Cities installing traffic control cameras at fast pace, says industry official (with related video)
GPN recently posted an item on red light and speed cameras that included the views of the National Motorists Association.
Offering a different take on this important subject is Charles Territo, who is senior vice president of public affairs and marketing, communications at Tempe, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The company is a provider of technology and business solutions for road safety camera and electronic toll enforcement programs. The company says it is the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. Nationally, ATS has more than 3,200 installed red-light, speed safety cameras and school bus stop arm cameras serving more than 30 million people. Another part of the company, ATS Fleet Services, is a provider of both Toll and Violation Management Solutions to fleets and rental customers.
GPN posed the following questions to Charles Territo. His responses are below.
GPN: Are more local governments adding red-light and speed cameras nowadays?
Charles Territo: Absolutely. The interest in red-light cameras alone is phenomenal. Just 13 years ago, red-light safety cameras were found in 25 communities in the United States. Today, more than 520 communities use this type of photo enforcement. That’s an increase of nearly 2,000 percent.
Speed cameras show a similar trend. Less than 50 communities used speed cameras in 2009, but today, more than 135 communities use them.
Public opinion is also high on automated enforcement. In our nation’s capital, 87 percent of residents support red-light cameras and 76 percent support speed cameras, according to poll results released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2013.
There is no doubt, local governments realize red-light and speed cameras provide a safety benefit to their communities, that can only be achieved through constant 24/7 enforcement presence. It’s not a coincidence that red-light running crashes have decreased as the number of communities with red-light cameras has increased.
GPN: Are the cameras mainly used to boost revenue, or do they also ensure traffic safety?
CT: cameras are installed at locations that typically witness a dangerous number of red-light running crashes, or in places where speeding is a particular threat to safety.
The only way cameras create revenue for a city is if a driver breaks the law and runs the red light or exceeds the speed limit. A police officer will review that violation and decide if a ticket and fine should be issued, just as if the officer was on location at the time of the infraction.
Study after study shows automated enforcement changes driver behavior for the better. Where photo enforcement is in use, red-light running violations and speeding violations typically decrease. With fewer crashes, communities also realize a cost savings in public, commercial and private expenses.
GPN: Thank you, Charles Territo, for your views.
This video outlines the ways that the Delaware Dept. of Transportation uses red light safety cameras.