Accidents Will Happen | The Texas Tribune

Accidents Will Happen

by Brandi Grissom
February 9, 2010


State troopers turned in hundreds of error-riddled accident reports in 2007 and 2008, according to an internal audit report compiled by the Texas Department of Public Safety last year.

In Hillsboro — the region with the most errors — more than two-thirds of the reports that officers filed in the first half of 2007 contained mistakes, according to the audit, which The Texas Tribune obtained through an open records request. Internal DPS auditors reviewed accident reports from troopers in 22 regions across the state. In 17 of those regions, auditors found that at least 30 percent of the accident reports that troopers submitted contained errors.

As official legal documents, there’s a lot riding on the accuracy of accident reports, which are used to help establish who was at fault in a wreck and whose insurance will shell out for damages and medical bills. Data in the reports also guides transportation policymakers’ decisions about how and where to spend millions of traffic safety dollars. “Pretty much everything on that crash report could impact us in some way,” says Debra Vermillion, the director of safety construction programs and data analysis at the Texas Department of Transportation. Each year, for instance, TxDOT spends more than $130 million on safety construction projects and another $100 million on safety programs like the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, and how those funds are allocated depends largely on information from crash reports, Vermillion says.

Click the link to read the full story. Pretty funny.