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PHOTO RADAR

Few topics in local government get as heated as the photo enforcement of traffic laws. Some people argue “if you don’t break the law you don’t get a ticket so there is no problem.” Others accuse photo enforcement of being exploitive and a cash cow. So who is right? Should it have a role in our city?

I have deep concerns about our current implementation of photo traffic enforcement. Anything which causes the distrust and anger at government that photo enforcement causes needs to be re-evaluated. However, my experience and in-depth study of academic literature leads me to believe that it can play an important role in enhancing safety.

I do not support the elimination of photo enforcement. But I do have ten changes I would like to see made to our traffic enforcement programs. Some changes revolve around deployment of enforcement, others around its oversight and communication. I want to give our citizens reason to trust that photo enforcement is about safety, not revenue.


On This page

Following is information on how photo radar is used in Grande Prairie and evidence about its effect on safety. I’ll also explain the changes I want to see to our traffic enforcement programs.

Important notes: any mistakes or opinions belong to me and me alone. Also, I am aware that "radar" is not an accurate term when talking photo enforcement--we use other technologies today. However, I use it because it is the term commonly used by the public.

If you don’t want to read this whole page, you can click on section links below:

Traffic Enforcement in Grande Prairie Right Now

Should Photo Radar Use Continue?

Ten Proposed Changes to Photo Radar

  • Changing How We do Enforcement

    • Deploy more radar speed signs

    • Invest in signs, crosswalks, and road engineering

    • Use marked vehicles for 50% of photo enforcement

    • Change the site selection guidelines for photo enforcement

    • Provide more oversight to enforcement vehicles parked in “illegal” spots

    • Stop using private contractors

  • Changing How We Oversee and Communicate Photo Enforcement

    • Make the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee active and its minutes public

    • Publish comprehensive data about each enforcement site

    • Share financial information with the public

    • Talk more about enforcement publicly

Let Me Know What You Think

Photo Radar Studies


TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT IN GRANDE PRAIRIE RIGHT NOW

CURRENT ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVES

Important note: this section and the following section contain statistics which may have changed. This page was last updated in January of 2019.

The City of Grande Prairie has a contract with Global Traffic Group to do all Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE). This contract expires on May 31, 2020. While this contract is in effect only limited changes can be made to our enforcement program.

The current contract authorizes the following activities throughout the City:

  • Up to 126 operational hours per week of photo speed enforcement

  • Up to 15 operational hours per week of photo stop sign enforcement

  • Up to 15 operational hours per week of mobile red light enforcement

  • Up to 10 cameras can be deployed at high collision intersections through the City

Over 40% of Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) hours take place in school and playground zones.

All ATE locations must be approved by the RCMP using the following guidelines:

  • High-risk locations where conventional enforcement is unsafe

  • High-frequency locations were traffic laws are regularly ignored or broken

  • High-collision locations

  • High-pedestrian volume locations

  • All school and playground zones

The current approved sites can be found here.

Some important information regarding fines:

  • In Grande Prairie, photo radar tickets are not given to vehicles travelling less than 10km/h.

  • The province controls the fine amounts for each offense

  • The Government of Alberta receives 39.71% of all fine revenue while the City collects 60.29%

  • Global Traffic Group is paid out of the City’s share fine revenue and only when a ticket receives a guilty verdict or plea.

  • In 2018, the City received approximately $2,831,191 in revenue from ATE. This was its gross revenue before paying any costs to Global (net costs are significantly lower). Photo radar accounted for less than 1.5% of the City’s total revenue. The approved 2019 budget assumes that ATE revenue will decrease from 2018 levels.

All the above statistics relate to Automated Traffic Enforcement. However, conventional enforcement is also important. The following people are assigned to doing traditional traffic stops and ticketing:

  • 7 Police Officers attached to the RCMP

  • 12 Peace Officers attached to Enforcement Services

These officers sometimes have their work informed by data from ATE. For example, if a vehicle is a chronic speeder they may pay the registered owner a visit or spend time where it is regularly ticketed to attempt to catch it speeding and pull it over.

HISTORY AND STATISTICS

Grande Prairie’s current traffic enforcement strategy was implemented in 2014. At that time, someone driving in Grande Prairie was 3.8 times more likely to be in an injury collision than someone driving in Calgary. 2014 saw 640 injury accidents: a 155% increase over the 251 injury accidents of 2010.

In response, a Safe City Roads Action Plan was implemented. This plan included new enforcement measures. It has had a very noticeable impact.

Traffic volume has increased. For example, at the end of 2017 five traffic counters showed an average daily vehicle increase of 13% over 2014 levels. But over that same period of time, injury collisions decreased by 45% and property damage collisions by 27%.

A big reason for us to have less collisions despite increased traffic: drivers in our community got better at obeying traffic laws. In 2015/16, mobile speed enforcement units saw an average of 5.70 violations per hour of operation. This fell to 3.31 violations per hour in 2017/18 (a 45% decrease). During the same period of time, mobile intersection enforcement units saw violations go from 3.19 per hour to 2.47 per hour (a 23% decrease).

The Safe City Roads Action Plan was certainly a success. It should be acknowledge that education and engineering were parts of it. Enforcement alone does not create safe roads. However, enforcement has still played a significant part in increasing safety in our community.


SHOULD PHOTO RADAR USE CONTINUE?

CLEAR PROBLEMS WITH PHOTO ENFORCEMENT

I live near a very busy playground zone which is frequented by photo enforcement trucks. Despite their presence, people often speed through it- some of my neighbours have received multiple fines in this zone. Obviously, enforcement is not enough to slow everyone down.

The Neighbourhood Association worked hard to get better signs put into this playground zone. In spring 2019 they will be coming. But getting these signs took years of advocacy that involved being turned down multiple times. In the meantime, photo enforcement continued. Some involved felt that the City was more interested in revenue than safety. I don’t agree with that assessment, but I can see why it was made.

Photo enforcement causes many people to be angry and distrustful. Whether we agree with the use of photo enforcement or not, we should all be troubled by the disconnect it creates between many people and government.

I understand this disconnect. When it comes to traffic enforcement, citizens should:

  • know how it is being used in our community

  • be able to easily see how much revenue it generates for the City

  • be given confidence that it is just one or many strategies used to increase road safety

  • have tangible evidence that they influence its use and methods

I don’t think the City’s current photo enforcement strategy is accomplishing all of this. We can and should change that. We can do more to give the community confidence that enforcement is about safety, not revenue.

BUT DOES PHOTO RADAR INCREASE SAFETY?

I have problems with our implementation of photo enforcement. However: it has changed my driving habits. When I was younger and dumber I sped often. And then I started getting expensive tickets in the mail, and I stopped. I wish that tickets weren’t a big contributor to me always going the speed limit. But in all honesty, they shaped my behaviour dramatically. I’ve talked to many people who have had the same experience.

But anecdotes aren’t enough. Traffic safety initiatives should be driven by data, not personal experience.

When thinking about this issue, I read all the studies I could. I didn’t spend much time reading popular press; most of what I found there were opinion pieces. Instead, I looked at academic, peer-reviewed works. Below I am including excerpts from the most relevant studies I had access to.

Overwhelmingly, the studies I found agree: photo enforcement reduces drivers’ speed and increases road safety. I came across evidence that current practices around photo enforcement should be re-examined. But I did not find data driven articles or studies which suggested photoradar is ineffective in lowering traffic infractions.

At the bottom of this page I include citations and excerpts from a number of sources. If you come across any contradictory sources, please send it my way. I’d love to read up on all perspectives.

OBJECTIONS TO PHOTO RADAR

I want to acknowledge and address the main objections I hear to photoradar.

  • “It is just a cash crab.” At some sites in some jurisdictions, I agree that this is the case. There are also sites where photo enforcement contributes to public safety. Our response to this technology being abused in some municipalities should not be to reject it completely. Instead we should ensure that our use is always focused on public safety. We should also become much more transparent with our enforcement programs so you can hold Council to account if they move away from a safety perspective.

  • “It is ridiculous to ticket someone for going three over.” I agree with this objection. However, in Grande Prairie, photo enforcement tickets are not given to anyone going less than 10 km/h over the speed limit. I have heard of “friends of friends” supposedly receiving tickets for going slower than that, but I have not talked to anyone who has received that sort of ticket themselves. If you have, please let me know- I’d like to see the ticket so I can hold the City to account for doing something it shouldn’t have.

  • “Waiting a couple of weeks to receive a ticket does nothing to slow you down.” All the studies I have read disagree--just the presence of photo enforcement does slow traffic. See below. If someone is speeding and gets their photo taken today, that isn’t going to slow them down immediately. But they are more likely to go slow a couple of weeks from now once the ticket has been received.

  • “Police are more effective than photo radar.” I absolutely agree with this! Demerits and personal confrontation added to a financial penalty are more effective than a financial penalty by itself. And seeing an officer writing someone else a ticket slows people down more than just knowing photo radar is out there. This is why we have 19 officers dedicated to conventional enforcement. However, police are expensive. Photo radar allows us to cost effectively expand our enforcement presence. There are also places where it is unsafe for a police officer to pull over and ticket people, but a photo setup can be effective and safe. Photo enforcement should not replace live officers. But it can play in important part in supplementing them.

  • “The equipment used is not accurate.” I just have not seen evidence that this is the case. If you have evidence, please let me know as I certainly want to be aware of it and then push to have our enforcement strategies address any equipment deficiencies.

  • “We need to increase speed limits, not crack down on ridiculously slow ones.” There might be areas in the city where this is true. To reflect this, I’d like us to make changes to how we select photo enforcement sites (see below). However, in this discussion it is important to note that speed limits are not just about limiting the number of accidents; they also limit the consequences of accidents. For example, studies I’ve read found that a pedestrian struck at 50 km/hour has a 50% chance of survival while one struck at 60 km/hour only has a 10% chance.


TEN PROPOSED CHANGES

There is clear evidence that photo enforcement increases traffic safety. It should continue to have a place in our community. However, the way it is currently implemented should be improved.

I’ve got ten proposals I hope Council will seriously consider when it reviews our enforcement program.

CHANGING HOW WE DO ENFORCEMENT

I believe the following changes would enhance the safety of our roads while decreasing the number of citations handed out by photo enforcement.

1. Deploy more radar speed signs. Sometimes people speed simply because they are not paying attention. Instant feedback rather than a delayed ticket is the best way to slow this type of speeder down. We should use more radar speed signs in town to immediately signal to drivers if they are going over the speed limit. We currently allow for 10 Automated Traffic Enforcement devices installed in intersections around town. We should commit to also having at least 10 radar speed signs installed. Of course, permanent signs are easy to ignore when they are part of your regular route. We should also make more use of portable speed signs in photo enforcement zones. Right now, the City allows for up to 156 hours of mobile photo enforcement per week. Mobile radar signs should see a similar implementation. We should have a minimum of two portable signs out at all times (this would give 168 hours of weekly deployment between 7am and 7pm). These signs should be moved to different photo enforcement zones on a weekly basis.

2. Invest in signs, crosswalks, and road engineeringRight now we are have pilot sites making use of pedestrian activated crosswalk lights. We’re also installing some larger school and playground signs throughout the city. I’m excited to see this. But more work should still be done. We need to do a better job of giving drivers visual cues to slow down. These cues may include larger signs, painted crosswalks, and planted medians. Enforcement should be our last resort to slow people down. We need to invest more energy and money into engineering and education to complement our use of enforcement.

3. Use marked vehicles for 50% of photo enforcementIn its current implementation, automated enforcement is designed to be unobtrusive. The theory is that it is more effective if people do not know where to expect it. There is some merit to this idea. But it also has downsides; drivers do not get a visual reminder that tickets are being handed out. Additionally, seeing a truck hide behind a sign just feels underhanded and sneaky. The academic literature I read discusses the importance of visible enforcement sites (for example, see Kim et al. 2016 below) working in tandem with unobtrusive enforcement. Two keys to successful programs are "publicity and unpredictability" (ibid). Unmarked or hidden enforcement vehicles should be used to provide for unpredictability. But we also need to create publicity by making some enforcement more visible. Half of all of photo enforcement should be undertaken by marked vehicles in plain view.

4. Change the site selection guidelines for photo enforcementPhoto-enforcement sites are currently approved following four guidelines: high-risk locations where conventional enforcement is dangerous, high-collision locations where data shows a high frequency of accidents, high-pedestrian locations, and high-frequency locations where traffic laws are regularly broken. That last guideline is troubling. Having most motorists speed through an area does not necessarily mean that it is dangerous. It could also mean that it has too low of a speed limit. “High-frequency” should be removed from the guidelines. At the same time, the “high-risk” guideline should be expanded to include areas where RCMP and City staff are concerned about the safety of current traffic flow. Habitual speeding should be a factor when assessing the overall safety of an enforcement zone, but it should not be enough to create an enforcement zone in and of itself.

5. Provide more oversight to enforcement vehicles parked in “illegal” spots. One of the biggest complaints I hear about photo enforcement is vehicles being parked outside of usual legal parking zones. Provincial legislation makes these abnormal parking places legal for enforcement vehicles. But that doesn’t mean these places are always appropriate. Some people are concerned about the safety of an abnormally parked vehicle. Some worry about turf damage. Some are concerned about paths or site lines being blocked. And some just get upset about the sneaky places enforcement vehicles appear. These locations need to be given more oversight. By default, enforcement vehicles should be limited to parking spots that anyone can use. Enforcement zones where they will be exempted from this requirement should be given Council oversight by having to be approved by the Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee.

6. Stop using private contractors. Currently, photo enforcement is undertaken by a private contractor. Many believe the contractor is motivated more by profit than by safety. Whether this perception is accurate or not, it is troubling that so many people have it. I would like to see enforcement be undertaken by City employees. Bringing this program in house would carry a substantial capital cost to acquire vehicles and equipment. It may also have a larger operational cost than using a contractor. But these costs are likely worthwhile to give the the City more control over enforcement. They would also help citizens gain confidence that enforcement strategies are not being designed to generate revenue.


CHANGING HOW WE OVERSEE AND COMMUNICATE PHOTO ENFORCEMENT

Even the best and most just enforcement programs will be seen with anger and distrust if not communicated properly. Part of the anger I hear directed at photo enforcement is due to misinformation or lack of information.

I propose the following changes to our enforcement system to give citizens more reasons to trust it.

7. Make the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee active and its minutes public. This committee is made up of RCMP, city staff, and members of the public. Its mandate is to review the merits and effectiveness of photo enforcement sites. It isn’t currently active. Public members should be re-appointed to this committee, it should be directed to meet twice per year, and it should be given a broader mandate to advise on all aspects of road safety and bring up public concerns about enforcement. Its minutes and the supporting material it examines should be made public and easy to find.

8. Publish comprehensive data about each enforcement site. The City publishes the approved locations for photo enforcement here. I would like the public to have more data on each site. This data should answer the following questions: Who requested the site? Why was it requested? How often is photo enforcement present on this site? How many tickets have been issued from it? What was the average speed recorded for tickets at the site? How many tickets have been challenged in court and how many challenges were successful?

9. Share financial information with the public. Some general numbers about our photo enforcement program (such as total revenue collected last year) are posted on the City’s website. However, I would like more specific information made easily accessible. It should be made obvious not only how much revenue was generated by photo enforcement for the City, but also how much was generated for the province and for the contractor.

10. Talk more about enforcement publicly. People naturally distrust programs they do not know much about. However, just making information available is not enough. People need to know the information exists and how to access it. City Council and staff need to work hard to communicate our enforcement strategies in person, through traditional media, and on social media. Increased awareness of the presence of enforcement will slow drivers down. Increased knowledge about the reasons and strategies of enforcement will give people less reason to distrust it.


LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

Above are my thoughts on photo radar and traffic enforcement. You might also be interested in these City resources:

I’d love to hear yours thoughts.

Do you agree with my thinking? Do you have push back on it? Would my ideas improve programs in Grande Prairie? Do you have any other ideas Council should be considering?

You can email me at dbressey@cityofgp.com or call me at 780-402-4166. I participate in a lot of discussions in the GP Round Table Facebook group. I’m also always happy to meet for coffee.


STUDIES ON PHOTO RADAR

When coming to my own conclusions on photo radar, I didn’t spend much time reading opinion pieces. Instead, I sought out data based studies. Here were the most relevant ones I found. I include a full citation and a quote or two for each. If you have other studies I should read, please send them to me (especially if they disagree with my conclusions.

All bolding was added by me to highlight what I feel is the most important information from a study.

The first article I list has great advice for any municipality utilizing photo enforcement. I am posting it first because it seems to be the most important resource I found. The rest are in alphabetical order.

Retting, Richard A. 2010. "Two Decades of Photo Enforcement in the United States: A Brief Summary of Experience and Lessons Learned." ITE Journal 80, no. 11: 20. Supplemental Index, EBSCOhost (accessed April 28, 2017).

Focus on safety: Like all limited traffic safety resources, photo enforcement should be deployed at locations where safety benefits are likely to be realized. Select enforcement sites based on violations, crash histories, and other safety factors; site selection should be determined by government officials and not photo enforcement vendors; select problem corridors as well as "black spots" for targeted enforcement; and compile documentation regarding the site selection process.

Emphasize fairness in program design and operations: It is important that photo enforcement programs be perceived as fair. Ensure governmental control over all major aspects of camera enforcement, including selection of enforcement sites and final say over which photos result in citations; emphasize deterrence through signing and public information; avoid excessive penalties and late fees; provide adequate enforcement tolerance levels; and include a variety of stakeholders in the planning and design of enforcement programs.

Get the engineering right: Prior to implementation camera enforcement, consider engineering measures to reduce persistent traffic violations and crashes. Evaluate yellow signal timing, posted speed limits, and other engineering factors related to driver behavior and camera enforcement.

Avoid the appearance of a revenue motive: Avoid "revenue sharing" methods of vendor payment; provide adequate government funding of camera infrastructure and operations to avoid reliance on fine revenue; post traffic signs alerting drivers to the use of photo enforcement; install supplemental plaques on speed limit signs along enforced routes; for the first few weeks of new camera locations, display portable signs in advance of each deployment; and conduct periodic financial audits.

Anticipate and avoid legal setbacks: Court rulings that result in suspension or termination of photo enforcement reinforce the importance of subjecting program development and details to comprehensive legal review. Legal setbacks have largely been in relation to program control and oversight, and preemption of ordinances by state laws. Photo enforcement planning and implementation efforts should include a broad spectrum of state and local law officials, judges, and others with appropriate legal expertise.

Employ effective communications: Provide adequate publicity of camera enforcement to deter violations; conduct intensive public information and education campaigns well in advance of enforcement, and on an ongoing basis; do not rely entirely on earned (free) media for communications.

Evaluate Program Performance and Outcomes: ASE and RLC programs should incorporate procedures to periodically evaluate program performance and outcomes. These include effects on violations, effects on crashes, and public attitudes. Care must be taken to apply appropriate methodological approaches and statistical procedures. Agencies that lack sufficient research expertise should include analysis of program effects by qualified outside researchers.

Chen, Greg, Jean Wilson, Wayne Meckle, and Peter Cooper. 2000. "Evaluation of photo radar program in British Columbia." Accident Analysis And Prevention 32, 517-526. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 31, 2017).

“The study revealed a dramatic reduction of speed at photo radar deployment sites. A reduction of 2.4 km/h in mean speed was also observed at selected monitoring sites where enforcement was not likely to be present. The reduction of speed was accompanied by a decrease in collisions, injuries and fatalities. The analysis found a 25% reduction in daytime unsafe speed related collisions, an 11% reduction in daytime traffic collision victims carried by ambulances and a 17% reduction in daytime traffic collision fatalities.

Chen, Greg, Wayne Meckle, and Jean Wilson. 2002. "Speed and safety effect of photo radar enforcement on a highway corridor in British Columbia." Accident Analysis And Prevention 34, 129-138. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 12, 2017).

The study found a 2.8-km/h reduction in mean speed and a 0.5-km/h reduction in speed standard deviation at a monitoring site 2 km south of the treatment area. Corresponding to speed reduction, the study revealed a 14%±11% reduction in expected collisions at the PRP locations, a 19%±10% reduction at the non-PRP locations, and a 16%±7% reduction along the study corridor as a whole. No evidence was found for a localized effect in a 2-km range of the photo radar direct influence area, over and above those at the interleaving non-PRP locations. The results support the hypothesis of a distance spillover effect — that the program not only improved safety at the PRP locations, but along the entire enforcement corridor as well. It suggests that the unpredictable nature of the deployments lead drivers to modify their behavior along the length of the corridor because they could not discern ‘safe’ from ‘unsafe’ segments.

Chen, Greg. (2005) Safety and Economic Impacts of Photo Radar Program, Traffic Injury Prevention, 6:4, 299-307, DOI: 10.1080/15389580500253729

The program was successful in reducing fatal and injury collisions, with an estimated net economic benefit of approximately C$114 million per year. These results are robust to all plausible scenarios tested except for major errors in overestimating collision reductions. From the sponsoring insurance corporation’s perspective, photo radar created base-case net savings of approximately C$38 million per year. The program produced a net savings of at least C$21.8 million per year, even under the least favorable assumptions.”

“[In Washington D.C.] The number of speeding vehicles declined after the implementation of the program. In photo radar enforcement zones, the proportion of speeding vehicles dropped from more than 30 percent to 4 percent. The reduction in aggressive driving was followed by improved traffic safety. In the three years of photo radar operation, traffic fatalities in which speeding was the primary cause have been reduced by 50 percent (Ramsey, 2005).”

Ferrara, I., and Missios, P. C. "Effective speed enforcement and photo radar: Evidence from Australia." International Journal of Transport Economics / Rivista internazionale di economia dei trasporti, 2001., 373, JSTOR Journals, EBSCOhost (accessed May 23, 2017).

Raw data from Victoria, Australia, suggest that photo radar has significantly reduced both fatalities and collisions after its introduction in 1990, and controlling for other factors, including proxies for weather conditions and drunken driving, we find that photo radar can indeed be an effective road safety device.

Goldenbeld, Charles, and Ingrid van Schagen. 2005. "The effects of speed enforcement with mobile radar on speed and accidents. An evaluation study on rural roads in the Dutch province Friesland." Accident Analysis And Prevention 37, 1135-1144. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 12, 2017).

“The effects of targeted speed enforcement on speed and road accidents were assessed… the enforcement project showed a significant decrease in mean speed and the percentage speed limit violators over time… There were similar decreases in speeding at both the enforced roads and at the nearby comparison roads that were not subjected to the targeted speed enforcement project… The best estimate for the safety effect of the enforcement project is a reduction of 21% in both the number of injury accidents and the number of serious casualties.”

Hughes, B.P., A. Anund, and T. Falkmer. "A comprehensive conceptual framework for road safety strategies." Accident Analysis And Prevention 90, (May 1, 2016): 13-28. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 3, 2017).

“More than 90% of the strategies analyzed included a leadership approach, integration, implementation, participation, funding, investment, regulation, enforcement, behaviour change, skills, expertise and capability, innovation, research, standards and guidelines. Other policy tools including financial incentives, pricing, subsidies, industry change, competition and consumer choice were less commonly used, while taxes, fees and charges were only identified in three strategies.”

“The breadth or detail of policy tools applied to improve individual components do not describe the effectiveness of any strategy, as a whole, to achieve the outcomes intended. It is possible for a strategy to employ a narrow range of policy tools across a few components if the tools are effective and sufficient resources are applied to substantially improve the components. It is possible that the effectiveness of any strategy has as much to do with the resources applied in its implementation, as it has to do with the level of sophistication of any strategy. That is, the success of recent road safety has been dependent on the level effort (such as the amount of enforcement as an example) rather than the quality of the strategy itself.”

Kim, Amy Miyoung, et al. "Operating a mobile photo radar enforcement program: A framework for site selection, resource allocation, scheduling, and evaluation." Case Studies On Transport Policy 4, (September 1, 2016): 218-229. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 24, 2017).

“In France, it was found that with MPRE, fatal and nonfatal collisions were reduced by 21% and 26%, respectively (Carnis and Blais, 2013). In the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, collisions at locations with mobile photo enforcement were observed to have dropped by an average of 10%; in addition, the mean, median, and 85th percentile speeds measured at enforcement locations were observed to have decreased by at least 0.5 mph (Cunningham et al., 2008). In Washington D.C., the mean speeds of traffic at enforced locations decreased by 14%, with an 82% reduction in the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph (16.1 kph) (Retting and Farmer, 2003). In British Columbia, Canada, speed-related collisions were observed to decline 25% at enforced locations (Chen et al., 2002). In Victoria, Australia, a 22% reduction in all collisions was observed, while the number of injury collisions fell by 38% (Coleman and Paniati, 1995).”

“The effectiveness of a MPRE program is the outcome of unavoidability, immediacy, and punishment severity (Carnis and Blais, 2013; Zaal, 1994)… General deterrence is also attributed to MPRE as well as general dangerous driving education and awareness campaigns. Specific deterrence is the phenomenon where a driver experiences detection and punishment firsthand (Tay and Barros, 2011). One study suggests that because general deterrence is more prominent than specific deterrence, enforcement should primarily aim at achieving greater general deterrence. This can be achieved by focusing on high-risk time periods and locations, using a mix of highly visible and less visible forms of enforcement to improve enforcement publicity and unpredictability, and implementing a plan for long-term enforcement activity (Keall et al., 2001).”

Lee, Yongdoo, Zongzhi Li, Shengrui Zhang, Arash M. Roshandeh, Harshingar Patel, and Yi Liu. 2014. "Safety impacts of red light running photo enforcement at urban signalized intersections." Journal Of Traffic And Transportation Engineering (English Edition) 1, 309-324. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 23, 2017).

“It is revealed that the use of red light running photo enforcement on the whole is positive, as demonstrated by reductions in all types of fatal crashes by 4–48 percent, and injury-related angle crashes by 1 percent. However, it slightly raises PDO [Property Damage Only]-related angle crashes and moderately increases injury and PDO related rear-end crashes. The safety effectiveness of red light running photo enforcement is sensitive to intersection location.”

Li, Ran, et al. "Relationship between road safety and mobile photo enforcement performance indicators: A case study of the city of Edmonton." Journal Of Transportation Safety & Security 9, no. 2 (April 2017): 195-215. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed May 12, 2017).

The results show that as the number of enforced sites and issued tickets increased, the number of speed-related collisions decreased. Also, as the average check length decreased, a greater reduction of speed-related collisions was observed. These results indicate that collision reductions were associated with a MPE program that promoted: higher spatial coverage (i.e., more enforceable locations), more frequent checks (i.e., shorter average check length), and more issued tickets. The marginal effects of enforcing 100 sites and issuing 10,000 tickets per month were calculated to be 47 and 140 fewer speed-related collisions, respectively.

Martinez, Kristie L. Hebert, and Bryan E. Porter. 2006. "Characterizing red light runners following implementation of a photo enforcement program." Accident Analysis And Prevention 38, 862-870. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 31, 2017).

“As in earlier research (Retting et al., 199a,b), the present study found photo red cameras decreased the number of red light runners. Each time camera presence was entered into a model, it was a significant predictor of red light running. Sites without cameras were more likely to have red light runners than sites with cameras… Further, the camera spillover effect was observed at same-city control sites where red light running rates mirrored those of the camera sites… We demonstrated cameras effect all red ight runners equally while reducing red light running.”

Porter, Bryan E. Johnson, Kristie L. Bland, Johnnie F. 2012. “Turning off the cameras: Red light running characteristics and rates after photo enforcement legislation expired.” Accident Analysis And Prevention 50, 1104-1111. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 6, 2017)

“Within a few months of cameras going dark, red light running rates had increased nearly three times the rate above the few months prior to the sunset.Within a year that rate was 4 times higher… all risk reductions earned with automated enforcement had been lost within one year [of automated enforcement being removed].

Vanlaar, Ward, Robyn Robertson, and Kyla Marcoux. 2014. "An evaluation of Winnipeg's photo enforcement safety program: Results of time series analyses and an intersection camera experiment." Accident Analysis And Prevention 62, 238-247. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 12, 2017).

“the data also suggest that photo enforcement may be more effective in preventing speeding violations in general (at least 1 km/h over the speed limit) but is perhaps less effective in preventing serious speeding violations (at least 13 km/h over the speed limit). One possible explanation to consider is that serious speeding violations are more commonly committed by high-risk drivers. It is known that many traffic safety measures are less effective with such high-risk drivers because they are less amenable to changing their behavior (Robertson et al., 2010; Simpson et al., 2004).”

Yang, C.Y. David, and Wassim G. Najm. 2007. "Examining driver behavior using data gathered from red light photo enforcement cameras." Journal Of Safety Research 38, 311-321. ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost (accessed May 31, 2017).

Results Key findings based on Sacramento's red light violation records include: (a) younger drivers showed a higher tendency of running the red light and were more likely to commit such a violation at speeds above the posted speed limit; (b) off-peak time period between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. had lower violation counts, but red light violators in this time frame had a higher propensity of racing through intersections at high speeds; (c) also during the time period between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., violators showed a higher probability of entering intersections two or more seconds after the onset of red light; and (d) violators were less likely to cross high traffic-volume intersections with speeds greater than the posted speed limit.