Location Matters: Important Considerations When Installing Automated Enforcement Systems
We all know at least one notorious intersection. Maybe it’s known for frequent red-light running, or perhaps the speed limit is virtually ignored. For any reason, this intersection endangers other commuters, pedestrians and the drivers themselves. Because residents, law enforcement or both acknowledge an urgent need for improved safety conditions, this intersection might be an ideal candidate for an automated enforcement system. Deciding where to place a photo enforcement system takes research, data collection, public feedback and foresight to determine where the technology will be most effective at changing negative driving behaviors and freeing up law enforcement resources. Installing and investing in an automated enforcement system is a commitment: here are some steps to ensure it has the most positive impact possible for the community.
Collect Relevant DataA jurisdiction can most effectively locate and validate the necessity of an automated enforcement system by reviewing traffic data, both current and historical. The relevant numbers can be found through:
- Evaluating historical law enforcement records –These records may be used to reveal an on-going, prevalent issue by illustrating the number of violations, the number of crashes or both. This data provides a benchmark for officials to refer back to when analyzing the effect of speed or red-light cameras post-installment.
- Conducting a traffic survey – Another valuable research method is conducting a traffic survey, accomplished through monitoring traffic in a specified area for a certain amount of time. A jurisdiction interested in setting up red-light or speed cameras might utilize surveys to baseline traffic volume and/or speeding and red-light running incidents.
- Reviewing analytics – More jurisdictions are utilizing advanced data analytics tools to assess and compare statistics and outcomes from intersections of similar size, layout and traffic volume to predict where automated enforcement could make the most sense.
Consider Your Deployment OptionsNext, this information can be used to see what type of deployment is most appropriate for a specified location. Not all types of enforcement systems make sense at all locations — certain technologies, by nature, function better in different locations.
- Red-light cameras – This fixed technology suits intersections where incidents are common, according to relevant data. Depending on local laws and needs, red-light cameras are available as a standalone solution, or they can be packaged with other automated technologies. For instance, our Halo system is a fixed solution that can also include speed enforcement, intelligent crash preemption and automated license plate reading from a single camera system.
- Speed cameras – To meet municipality needs and regulations, there are multiple deployment options for speed enforcement: fixed, mobile (vehicle, trailer or cabinet based) and handheld. Fixed solutions are ideal for roadways that need monitoring 24/7 due to a history of speeding incidents. Mobile and handheld solutions provide flexibility and the ability to expand the safety net through the rotation of systems to different locations (e.g., school zones, work zones, residential areas or parks among other issues outlined in this blog).