Suppose most traffic accidents in town occur on Main Street. The crashes usually are caused by two cars colliding at right angles - one on Main and the other on Elm Street. What on earth would you do?

Put stop signs at the corner of Main and Elm, of course.

That conclusion is easy to reach if you have two things: good data describing local traffic incidents and a system for analyzing and reporting on that data.

Until recently the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had neither, except a manual data collection system dating back to 1976.

A $9.9 million software implementation is changing all that, making it possible for state planners to re-engineer existing roads and build safer, new ones based on verifiable statistical intelligence.

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Adam Stone  |  Contributing Writer