An average of 400,000 people lose their lives every year due to speeding, further raising the importance of mass speed enforcement worldwide. Since their earliest deployment in the early 1960s, speed enforcement cameras, or automated traffic enforcement cameras, have repeatedly proven their benefits in significantly improving safety and reducing costs to society.
This article will explore how speed enforcement cameras around the world save lives while saving millions of dollars to society over the course of their deployment.
Unlike physical policing, automated traffic cameras don't need rest and can operate 24/7.
Thanks to their ability to operate 24/7 in urban or rural areas, automated speed enforcement cameras reduce overall crashes by 15 to 20%, and often replace risky and costly speed enforcement of physical policing.
A study by the European Commission in the U.K. in mid-2000s revealed that following the implementation of traffic speed cameras, both casualties and fatalities radically declined, with a 22% reduction in personal injury collisions at urban camera sites, and the number of fatalities and severely injured decreased by 42%. In rural areas, fixed speed cameras reduced collisions by 33%.
In other parts of the world where speed-related collisions are high, the impact of automated traffic enforcement is significant. In Ecuador, where Viion has TrafficCam cameras deployed throughout the country, the Ecuador Transit Commission (ETC) reported a staggering 73% drop in speed-related deaths and accidents in the Province of Manabí. [Read more about Viion's case study here]
A 2016 study completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), showed that the proportion of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph in U.S. states such as Arizona, Maryland and Washington D.C. declined by 70, 88 and 82% respectively within six to eight months of traffic camera deployment.
Without traffic cameras, physical speed enforcement using police officers is still common around the world, yet it remains a highly-dangerous task. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2006 and 2019 in the U.S. alone, more than 200 officers were killed after being struck by vehicles while trying to enforce speed.
Cost-EffectiveThe benefits of speed enforcement cameras go well beyond just saving lives – automated traffic cameras create an economic driver for governments and authorities by generating revenue from speeding violations.
As part of New York City's Vision Zero road safety campaign, a total of $176 million (USD) was invested in 2019 as part of a three-year deployment of more than 2,000 traffic cameras throughout the city, making it one of the most extensive in North America. Since the program's deployment, more than 5.2 million violations have been issued, creating savings of more than $228 million in fines.
In the United Kingdom, the Department of Transport deployed 4,100 automated traffic cameras nation-wide over the course of four years at a cost of around £96 million ($132 million USD). By the fourth year of the traffic cameras' deployment, the total benefits from avoided injuries and fatalities were a staggering £258 million ($350 million USD). At automatic traffic camera sites, there were approximately 1,745 less people killed or injured per year and pedestrian casualties were down by 23%. In total, more than 2 million tickets were issued.
Similar is the case in Mexico, where the impact of Viion's intelligent automated traffic enforcement cameras has been significant. A year after the traffic cameras were installed in Mexico City, deaths related to traffic accidents dropped by 16 per cent (133 fewer deaths that year), and more than 64 million pesos (around $27 million USD) were collected from photo infractions, according to Alejandro Araujo, Director of IntelTrafico, whose company has been using Viion products and services since 2016.
In Viion's case, TrafficCam and TrafficCam 3D can be deployed with very little cost to infrastructure, as they require minimal installation and can also run independently from the electrical grid only on solar power.
Automated speed enforcement cameras make a significant difference, regardless of where they are deployed in the world. The ability of automated traffic cameras to operate 24/7, save lives and generate revenue has proven to be invaluable, and remains as a leading solution of speed enforcement today. How can you benefit from Automated Traffic Camera Enforcement?
Before considering what automated traffic camera solution works best, here are few things to keep in mind:
- Cost: Installation and deployment of automated traffic cameras often pays for itself in the long run, and is still far less expensive than physical policing
- Ease of deployment: It is significantly easier and safer to enforce speed with traffic cameras than on-site police officers, and traffic cameras can operate tirelessly 24/7
Further reading: How speed enforcement cameras can reduce the CO2 footprint
- Beneficial to society: In addition to millions of dollars in hospitalizations and other medical expenses due to injuries or fatalities, revenue from speeding violations can be re-invested into critical infrastructure
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