By Barett Poley
Edmonton, Alberta — December 1, 2016 — Transportation Alberta hopes to implement digital collision reporting techniques across the province after a successful trial run in Edmonton that cut down on report times. The program, dubbed eCruiser, will allow officers to quickly take down collision reports on their in-car computers, and was developed jointly between Transportation Alberta and Edmonton Police Services. The program is meant to streamline the process of collision reporting, cutting down on call times to get traffic moving again as quickly as possible after a collision.
The program also has benefits for those who have been involved in collisions, as it removes the necessity to pick up a paper hardcopy of any collision report. Instead, they are now available online to those involved in the collision at ecollision.gov.ab.ca. In addition, eCruiser boasts higher privacy for those involved in collisions; nobody can see the contact information except the police. Claire Seyler, spokesperson from the police department says “The collision report does not share your personal information with the other parties involved.”
The program is also a ground-breaking one, one of the first of its kind. “EPS is the second police agency in Canada (the first in Alberta) with the ability to create mobile electronic collision reports. The Calgary Police Service will be implementing the software by the end of the year. Alberta Transportation is making eCruiser available to all police agencies in the province,” says Seyler.
The police also believe that this innovation will increase efficiency. “It’s a far quicker way to do things,” says Seyler, “Simply by typing in a person’s license number, the program will autofill all the information; address, VIN number, etc.” This is meant to get the scene cleaned up as quickly as possible, making life easier for everyone on the roads.
Seyler says that while it’s up to each individual police agency, she hopes the program will be completely implemented province wide by 2017.
“Edmonton has been using it since June; Calgary hopes to have it in place by the end of the year. I would imagine it would be widespread by 2017, but it’s up to the individual jurisdictions whether they use it or not,” she says.