Anticipate last minute technical glitches when integrating computer aided dispatch (CAD) and transportation management center (TMC) systems and plan accordingly from the start of the project.

Virginia DOT’s experience integrating data from public works and public safety agencies.

January 2005
Virginia,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Anticipate last minute technical glitches. During the initial days of the systems deployment, several minor technical glitches surfaced that required cooperation between all parties to resolve. The resolution of these issues greatly increased the usability of the system.

Incidents not cleared: Early experience with the AlertViewer showed a small subset of incidents were entered but never cleared. At first this was thought to be an anomaly. Code was added to the VDOT side to clear any incident with no activity for the past 24 hours. Further investigation showed that this issue was an ongoing issue. With the support of NGC, the cause of this problem was identified. What was happening was that incidents were starting out with a 10-Code that was passed to VDOT and then the 10-Code was changed to one that was filtered from being sent. This left the original incident remaining to appear as open even though it had been cleared under a different 10-Code. To resolve this, incidents were sent from VSP to VDOT if either the original 10-Code or the current 10-Code matched the permissible list of codes.

Duplicate Incident Numbers: Reviewing the program logs it was noticed that new incidents were being received with incident IDs that matched previous incidents. These new incidents appeared to have been assigned a duplicate incident ID. In talking with VSP, it was learned that officers, on occasion, will reopen a previously cleared incident to record further information regarding the incident. What appeared as a new incident was really the reopening of an old incident. Code was added to the program that translated the incident data to its CAP message to keep information on cleared incidents for up to 1 hour in case an incident was reopened by an officer.

Lack of Information: Within the first few months of use, a handful of incidents were identified where the incident was properly sent to VDOT but insufficient textual information was included for VDOT to ascertain the severity of the incident. It was determined that the problem was that not all dispatchers were using the ROADI segment to record information of importance to VDOT. Instead, this data was recorded in the MISC segment that was being filtered by VSP. VSP undertook an effort to provide better training of the dispatcher regarding the use of the ROADI segment. To date, however, this issue is still a problem. While some dispatchers make good use of the ROADI segment, its use is not consistent among all the VSP dispatchers.

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Challenges Faced and Tactics Used to Integrate Real-Time State Police CAD Data with the VDOT Richmond District Smart Traffic Center: Lessons Learned Document

Author: Robison, David, Matt Sargent, and Steve Beckwith

Correspondence with Robb Alexander , Virginia DOT, on April 6, 2006

Published By: Virginia DOT

Prepared by Open Roads Consulting, Inc. for the Virginia DOT

Source Date: January 2005

EDL Number: 14115

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4228

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

David Robison
Open Roads Consulting

Agency Contact(s):

Robert Alexander, P.E.
Virginia Department of Transportation

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2005-00059