports and separate them by the geographic area covered by each LEL. As the LELs are traveling throughout the state over the following three months, they visit with all of the local law enforcement agencies that have incomplete reports and attempt to obtain the BAC data from supplemental reports (that were never forwarded to the FARS Analyst) or coroner’s reports. If neither is available, they contact the reporting officer directly to follow up. The LELs will leave supplemental report forms with the officer and ask him to obtain the information needed and submit as soon as possible.
To obtain the missing data from reports submitted by the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), our full-time LEL schedules a meeting with command staff to discuss the issue. A memo from KHP Headquarters is sent to all KHP Troops with a list of the incomplete reports, and they are directed to obtain the missing data and submit the supplemental reports. While the LELs are traveling the state, they also stop at the various Troops to meet with the Troop Commanders and check on the progress of the data collection. The first year Kansas started this, the LEL met with the Superintendent of the KHP to get his buy-in. He let his staff know how important this data is and that in all future years the Highway Safety LEL would be contacting them about collecting any missing data.
In late September, early October, the full-time LEL follows up with the FARS Analyst to check on the status of this project. The FARS Analyst provides an updated list of missing reports (assuming not all data has been received), and the LELs follow-up with all officers/agencies that still have outstanding reports.
Kansas still does not get 100% submission, but the state has drastically decreased the number of unknowns due to the failure of reports being submitted. This is a great opportunity to impress upon local law enforcement agencies how important complete, accurate crash reports are for allocating resources to safety programs. Another benefit is that while the LELs are visiting with the agencies across the state, they are enhancing relationships with existing law enforcement agency partners and are making new contacts with agencies the state may not have worked with in the past. This is a great opportunity to promote highway safety programs and spread goodwill.
- Pete Bodyk, Manager
Bureau of Traffic Safety
Kansas Department of Transportation