Field Support Section
Accident Investigation Unit - Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System
The Highway Safety Act of 1966 gave rise to California's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). California Highway Patrol's Information Management Division took the lead in developing SWITRS as a means to collect and process data elements from a collision scene. California's Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and CHP formed a committee to act as caretakers of SWITRS. Each has a special interest in the information garnered from accident investigations. CHP, Caltrans, and DMV use the statistics to improve roadway conditions and monitor the effectiveness of enforcement efforts. Each uses the system in their own way to maintain a safe motoring environment for the public.
The data collection tools and methods must be uniform to produce meaningful statistics. Data collection tools and methods are developed within the framework of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) and national criteria. The Traffic Collision Report (CHP 555) is the standard reporting tool. The method and procedure for collecting and submitting the data elements of a collision are published in the Collision Investigation Manual (CIM), HPM 40.50. SWITRS Liaison publishes and distributes the CIM, and answers questions from all agencies regarding interpretation and compliance. CHP's Support Services Section (SSS) gathers and processes the data, produces statistical reports, and provides custom statistical reports to a wide public and private customer base.
SWITRS liaison staff joins Accident Investigation (AI) training and Mulitdisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) staff in the newly formed AI Unit of Enforcement Services Division, Field Support Section. SWITRS Liaison promotes a standard traffic collision reporting and documentation system through the CIM and California State Traffic Accident Reporting Software (C*STARS).