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Term Glossary

An alphabetized, hyperlinked glossary of terms used on the ATSIP web site and a continual "work in progress" - suggest terms for the glossary to the web master.

  • AAA - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

    The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on the roads. It is a not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization.

  • AAMVA - American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators

    The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization developing model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.

  • AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

    AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It represents all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water.

  • ANSI - American National Standards Institute

    As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.

  • AOC- Administrative Office of the Courts

    Created in 1939, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOC) serves the federal Judiciary in carrying out its constitutional mission to provide equal justice under law.

  • APHA - American Public Health Association

    The American Public Health Association is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872.

  • ATSIP - Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals

    The Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals has migrated from a sub-committee under the National Safety Council to a stand-alone professional association in 2009. It exists to further the development and sharing of traffic records system procedures, tools, and professionalism.

  • BP - Best Practices

    Experts in both public and private safety arenas, stress the importance of making the best data available for safety programs to be the most effective. Projects to improve data capture, manipulation and evaluation are experiencing great success throughout the country and the world. Best Practices seeks to bring as many of these projects to the forefront as possible so we may all benefit now and in the years to come.

  • BTS - Bureau of Transportation Statistics

    The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) was established as a statistical agency in 1992. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 created BTS to administer data collection, analysis, and reporting and to ensure the most cost-effective use of transportation-monitoring resources. BTS brings a greater degree of coordination, comparability, and quality standards to transportation data, and facilitates in the closing of important data gaps.

  • CAD - Computer Aided Dispatch

    Computer-assisted dispatch, also called Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), is a method of dispatching taxicabs, couriers, field service technicians, or emergency services assisted by computer.

  • Census - U.S. Census Bureau

    The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. The U.S. Census Bureau honors privacy, protects confidentiality, shares its expertise globally, and conduct its work openly.

  • CDC - Centers for Disease Control

    The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDC′s mission is to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

  • CIREN - Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network

    The CIREN process combines prospective data collection with professional multidisciplinary analysis of medical and engineering evidence to determine injury causation in every crash investigation conducted.

  • CIS - Crash Information System

  • CJIS - Criminal Justice Information System

    The Criminal Justice Information System contains information about crimes, offenders, suspects, victims, property and cases.

  • CMV - Commercial motor vehicles

    A commercial vehicle is a type of motor vehicle that may be used for transporting goods or passengers. In the United States a vehicle is designated “commercial” when it is titled or registered to a company.

  • CODES - Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System

    By linking crash, vehicle, and behavior characteristics to their specific medical and financial outcomes, NHTSA can identify prevention factors.

  • CVSA - Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

    CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

  • DHS - Department of Homeland Security

    The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. Their duties are wide-ranging, but their goal is clear - keeping America safe.

  • DOJ - Department of Justice

    The Department of Justice's mission statement: To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

  • DOT - Department of Transportation

    The mission of the Department is to: SERVE the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

  • DPS - Department of Public Safety

    The Department of Public Safety, also called an Office of Public Safety, is a state or local government umbrella agency in the United States which serves to assist the certain agencies in their services by providing administrative, financial, and technical services and support for core public safety functions.

  • DVS - Driver and Vehicle Services

    Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), provides services related to: vehicle ownership, license plates and registration, driver education, driver, testing and license issuing, drivers licenses, collection of crash data, requests for vehicle, driver’s license, identification card and crash record data AND more.

  • EDR - Event Data Recorder

    An event data recorder or EDR is a device installed in some automobiles to record information related to vehicle crashes or accidents. Information from these devices can be collected after a crash and analyzed to help determine what the vehicles were doing before, during and after the crash or event. The term generally refers to a simple, tamper-proof, read-write memory device, similar to the "black box" found on airplanes (as opposed to the tape recorders and video cameras common in police vehicles and many commercial trucks).

  • EMS - Emergency Medical Services

    Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care, transport to definitive care, and other medical transport to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves.

  • ERD - Entity Relationship Diagram

    An entity-relationship (ER) diagram is a specialized graphic that illustrates the relationships between entities. ER diagrams often use symbols to represent three different types of information. Boxes are commonly used to represent entities. Diamonds are normally used to represent relationships and ovals are used to represent attributes.

  • FMCSA - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

  • FHWA - Federal Highway Administration

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program). Through financial and technical assistance to State and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world.

  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol

    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. It is often used to upload web pages and other documents from a private development machine to a public web-hosting server.

  • GHSA - Governor’s Highway Safety Administration

    GHSA represents the state and territorial highway safety offices that implement programs to address behavioral highway safety issues, including: occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding.

  • GIS - Geographic Information System

    A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

  • GPS - Global Positioning System

    The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

  • HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

    The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.

  • IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

    IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.

  • ITE - Institute of Transportation Engineers

    The Institute of Transportation Engineers is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals who are responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. ITE facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for any mode of ground transportation.

  • ITS-A - Intelligent Transportation Society of America

    The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is the leading advocate for deployment of technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's surface transportation system. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) encompass a broad range of wireless and wire line communications, information processing, advanced computing, and electronics technologies

  • MMIRE - Model Minimum Inventory of Roadway Elements

    MMIRE is a recommended listing of roadway inventory and traffic elements critical to safety management. MIRE is intended as a guideline to help transportation agencies improve their roadway and traffic data inventories.

  • MMUCC - Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria

    Some of America’s foremost authorities on highway safety have worked together to develop and update MMUCC since the first edition of the Guideline was released in 1998. The program is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and jointly managed by NHTSA and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) with input from other offices in the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  • NCHRP - National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and sponsored by the member departments of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) was created in 1962 as a means to conduct research in acute problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance nationwide.

  • NCIC - National Crime Information System

    The NCIC is a computerized index of documented criminal justice information. Established in 1967 as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and updated in July 1999, it is a nationwide system dedicated to serving and supporting local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies in their mission to uphold the law and protect the public. Information gleaned from NCIC can assist the criminal justice community in apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, and protecting law enforcement personnel.

  • NCSA - National Center for Statistics and Analysis

    NCSA, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is responsible for providing a wide range of analytical and statistical support to NHTSA and the highway safety community at large.

  • NIEM - National Information Exchange Model

    A national program supported by the federal government, NIEM connects communities of people who share a common need to exchange information in order to advance their missions.

  • NEMSIS - National EMS Information System

    NEMSIS stands for the National Emergency Medical Services Information System. NEMSIS is the national repository that will be used to potentially store EMS data from every state in the nation.

  • NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    NHTSA was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 to carry out safety programs previously administered by the National Highway Safety Bureau. Specifically, the agency directs the highway safety and consumer programs established by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Highway Safety Act of 1966, the 1972 Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, and succeeding amendments to these laws.

  • NSC - National Safety Council

    The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

  • NTRB - National Transportation Research Board

    TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council— a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities.

  • NTSB - National Transportation Safety Board

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.

  • OCR - Optical Character Recognition

    Optical character recognition is the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used as a form of data entry from some sort of original paper data source, whether documents, sales receipts, mail, or any number of printed records.

  • OST - Office of the Secretary of Transportation

    The Office of the Secretary (OST) oversees the formulation of national transportation policy and promotes intermodal transportation.

  • OWI - Operating While Intoxicated

    The act of driving a motor vehicle with blood levels of alcohol in excess of a legal limit. Similar regulations cover driving or operating certain types of machinery while affected by drinking alcohol or taking other drugs.

  • PDF - Portable Document Format

    Invented by Adobe Systems and perfected over 17 years, Portable Document Format (PDF) is the global standard for capturing and reviewing rich information from almost any application on any computer system and sharing it with virtually anyone, anywhere.

  • RITA - Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    RITA coordinates the U.S. Department of Transportation's research and education programs, and is working to bring advanced technologies into the transportation system. RITA also offers vital transportation statistics and analysis, and supports national efforts to improve education and training in transportation-related fields.

  • RMS - Records Management System

    Records management, or RM, is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal. This may include classifying, storing, securing, and destruction (or in some cases, archival preservation) of records.

  • SaDIP - FMCSA’s Safety Data Improvement Program

    The Safety Data Improvement Program provides discretionary grants to States for activities to improve the accuracy, timeliness and completeness of safety data including, but not limited to, large truck and bus crash data, roadside inspection, data enforcement data, driver citation data, and registration data.

  • SAFETEA-LU - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for users

    SAFETEA-LU addresses the many challenges facing our transportation system today – challenges such as improving safety, reducing traffic congestion, improving efficiency in freight movement, increasing intermodal connectivity, and protecting the environment – as well as laying the groundwork for addressing future challenges.


    SAFETYNET is an FMCSA system designed to manage and provide access to crash data, roadside inspection history and data, and motor carrier and shipper identification information.

  • SHSO State Highway Safety Office

    Many State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) are located within their state's Department of Transportation. Others are part of the Public Safety Department or other state agengy. A few are independent offices with state goverment.

  • TCRS - Traffic Crash Reporting System

  • TFHRC - Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center

  • TR - Traffic Records

    To improve the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of the safety data for highway safety purposes at the local, state, and national levels. Traffic records data are the basis for defining, managing, and evaluating traffic safety activities and performance.

  • TRA - Traffic Records Assessment

  • TraCS - Traffic and Criminal Software

  • TRF - Traffic Records Forum

    The Traffic Records Forum, sponsored by the Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP), is the largest conference of its kind in the world, bringing together professionals from many disciplines for the open exchange of research, innovation and techniques in the collection and use of traffic safety data.

  • TRCC - Traffic Records Coordinating Committee

    One of the key recommendations of the report was the formation of a federal level Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. As a result, the U.S. DOT TRCC was formed in October 2004. Represented agencies include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Research and Innovative Technologies Administration (RITA), and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

  • USDOT TRCC - U.S. Department of Transportation Traffic Records Coordinating Committee

    The Multidisciplinary Integrated Project Team (IPT) was formed in September 2003 with representatives from NHTSA headquarters and the Regions, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Over a period of nine months, this group met and discussed the current strengths and weaknesses of the federal and state safety data systems and possible initiatives for improvement.

  • VIN - Vehicle Identification Number

    A unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954.[1] From 1954 to 1981, there was no accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats.

  • VOLPE - The Volpe Center

    The Center is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration and is an innovative, Federal, fee-for service organization. Our mission is to improve the Nation's transportation system. Our work is performed for U.S. DOT, as well as other Federal, state, local, and international agencies and entities.

  • XML - Extensible Markup Language

    Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.




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