Finding where the drunks drive Computer logs accidents, sets patrol emphasis.

December 12, 1991|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

Baltimore County police are using a computer to keep track of the most dangerous roads and intersections in the county. The information, police say, has helped prevent accidents.

The most dangerous intersection in Baltimore County, according the statistics, is at Rossville Boulevard and Philadelphia Road. At that intersection, 72 accidents injuring 100 people have occurred during the last four years. No one has been killed.

The computer is at the Central Traffic headquarters building on Belair Road in Fullerton. Its data base includes the roads and intersections where the most accidents have occurred over the last four years.

The computer also keeps track of those roads that have higher-than-average numbers of alcohol-related accidents, and it tracks what the most frequent causes of accidents are in any area.

With the computer's data, officials say, officers can better direct their efforts at slowing down traffic or preventing other dangerous behavior that leads to accidents.

"It's a matter of giving the guys a tool to sort of say where these things are happening," says Officer Robert E. Deale Jr., who manages the data base at Central Traffic.

"It's not perfect, but it beats the old scattergun approach we had a few years ago," Deale explains.

Using the data base, police have also been able to determine which roads produce the most alcohol-related accidents, says Deale.

Pulaski Highway, Belair Road and Eastern Avenue, all heavily traveled, were the thoroughfares with the highest number of alcohol-related accidents in the past four years, Deale says.

"You'll find most of them [alcohol-related accidents] are on the eastern end of the county," says Deale. "That's understandable. You go down Eastern Avenue or Eastern Boulevard and just about every other block, there is a bar."

Mike Gimbel, head of the county's office of substance abuse, says the computer tracking helps with the enforcement of drunken driving laws in the county.

"Because the police can do that, we don't use roadblocks in Baltimore County," says Gimbel. "Our approach is to target high-risk areas. Plus, it saves resources. By using sophisticated data, you are able to put the resources where they're needed."

25 Most dangerous intersections in Baltimore County

1. Philadelphia Road at Rossville Boulevard

2. Pulaski Highway at Rossville Boulevard

3. Liberty Road at Washington Avenue

4. Reistertown Road at Painters Mill Road

5. German Hill Road at Merritt Boulevard

6. Joppa Road at Goucher Boulevard

7. Belmont Avenue at Security Boulevard

8. Baltimore National Pike at Ingleside Avenue

9. Loch Raven Boulevard at Taylor Avenue

FTC

10. Eastern Avenue at Kingston Road

11. Liberty Road at St. Lukes Lane

12. Loch Raven Boulevard at Joppa Road

13. Baltimore Beltway at Reistertown Road.

14. Liberty Road at Courtleigh Drive

15. Perring Parkway at Putty Hill Avenue

16. North Point Boulevard at Merritt Boulevard

17. Pulaski Highway at Ebenezer Road

18. Eastern Avenue at Stemmers Run Road

19. North Point Boulevard at Wise Avenue

20. Baltimore National Pike at Nuwood Drive

21. Falls Road at Greenspring Valley Road

22. Loch Raven Boulevard at Putty Hill Avenue

Reistertown Road at Owings Mills Boulevard

24. Reistertown Road at Old Court Road

25. Rossville Boulevard at Yellow Brick Road

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