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Automated speed enforcement cameras

Health Factors: Community Safety Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Local Government State Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 100% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Automated speed enforcement cameras include radar and laser devices which can be permanently placed in a location and operate automatically (i.e., fixed cameras) and mobile cameras or mobile speed enforcement devices that can be operated by law enforcement officers (CDC-Speed camera, PBIC-Poole 2017). Devices may capture instantaneous speeds at a single point or may calculate average speeds using a series of cameras, known as average speed enforcement systems (Soole 2013). Speed cameras may also be used in a roadway corridor approach by periodically moving them along the length of a road (Hu 2016). Penalties associated with speed violations in an area with speed enforcement detection devices are often more lenient than penalties issued by law enforcement officers (GHSA-Speed cameras).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced fatal and non-fatal injuries
Reduced traffic speed

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that automated speed enforcement cameras reduce traffic speed, traffic injuries, and fatalities (Cochrane-Wilson 2010, Hu 2016, Blais 2015, Thomas 2008a).

Speed cameras have been shown to reduce road traffic speed, collisions, injuries, and related fatalities (NHTSA-Goodwin 2015, Cochrane-Wilson 2010, Pilkington 2005). Cameras that are periodically moved along a road as part of a roadway corridor approach (Hu 2016) and cameras used for average speed enforcement have been shown to reduce crash injuries and fatalities (Soole 2013). Cameras used for average speed enforcement can also reduce speeds and may improve traffic flow (Soole 2013). Automated mobile speed enforcement on urban arterial roads has been shown to reduce collisions and traffic speed, and improve road safety, particularly when speed cameras are used continuously (Li 2015a, Cunningham 2008a).

In an Arizona-based study, speed cameras reduced speeds on an urban freeway (Shin 2009). In a Barcelona-based study, fixed speed cameras reduced crashes and injuries on medium to high speed beltway roads; effects were not significant on lower speed roads or roads with traffic lights (Novoa 2010).

Combining speed cameras with vertical features such as speed bumps can produce larger speed reductions than cameras alone (Mountain 2005). Visible campaigns about speed camera programs can generate speed reductions beyond targeted streets, often called spillover reductions, particularly if a roadway corridor approach is used (Hu 2016).

France’s automated speed enforcement program (ASEP), which uses fixed speed cameras on highways and urban roads and mobile speed cameras operated by law enforcement officers on rural and urban roads, has been shown to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and trucks (Blais 2015). Safety Tuto, an automated section speed enforcement system in Italy that determines average speed over a long distance, has also been shown to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities (Montella 2012).

Experts suggest that automated speed enforcement programs may reduce the likelihood of prejudicial enforcement of speeding citations (Farmer 2017, Conner 2017) and race-based disparities in deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents (Conner 2017).

A Barcelona-based cost benefit analysis suggests that speed cameras in urban areas generate positive net benefits (Mendivil 2012).

Implementation

United States

Twelve states, Washington DC, and the US Virgin Islands use speed cameras for automated enforcement of traffic violations. Thirteen states prohibit this practice and 28 states do not have laws specific to speed cameras (GHSA-Speed cameras).

As of July 2018, 144 US communities have speed camera programs, typically established via state law or city ordinance. Statewide work-zone programs in Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland are three examples (IIHS-Automated enforcement).

Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) maintains fixed speed safety cameras on high crash network streets which capture photos and videos of speeding cars for review by the Portland Police; PBOT’s website lists the current locations and status of the cameras (PBOT-Speed cameras). Montgomery County, Maryland’s automated speed camera and red light program, SafeSpeed, focuses on residential areas and school zones, issuing $40 civil citations to the registered owner of vehicles traveling 12 miles per hour or more over the speed limit (MD-SafeSpeed). Chicago’s Data Portal provides a map of speed cameras (Chicago-Speed camera map).

Wisconsin

Wisconsin law prohibits automated photo-radar enforcement, but speed detection devices are used manually by law enforcement officers (GHSA-Speed cameras, CDC-Speed camera).

Implementation Resources

GHSA-Speed cameras - Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Speed and red light camera laws. Accessed on October 5, 2018
NHTSA-Goodwin 2015 - Goodwin A, Thomas L, Kirley B, et al. Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for state highway safety offices, 8th edition. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2015. Accessed on October 5, 2018
NHTSA-Speed cameras - Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Speed enforcement camera systems operational guidelines. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2008. Accessed on October 3, 2018
NTSB-Speeding - National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Reducing speeding-related crashes involving passenger vehicles. Safety Study NTSB/SS-17/01. Washington, DC: NTSB; 2017. Accessed on October 5, 2018
TRB-Eccles 2012 - Eccles KA, Fiedler R, Persaud B, et al. Automated enforcement for speeding and red light running. Transportation Research Board. National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 729; 2012. Accessed on October 5, 2018

Citations - Description

CDC-Speed camera - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Motor vehicle safety. Intervention fact sheet: Automated speed-camera enforcement. 2015. Accessed on October 5, 2018
GHSA-Speed cameras - Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Speed and red light camera laws. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Hu 2016* - Hu W, McCartt AT. Effects of automated speed enforcement in Montgomery County, Maryland, on vehicle speeds, public opinion, and crashes. Traffic Injury Prevention. 2016;17(Suppl 1):53-58. Accessed on October 5, 2018
PBIC-Poole 2017 - Poole B, Johnson S, and Thomas L. An overview of automated enforcement systems and their potential for improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Chapel Hill, NC: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center; 2017. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Soole 2013* - Soole DW, Watson BC, Fleiter JJ. Effects of average speed enforcement on speed compliance and crashes: A review of the literature. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2013;54:46-56. Accessed on October 5, 2018

Citations - Evidence

Blais 2015* - Blais E, Carnis L. Improving the safety effect of speed camera programs through innovations: Evidence from the French experience. Journal of Safety Research. 2015;55:135-145. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Cochrane-Wilson 2010* - Wilson C, Willis C, Hendrikz JK, Le Brocque R, Bellamy N. Speed cameras for the prevention of road traffic injuries and deaths. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010;(11):CD004607. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Conner 2017* - Conner M. Traffic justice: Achieving effective and equitable traffic enforcement in the age of vision zero. Fordham Urban Law Journal. 2017;44(4):969-1004. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Cunningham 2008a* - Cunningham CM, Hummer JE, Moon JP. Analysis of automated speed enforcement cameras in Charlotte, North Carolina. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2008;2078(1):127-134. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Farmer 2017 - Farmer CM. Automated traffic enforcement: Responding to the critics. Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering. 2017;5(1):1-7. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Hu 2016* - Hu W, McCartt AT. Effects of automated speed enforcement in Montgomery County, Maryland, on vehicle speeds, public opinion, and crashes. Traffic Injury Prevention. 2016;17(Suppl 1):53-58. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Li 2015a - Li R, El-Basyouny K, Kim A. A before-and-after empirical Bayes evaluation of automated mobile speed enforcement on urban arterial roads. Transportation Research Board; 2015. Accessed on October 3, 2018
Mendivil 2012* - Mendivil J, García-Altés A, Pérez K, Marí-Dell’Olmo M, Tobías A. Speed cameras in an urban setting: A cost-benefit analysis. Injury Prevention. 2012;18(2):75–80. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Montella 2012* - Montella A, Persaud B, D’Apuzzo M, Imbriani L. Safety evaluation of automated section speed enforcement system. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2012;2281:16-25. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Mountain 2005* - Mountain LJ, Hirst WM, Maher MJ. Are speed enforcement cameras more effective than other speed management measures? The impact of speed management schemes on 30 mph roads. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2005;37(4):742–54. Accessed on October 3, 2018
NHTSA-Goodwin 2015 - Goodwin A, Thomas L, Kirley B, et al. Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for state highway safety offices, 8th edition. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2015. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Novoa 2010* - Novoa AM, Pérez K, Santamariña-Rubio E, Marí-Dell’Olmo M, Tobías A. Effectiveness of speed enforcement through fixed speed cameras: A time series study. Injury Prevention. 2010;16(1):12–6. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Pilkington 2005* - Pilkington P, Kinra S. Effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions and related casualties: Systematic review. BMJ. 2005;330:331-4. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Shin 2009* - Shin K, Washington SP, van Schalkwyk I. Evaluation of the Scottsdale Loop 101 automated speed enforcement demonstration program. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2009;41(3):393-403. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Soole 2013* - Soole DW, Watson BC, Fleiter JJ. Effects of average speed enforcement on speed compliance and crashes: A review of the literature. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2013;54:46-56. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Thomas 2008a - Thomas LJ, Srinivasan R, Decina LE, Staplin L. Safety effects of automated speed enforcement programs: Critical review of international literature. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2008;2078:117-126. Accessed on October 5, 2018

Citations - Implementation

CDC-Speed camera - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Motor vehicle safety. Intervention fact sheet: Automated speed-camera enforcement. 2015. Accessed on October 5, 2018
Chicago-Speed camera map - City of Chicago. Chicago Data Portal. Map - speed camera locations. 2018. Accessed on October 5, 2018
GHSA-Speed cameras - Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Speed and red light camera laws. Accessed on October 5, 2018
IIHS-Automated enforcement - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Red light running: Automated enforcement. 2018. Accessed on October 5, 2018
MD-SafeSpeed - Montgomery County, Maryland Government. Information and camera locations for Montgomery County's automated red light and SafeSpeed enforcements. Accessed on October 5, 2018
PBOT-Speed cameras - City of Portland, Oregon. Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). Fixed speed safety cameras. Accessed on October 5, 2018

Page Last Updated

July 24, 2018

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