Advocates call for more crash data

News source from CTV News

Advocates are calling on city hall to be more transparent about traffic data, following a string of fatal motor vehicle crashes in Edmonton.

The information behind what led to many of the serious collisions remains behind red tape thanks to legislation.

“Unfortunately it looks like coming back in the report  that we’re restricted on just how much we can release by provincial legislation,” said Councillor Ben Henderson.

Advocates say section 10 of the Traffic Safety Act is open for interpretation.

“There is a lot of latitude in what the wording of that section says to allow for some release of this data,’ said Matt Dance, an open data advocate. “I don’t see why we can’t release more data. Given that many of these accidents have specific details of the driver and the victim published in the newspaper anyway.”

Having an open data system isn’t rare for a city, Calgary is already doing it by releasing live traffic incident data every ten minutes online. Edmonton used to do that as well, until it stopped a few years ago.

Although the calls for open data grow louder, councillors say protecting privacy is paramount.

“The report essentially says that where we’ve got I think five or more incidents at a particular location then we can release that data in an aggregate way,” said Councillor Tim Cartmell. “. But when there’s less than five there’s a concern around releasing information that can be easily correlated to a particular incident.”

Edmontonians can have their say on the matter during the review on Wednesday.

With files from Regan Hasegawa

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