Transportation Dept Throws Doors Open on Safety Data Sets

The Transportation Department has opened more than 2,000 data sets to the public as part of efforts to fulfill federal initiatives for open data.

Richard McKinney, DOT chief information officer, said Monday that department’s latest move was intended to meet a Nov. 30 deadline for President Barack Obama’s executive order on releasing information to public users.

Newly-released data includes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferCar app, which vehicle owners use to find NHTSA crash test ratings and parents use to find child safety seat installation sites.

Users can now also view safety information of a passenger bus using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SaferBus app and railroad crossing safety information through a Federal Railroad Administration tool.

“Many of our highest-value data sets like the NHTSA’s fatalities analysis system, can also be used for transportation research and to set safety priorities,” McKinney writes.

DOT is scheduled to complete a data inventory in November 2014 and gather stakeholder feedback on which data initiative the agency should focus on.

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