The National Police Agency plans to develop a database on traffic accidents that will provide drivers comprehensive accident information over the Internet starting in January 2002, NPA officials said Thursday.

The NPA and the new Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to be launched in January will begin work to develop the database in April, the officials said.

The system, which will analyze the causes of traffic accidents and accept data not only from government entities but also users, is aimed at enhancing driver safety awareness and assisting in traffic-related research, they said.

Currently, information on traffic accidents is maintained separately at the NPA and the Transport and Construction ministries. Individual driver data and details of accidents are handled by the NPA, while vehicle information goes to the Transport Ministry and road data is collected by the Construction Ministry.

To overcome inefficiency resulting from such a decentralized administrative system, the three government bodies have jointly launched a center to analyze accidents.

However, the center has so far only conducted statistical analysis on past accidents due to the time needed to integrate data from the three bodies.

Under the new system, data entry by the government entities will be carried out online, allowing drivers to receive via the Internet detailed data on recent accidents and view accident-prone areas marked on a map.

The database will also enable the NPA and the new ministry to utilize information collected from users to swiftly deal with such cases as drunk driving and accidents caused by defective cars, the officials said.

In the United States, a system became available in 1996 that provides data online on all traffic accidents resulting in death that happened since 1975, mainly for research purposes, according to the NPA.

The officials said they hope users will be able to search individual accident cases on the system and those involved in an accident will learn about its causes over the Internet in the future.

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