In Figure 21, the Locator Error-attributed damages alone exceed the combined total of all three root causes from the Excavation Practices group. However, Locator Error here is the sum of marked inaccurately and not marked at all.
For telecommunications, the high percentage of “unknown/other” responses is a major contributor to this sector’s lower DQI score, as DIRT’s root cause field is weighted heavily in the DQI calculation.
It should be kept in mind that root causes within the Locator Error group do not always mean the locate technician is at fault. For example, an excavator may only know that the facility was not marked or marked inaccurately and therefore selected a Locator Error root cause, whereas a facility operator or locating contractor would be better positioned to determine if it was a mapping, abandoned facility, or tracer wire issue. Excavators are a higher percentage of the telecommunication damage event sources.
 This is preferable to choosing “unknown,” because it is in the Locating root cause group.