New Study Calls for Automated Speed Enforcement to Reduce Crashes

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) put out a statement regarding a new study they have published that focuses on speed-related injuries and fatalities in traffic crashes.

ntsb pull quote

The study titled “Safety Study: Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles,” includes NTSB’s recommendations for reducing speed-related injuries and fatalities on U.S. highways.

After analyzing data from 2005 to 2014, they found 112,580 crash fatalities were from speeding alone. NTSB writes, “To put that number in perspective, nearly the same number of people – 112,948 – died in alcohol-involved crashes in the same period.”

NTSB found that the campaign against drunk driving has been successful at reducing alcohol-related accidents, but unfortunately accidents from speeding continues to hover around a third of all traffic fatalities each year. Although there were some incidents where both alcohol and speeding were a factor, as the NTSB explains, “more speeding drivers in fatal crashes are not alcohol-impaired than impaired.”

And unlike drunk driving which carries a social stigma as a deterrant, speeding does not and is much more common. The NTSB states that “speeding has few negative social consequences compared to the consequences of an arrest or conviction for driving under the influence. The study further notes that although drivers are aware that speeding is a threat to safety, they also acknowledge it is a common driving behavior in the US.”

Based on their findings, the NTSB issued 19 safety recommendations which includes expanding automated speed enforcement (ASE) to all 50 states. As of right now, the U.S. only has 14 states and the District of Columbia that allow automated speed enforcement, some states have red-light enforcement only and many states either have no laws or laws that specifically ban ASE.


For more details on each state’s laws, click here

For the states that do allow ASE, we now have data that shows it to be more effective at reducing speeding-related crashes than traditional methods of enforcement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fixed speed cameras can reduce injury crashes by 20- 25% and mobile speed cameras reduce injury collisions by 21-51%.

speed data

Speeding doesn’t just put the driver at-risk for injury or death, they can become a hazard to everyone around them. Other vehicles, law enforcement officers, highway workers and pedestrians all are vunerable to driver behavior. ASE cameras are not always popular with drivers as traffic tickets can cause quite a bit of grumbling, but in urban areas where pedestrians are more at-risk of being hit by speeding drivers, citizens are overwhelmingly supportive.

dc speed survey

As a driver, it is not always easy to see the connection between a few extra miles per hour on the speedometer and the increase it has on the severity of the crash, but it really does make a huge difference:

Pedestrian Risk Chart

Optotraffic is committed to increasing safety on our roads and will continue to work with law enforcement to reduce speeding-related crashes by offering innovative speed enforcement solutions, as well as red-light, slow down move over enforcement, parking and more.

If you are interested in starting an enforcement program in your community or would like more information on any of our traffic enforcement solutions, please contact us today.