Formal scientific research of traffic collision data utilizing GIS

Robert M. Arthur, Nigel M. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the tenuous link between speeding behavior and accident causation, one that has not been well established in the international literature to date. Taking advantage of established engineering conventions and formulae, we were able to set up an a priori hypothesis suitable for testing. Utilizing this formal scientific method (which GIS researchers have been criticised for not using) we establish a statistical link for this relationship. Our methodology can be used to support all police intervention strategies, including the controversial photo radar systems. The results from our research have been entered into a GIS in order to create a map for spatial display. This map illustrates the relative probability or risk of collision occurrence resulting from speeding at all intersections and interchanges within the scope of the study. It is suggested that this methodology could easily be maintained with periodic updates of data, thus creating a dynamic model from which to monitor traffic safety within the city. Furthermore, this model can be utilized to study specific strategies, allowing for the scrutiny of before, during and after effects. The study area is the entire city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and includes all traffic collisions occurring during the year of 1994.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Scientific method
  • Speeding behavior
  • Traffic collision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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