Each year, thousands of lives are lost from excessive speeding, red light running and other traffic accidents that can be easily be prevented.
In 2014, over 9,000 lives were lost to speeding in the United States, which accounted for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities that year.1 That same year saw over 126,000 people injured from running red lights and another 709 killed.2
With more drivers on the road than ever before, police departments are dealing with significant traffic challenges. With 25% of speed-related crashes occurring on local roads, more than any other roadway1, cities are looking to find ways to curb dangerous driving behavior.
School zones are particularly vulnerable to traffic safety issues as pedestrian and fatalities continue to be a problem. In 2014, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes, on average.3 Speed limits are set for a reason. Going a few miles over the limit may seem harmless, but in the event of an accident, it can mean the difference between life and death. Communities are looking to law enforcement to make roads safer.
If you hit a pedestrian at 20 mph, there is a 95% chance they will survive. If you hit a pedestrian at 40 mph, there is only a 20% chance they will survive.
A 21st Century Solution Emerges
A number of communities have started implementing public safety programs that include the use of automated speed enforcement. These programs allow for the efficient use of police resources, ensure fairness to motorists, and save lives.
With the traffic challenges, cities were looking to find better traffic enforcement solutions. Automated enforcement systems are a way to help our police departments by being a “force multiplier.” This frees up law enforcement personnel from routine traffic enforcement so that they can focus on other more serious enforcement priorities.
By many standards, automated enforcement is the fairest system of traffic enforcement available. Automation minimizes human error and eliminates personal bias. Violators are always allowed to challenge citations through a hearing process. Automated enforcement tickets are typically civil penalties, which do not add points to a driver’s license or impact insurance rates.
Nothing improves driver behavior more than receiving a citation. In the cities that have adopted automated traffic enforcement, they have seen a direct reduction in injuries and crashes. Automated enforcement systems such as speed safety cameras are incredibly effective at reducing driver speeds and keeping people safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fixed speed cameras reduce injury crashes by 20-25% and mobile speed cameras reduce injury collisions by 21-51%.4
While there has been a lot of misinformation being circulated about these programs, the numbers speak for themselves. As a driver, it is not always easy to see the connection between a few extra miles per hour on the speedometer and the accidents we hear about on the news. But the NHTSA statistics show that the connection is real and is a significant problem. With automated enforcement solutions, we now have ways to assist our law enforcement in making our communities safer for everyone.