Optotraffic, LLC is the USA’s leading provider of equipment and services for the Automated Speed Enforcement industry. Patented LIDAR sensor technology, unmanned operation, wireless data transmission, infrared flashes and routine portability facilitates (re) deployment in multiple locations. Optotraffic also offers a complete spectrum of services including equipment design, manufacturing, maintenance, deployment, citation processing, call centers, court docket preparation, web based reporting and law enforcement officer training.
Optotraffic differs from other providers in that it uses patented laser measurement technology (LIDAR). Optotraffic's DLS-10S family of products uses patented LIDAR technology which enables simultaneous multi-lane, lane specific enforcement. LIDAR is the technology used by NASA. Vehicle speed is measured as a vehicle passes through two laser beams. If a violation is recorded, a camera then immediately takes photographs of the vehicle.
Optotraffic provides both portable and fixed systems. When in operation, the equipment calibration is validated daily, prior to the commencement of enforcement. Optotraffic units operate successfully in all normal weather conditions.
Placement of Optotraffic's ASE system is dictated by local governments and law enforcement.
Enforcement is a multi-step process. Optotraffic sensors detect a speeding violation and two photos are immediately taken. These photos and other evidence are reviewed to ensure that they provide clear images; vehicle ownership is obtained from the state issuing the registration tags; local law enforcement reviews and has final approval of the violation; the citation is mailed to the vehicle owner with information on payment and appeal procedures; subsequent late notices are provided as needed.
No one likes getting a ticket for speeding or running a red light as a result Optotraffic, and all other automated safety enforcement companies have their share of critics. Criticisms fall into three categories; technology, process and the law.
- Technology: Optotraffic's equipment is based on the same technology that NASA uses to measure critical parameters in space, the atmosphere, and on land. Our equipment is not only regularly maintained by Optotraffic staff, but is also closely monitored by law enforcement to ensure accuracy.
- Process: Optotraffic follows all process requirements stated in the laws, requirements of the state, local jurisdictions, and the courts. Optotraffic takes every step possible to ensure due process and compliance with laws and regulations.
- Law: Traffic laws vary by jurisdiction and Optotraffic ensures that the specific laws, regulations and guidelines of each individual jurisdiction are met and is prepared to defend its operations in court if necessary.
For independent, accurate information on speeding, red light running, automated enforcement, and traffic laws, we suggest the following sources:
- Federal Highway Administration, www.fhwa.dot.gov. Provides a plethora of statistics on speeding and red light running.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, www.iihs.org. Provides information on the efficacy of automated enforcement, statistics on highway safety, a review of the law regarding automated enforcement, and much more.
- The Campaign to Stop Red Light Running, http://stopredlightrunning.com. (Note: this independent organization is NOT supported by Optotraffic or any of its competitors providing automated enforcement solutions).
- The Intelligent Transportation Society of America, www.itsa.org is an advocate for technologies that make transportation safer and more efficient.
- The Governors Highway Safety Association, www.ghsa.org brings together the best thinking from states and territories in the U.S. and Canada.
- The National Coalition for Safer Roads, www.saferoadssavelives.org focuses on red light safety cameras and their effectiveness.
Village of Elmwood Place
The Village of Elmwood Place, Ohio's decision to deploy speed enforcement cameras continues to be a subject of interest. Because we know that you are committed to balanced and fair reporting, we believe that the following facts will be pertinent in your coverage.
- Elmwood Place is a suburb of Cincinnati and, as such, sees a volume of commuter traffic that dwarfs the actual population of the Village, which only has a little more than 2,000 residents.
- Prior to deployment of speed cameras, the Village recorded more than 20,000 speeding violations in a two week period - primarily in front of the community's elementary school. Tragically, there was a traffic fatality in the Village in February 2011 and in May 2011 two children were also severely injured by a motorist in the school zone.
- Comprehensive enforcement of speed became impossible for the Village's small police department of only one full-time officer - the Chief.
- In reaching its decision to use automated enforcement, the Village noted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics that if a child is struck going 20 miles an hour, the chance of survival is 95 percent; at 30 mph survivability falls to 65 percent; and at 40 mph there is only a 15 percent chance the child will live. The Village clocked drivers going more than 50 mph in front of the elementary school and through residential neighborhoods. Nationally, almost half of all speeding fatalities occur on local low-speed roads found in residential and business areas.
- Before deploying speed cameras, the Village posted signs for two weeks announcing that speed cameras would be deployed.
- On September 15, the Village activated speed cameras maintained by Optotraffic, LLC in front of the elementary school and in a residential neighborhood that was used as a "cut-through" route by many commuters.
- After activation, speeding decreased from 72.78 percent of vehicles to 18.78 percent in the residential neighborhood. Speeding in front of the school was reduced to 8 percent.
- Before deployment of speed cameras, the Village Council passed an ordinance, which meets the State of Ohio requirements for automated enforcement. The Village ensured due process in enforcement and appeals by passing its ordinance based on the ruling of the Ohio Supreme Court in Mendenhall v. Akron, 117 Ohio St. 3d 33, 2008-Ohio-270 and the related case of Mendenhall v. City of Akron, 374 Fed.App 598. It is the opinion of the Village's attorneys that the recent court ruling by a Hamilton County judge voiding the ordinance is in conflict with the Ohio State Supreme Court and the Federal Appeals Court decision, as well as many others. For a summary of the law, please visit: http://www.optotraffic.com/images/ohio%20law%20of%20automated%20traffic%20enforcement%20cameras.pdf
- Pending an appeal of the Hamilton County judge's ruling, the Village has suspended automated enforcement of speeding.
For an alternative view of the issue, journalists may wish to review a recent piece by the NBC affiliate in Washington, DC regarding speed cameras in Maryland. Maryland restricts speed camera use to school zones. The news package features citizens calling for the expansion of speed cameras to residential neighborhoods. The link: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video/#!/traffic/transit/Prince-Georges-Wants-More-Flexibility-With-Speed-Cameras/200519281
Reporters and editors wishing to do more comprehensive pieces on speeding and school safety may fine the following links useful.
We hope this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us at info request if you have questions.