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Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running (2012)

Chapter: Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Guidelines for Automated Enforcement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22716.
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8C h a p t e r 3 Purpose of Guidelines The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance for the initiation and operation of an automated enforcement program that will enhance safety, garner public support, adequately use resources, and have a strong legal foundation. This guidance is intended both for agencies that currently have programs and agencies interested in starting a program. This guidance was devel- oped based on a survey of agencies, case studies, field visits, reported safety experience, literature review, and the authors’ experience in other areas. Problem Identification The first step in any traffic safety initiative is to determine if a traffic safety problem exists that may be mitigated by automated enforcement. Proper problem identification up front helps stakeholders to define the best countermeasures to address the defined problem. It also helps stakeholders establish a communication strategy that would help their community understand and appreciate the problem, as well as potential solutions. Although this may seem obvious, some jurisdictions may be tempted to jump to the conclusion that a program that has worked well in another community will work for them without carefully considering their individual problem and the variety of potential solutions. In simple terms, a red light camera program is designed to reduce red light running violations and lead to fewer crashes caused by this violation type. Similarly, an automated speed enforce- ment program is designed to reduce speeding, crashes caused by speeding, and the severity of crashes. Properly identifying that either a red light running or speed problem is causing crashes is critical to establishing a program. Jurisdictions should look for increasing or large but stable trends in • The frequency and proportion of all collisions that involve fatal or non-fatal injuries (if pos- sible, look separately at non-intersection collisions and collisions at signalized intersections). • The frequency and proportion of all collisions that are speed related and red light running related (right angle and left turn opposed). • The number of speeding and red light running violations after normalizing for trends in con- ventional enforcement hours. Jurisdictions should also consider whether these collision and severity type proportions are unusually high compared to other jurisdictions similar in size and crash reporting practices. Each jurisdiction should first examine the individual problem and then explore the possibil- ity of adding an automated traffic law enforcement program as part of a comprehensive traffic safety initiative to address specific needs. Additionally, jurisdictions should ensure that there are Guidelines for Automated Enforcement

Guidelines for automated enforcement 9 no other contributing factors, such as improperly timed traffic signals or limited sight distance, that are increasing the occurrence of violations, since these may suggest countermeasures other than enforcement. Once a community understands that a problem exists, accepting changes designed to address the problem can begin. Communities that do not recognize the existence of a traffic safety problem are more likely to suspect that an automated enforcement program is being initiated for reasons other than safety. Planning Prior to the installation or deployment of a system, a jurisdiction must first launch several components of an automated enforcement program. First, a jurisdiction must obtain autho- rization to begin a program—enabling legislation varies from state to state. The lead agency and other involved entities must be established, followed by the implementation of a public education campaign. The planning stages are critical to the success of any automated enforce- ment program. A stakeholder group should be established to help plan the automated enforcement program— the lead agency would benefit from not planning this program alone. Law enforcement agen- cies, transportation departments, public information offices, the courts, finance offices, and facility departments will all eventually be impacted by an automated enforcement program. It is best to get their perspectives and concerns on the table early in the process. By working on program development together, these agencies are much more likely to buy into the eventual program outcome. The courts, for example, may be very concerned about a large increase in citizens requesting trials. By understanding this concern in advance, the stakeholder group can learn from the experience of others regarding how large the problem may be and how best to mitigate the issue. More discussion about each of these aspects of planning an enforcement program is included in the following sections. Enabling Legislation Strong enabling legislation is one of the most critical components of a successful automated enforcement program. Enabling legislation should be tailored to the local community needs and existing legislative constraints. The legislation should provide authority for operating an automated traffic enforcement program without attempting to specify every component of a program. The legislation must establish the required elements of documenting violations, for example, but should not attempt to specify the exact technology to be used to document the violation. Technology changes over time and the enabling legislation should be flexible to allow for future enhancements. A community should first examine the existing legislation. If the authority already exists for automated traffic law enforcement, they should evaluate if that authority would permit them to institute an effective program. Many states already have automated traffic enforcement legislation. In most states, a local jurisdiction would need specific state authority to permit auto- mated traffic law enforcement. In this case, provisions for automated red light camera and speed enforcement have to be specifically added to state law before any local jurisdiction is permitted the authority to conduct this type of enforcement. In several states, local jurisdictions have home rule authority to establish local traffic safety initiatives without any changes to state law. Each state allows local jurisdictions different types of individual authority, so each state’s law needs to be evaluated independently. Local jurisdictions

10 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running establishing programs under home rule authority should keep in mind that changes to state law can limit, or even prohibit, their programs. Even if a program is established under home rule, efforts to educate state legislators about the safety benefits of the program would be well worth the investment of time. When establishing a program under home rule authority, a jurisdiction must establish the entire legal framework for the program in a local ordinance or law to permit the program. The key elements of the enabling legislation are similar to those required of a state law. The following sections discuss the key elements that are required for good enabling legislation. Responsibility Should the driver of the vehicle or the registered owner of the vehicle be held responsible for the violation? In regard to this topic, there is no recommended practice. Each approach has positives and negatives that must be considered before the right approach is selected for a com- munity. The approach used also affects the structure of the program. A discussion of the different options and the pros and cons of each follows. Driver Accountability Holding the driver accountable for a traffic violation is a common-sense method for establish- ing accountability since the driver committed the violation. Most people tend to recognize the logic behind holding the driver accountable. Under driver-accountable laws, points (or similar) can be assigned to the driver’s license of the violator, and this facilitates enhanced driver sanc- tions for chronic violators. Holding the driver of a vehicle accountable for an automated traffic law violation typically requires a frontal photograph into the passenger compartment so the driver can be identified for a trial. The frontal photograph increases privacy concerns that often are raised in opposition to automated traffic law enforcement legislation. It is often difficult to get high-quality facial images of the driver of a vehicle through the angled windshield and sun glare, a visor, or a hat could block the view. Even with a high-quality facial image, it may still be difficult to tell siblings apart that could each have access to a family vehicle. In some states, driver’s license images from the motor vehicle administration are not available for comparison to violation images used by the automated enforcement program. Owner Accountability In most states, the owner of a vehicle is held accountable for many types of actions. Parking citations have always been issued to the owner of a vehicle without regard to the identity of the person that actually drove the vehicle to the parking place. Following a traffic collision, the owner of the vehicle may face increased insurance costs even if someone else drove the vehicle in the crash. A mechanic’s lien could be made against vehicle owners for vehicle repairs that were not paid for by the driver. Holding the owner accountable for an automated traffic law enforcement violation requires only a rear photograph of the vehicle registration plate. This greatly reduces the privacy concerns raised by some advocates. It is much easier to positively identify a vehicle registration plate than to identify a driver in a moving vehicle. This results in a greater percentage of violators receiving violation sanctions. Specific Violation Enforced The legislation should establish the specific violation that can be enforced by automated enforcement technology. The legislation should specify red light violation, speed violation, or both.

Guidelines for automated enforcement 11 Violation Notice Requirements The legislation should define the minimum required elements for violation notices. The notice should contain the name and address of the responsible party, the registration data from the vehicle involved in the violation, the amount of the penalty to be paid, information on how to contest the violation, and the sanctions to be imposed for not paying or contesting the viola- tion properly. If the law permits the recipient to identify a different person who should be held accountable for the violation, the notice should advise the recipient of how to identify the driver at the time of the violation. The violation notice should also include a signed statement by a tech- nician, law enforcement officer, or other authorized person employed by the agency that specifies, based on inspection of the recorded images, that the motor vehicle was being operated in violation of the specific law. In a red light violation, the legislation should require an image showing the vehicle prior to the legally defined start of the intersection and another image of the vehicle in the intersection. The start of the intersection should be legally defined by the state’s vehicle code. Each of these images should show that the governing traffic signal is red and clearly show the registration plate (and the driver image, if applicable). With the image, relevant data including the date and time of the violation, location of the violation, and amount of yellow time displayed prior to the red signal, should be included. Some jurisdictions add data such as vehicle speed at the time of the violation and time duration of the red signal (i.e., time into red) at the time of the image. Some jurisdictions use moving video as a supplement to still images. As long as the minimum require- ments are met for the legislation, local jurisdictions can add information to meet their individual needs. The minimum image requirement should be open to allow jurisdictions to determine the technology that best meets their needs. Due Process The legislation should describe how a citizen can contest an alleged violation. The process, regardless of type of law, should allow an independent review of the violation notice. By law, a person is not guilty in a criminal case or responsible in a civil case just because they have been issued a violation notice. The violation notice should explain to the recipient what actions they need to take to contest the violation. If the recipient of the violation notice takes no action in the specified time period, the jurisdiction can proceed with the understanding that the violation notice will not be contested. Jurisdictions should establish a maximum amount of time after the violation occurs to the issuance of a violation notice. An extended delay before receiving a violation notice can limit a person’s ability to recall the incident and properly defend their actions. The maximum amount of time should be achievable from a violation notice processing standpoint. A 14-day limit is an achievable duration. Rules of Evidence When the owner of a vehicle is responsible for the violation, it is a civil offense. In these situ- ations, the adjudication of liability is based on a preponderance of evidence. In many states, the law specifically notes that the violation image is self-authenticating. This means that an agency representative does not have to testify about the origination of every individual violation image that is presented in court. When the driver of a vehicle is accountable for a criminal violation under the law, the burden of proof is a higher standard. In a criminal case, the driver must be found guilty beyond a rea- sonable doubt.

12 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running Image/Data Privacy The use of automated enforcement images and data associated with them should be limited to law enforcement or authorized civilian employees for the prosecution of the specified offense. These limitations help reduce legislative opposition from groups that believe sharing this infor- mation would violate privacy. In owner responsibility cases, it prohibits insurance companies from obtaining the record of anyone committing such a violation for the purpose of raising an individual’s insurance rates. It also prohibits the media from obtaining specific violator images for their use. Public Notice/Warning Jurisdictions should inform their communities about automated traffic law enforcement before a program is initiated. The enabling legislation should require a public information cam- paign to inform the public about the program. A 30-day warning period should be conducted before citations are issued, and, in the case of red light camera enforcement, should be provided at every new site installation. (Traditional enforcement methods could still be used during the warning period.) This period helps the community see the program as being operated “fairly” but it may result in very few community members actually receiving a warning notice. It also provides a time for agency personnel to identify any issues with installation. The legislation should also require signs to inform drivers that automated enforcement is used in the jurisdiction. The precise location of the signs should not be specified and should be left to the discretion of the jurisdiction. Legal Exceptions The enabling legislation should specify certain acts that permit a driver to enter an intersec- tion against a solid red traffic signal. For example, a vehicle may be permitted to enter the inter- section while facing a red signal to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle. If the existing state law allows subsequent vehicles in a funeral procession to continue through an intersection against a red signal as long as the lead vehicle complied with the traffic signal, the automated enforcement legislation should permit this act as well. If the vehicle or registration plate had been reported stolen prior to the violation, or a report was filed after the violation indicating it was stolen at the time of the violation, the violation should be dismissed. If a uniformed police officer waived the driver through the intersection even though the signal was red, the driver should be excused from the violation notice. Vendor Payments Vendors play an important role in automated enforcement programs. They provide expertise and equipment that would not be practical for many agencies to replicate on their own. It is important that vendors be paid adequately for their efforts but not be paid based entirely on citations issued. The number of citations issued does affect the workload for the vendor. How- ever, there is a concern that a “for profit” company may find some way to influence a program into issuing more citations if it receives more pay as a result. Instead, the pay structure should be based on the equipment and services provided. If citations issued are included in the calcu- lation of payment, again, since it does affect workload, a tiered structure should be employed. For example, one rate is used up to a prescribed number of citations. For each citation over that number, a lower rate is used.

Guidelines for automated enforcement 13 Use of Revenue Generated The law should specify where automated enforcement fine money is sent. The same speci- fication should be made for late fees and any other related program administration fees. It is appropriate for these funds to be used to pay for the operation of the automated enforcement program. Funds in excess of these costs, if any, should be used for highway safety functions. This should be communicated to the public so automated enforcement is not seen as a tax feeding the general coffers. Failure to Pay or Contest If an individual received a violation notice and failed to pay the fine or contest the violation, a sanction should be imposed. This could take several effective forms, including charging admin- istrative late fees or flagging a vehicle registration for failing to pay a fine. In these circumstances, a vehicle owner could not re-register a vehicle until the outstanding fine and associated admin- istrative fees are paid. Evaluation The law should require a program evaluation to monitor safety effects. This evaluation would allow for program modifications as needed. The program evaluation should be rigorous and defen- sible, using methodologically sound evaluation techniques. However, the evaluation methodology should not be specified. Service Some states require personal service by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation. This is an easy requirement to meet in a traditional setting when an officer makes a traffic stop, speaks directly to the driver, and hands a charging document directly to the driver at the same time. This in-person service defeats many of the advantages of an automated enforcement program. The enabling legislation should specify that service of the violation notice by first class mail is sufficient. Technology The law should not specify any particular technology to capture violations. A law specific to radar technology could limit an agency’s abilities to use the advantages of a laser-based system and vice versa. As the technologies mature and change, the law should not have to change. In some respects, red light camera technology is fairly easy to evaluate. A red light camera system image should clearly show the violation, vehicle committing the violation, registration plate of the vehicle, and red traffic signal. If the legal definition of the intersection is a painted stop bar and the system captures the vehicle on the bar instead of before the bar, a citation should not be issued. If the signal phase is green or yellow when the image is captured, the system is not operating properly. For speed enforcement, properly trained personnel should check the calibration of equip- ment on a regular basis and know how to determine when speed readings could be influenced by another vehicle. An agency can be confident that they are capturing accurate violation data by being diligent in their own use and supervision of the equipment.

14 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running Agencies may have difficulty evaluating several different types and manufacturers of technol- ogy to determine what can most reliably meet their needs. The IACP and NHTSA have teamed up to work with manufacturers and other stakeholders to address this concern. The IACP Enforce- ment Technology Advisory Technical Subcommittee (ETATS) has established standards for tra- ditional radar and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) speed enforcement devices, as well as red light cameras. Specific testing criteria have been established to test equipment against these standards. Many of these tests have been completed. Many automated enforcement systems now appear on the ETATS Conforming Product List (CPL). Agencies that select CPL equipment can be assured that the equipment has been carefully evaluated using a very structured process. Enforcement and Lead Agency Automated enforcement programs can be operated by a various groups within an agency or department of transportation (DOT). However, it is recommended that the police department serve as the lead agency. Because the camera programs are an enforcement function, this is a logical organization structure that has proven to be successful for many programs, particularly when there is collaboration with other agencies within the jurisdiction. In some cities, the DOT has successfully administered the program. If this structure is used, the police department has to be actively involved with the DOT in administering the program. For jurisdictions with both speed and red light camera programs, the same entity should over- see both programs. A contractor, if used to run the program, should never be the lead agency for any automated enforcement program. Agency Collaboration Although one agency leads the automated enforcement effort, many jurisdictions seek to involve several agencies in the development and management of the programs. This is necessary to have a truly collaborative approach to reducing speeding and red light running. Agencies that should be involved in the planning and operations of the program include the police depart- ment, traffic engineering department, department of motor vehicles, and the court system. Beyond enforcement, operations, and the court system, elected officials (i.e., city council members and mayors) should be involved in the planning and operation of the program. This collaboration must be a continuing effort because successive elections can bring newly elected officials into office. Staffing of Program Personnel The creation of an enforcement program in a jurisdiction may necessitate establishing a new traffic unit or hiring new personnel to oversee the program. This will largely depend on the size of the program and the lead agency. An agency must maintain control of the operation. At the same time, the agency should take advantage of the expertise and resources of private company personnel. This balance will impact the amount of staff required by the agency. Personnel will be required to review violation images to determine if these images should result in a citation being issued. Personnel should ensure that image quality is high and errors are not taking place in the citation process. The agency may also want their own personnel to answer citizen telephone and e-mail inquiries. More violation images being captured will require more personnel to make final approval decisions. More agency control would also typically require a greater agency per- sonnel commitment.

Guidelines for automated enforcement 15 Public Education One key component of developing a new enforcement program is informing the public of the program, especially the location of camera installation, process for adjudication of citations, use of revenue, and results of program evaluation in terms of effect on violations and crashes. In addition to conducting a public information campaign, a jurisdiction should consider assessing public support prior to, and during, implementation of the program. Assessment of Public Support The public perspective of automated enforcement programs provides useful guidance on run- ning a successful program. Suggested practices aimed at raising, and maintaining, public support for automated speed or red light running camera enforcement include • Passing enabling legislation before initiating a program • Making drivers aware of program motives, operational details, and statistics through Websites, media, and other methods by using non-technical terms • Providing a description of the advantages of automated enforcement as a supplement to tra- ditional enforcement • Explaining other measures being taken to improve safety • Making outreach efforts to schools, driver education providers, community groups, and area media • Providing telephone and Web-based information centers that include a hot line for calls about traffic safety concerns in addition to handling inquiries regarding the operation of the program • Facilitating the ability to respond to telephone and e-mail inquiries and correspondence within one work day • Being respectful of privacy concerns • Not using speed cameras where speed enforcement tolerances are unrealistic • Allowing surplus revenue to be used in the enforced municipality, such as for implementing other road safety improvements, thus supporting the community Common reasons cited by the public for opposing automated enforcement programs include • Preference for officer contact • Invasion of privacy, violation of rights, or government infringement • That a licensee (i.e., vehicle owner) must pay the fine no matter who was driving • Camera failures including error, malfunction, and other • A belief that machines should not do police work • Installation locations are not publicized and defended It is important for a jurisdiction to monitor the level of public support for the program from the beginning and to continue monitoring during program implementation because national— and even international—events can affect public support at any time. When assessing public support, an independent firm or university should conduct opinion polls. This adds credibility to the methodology and increases public acceptance of the results. Public Information Campaign There are many methods available to inform the public about an enforcement campaign. Sug- gested methods for the information campaign include the following: • Newspaper articles • Website • Press releases

16 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running • Media coverage • Public meetings • Brochures • Public service announcements • Print ads • Mailings • Billboards The public information campaign should emphasize that the objective of the program is to improve safety. This is especially important in interviews with the media because some organizations may focus on revenue generation and other potentially controversial aspects of a program. Continuing Public Education For a program to be successful over time, the public must have the knowledge, awareness, and assurance of the systems. These objectives are accomplished by continuing public educa- tion efforts throughout the duration of the program. The outreach tools and resources used in the initial public education campaign can continue to be utilized. A Website is a recommended way of providing updated information about the program, including camera locations, how the cameras operate, frequently asked questions, signal timing information, city and state ordinances and codes, and links to related information. Other options for continuing public education include making frequent presentations about the program to civic organizations and various groups, as well as making program information readily available to the media. Transparency and accessibility are important to the success of the program and general public acceptance. Warning Period A warning period prior to the full implementation of an automated enforcement program is an effective way to inform the public about a program. During this warning period, which should be at least 30 days in duration, the jurisdiction operates cameras and sends warning notices in lieu of citations. Warning periods should be used not only at the onset of the program, but also throughout the program as new enforcement locations are added. Warning periods serve to inform the public of the new program and help ease the transition for the community. They also help the lead agency work out any glitches in the system before citations are issued. During the warning period, the program coordinator and traffic engineering staff should continuously monitor reported violations, look for any irregularities, and compare them to field observations. Monitoring the system during the warning period helps send a mes- sage to the public that the program is for safety reasons, not monetary reasons. Vendor Contract and Payment Jurisdictions should solicit vendors through a competitive bidding process based on speci- fications identified by the jurisdictions. Specifications should allow the agency to maintain control of the program and should avoid favoring a single vendor or proprietary technology. If the agency is comfortable with the selected vendor answering telephone and e-mail inquiries, this should be detailed as a service requested through the procurement. How the agency would

Guidelines for automated enforcement 17 like to present evidence to their local court system should also be described (e.g., an agency may require a percentage of the work be completed by a disadvantaged business enterprise). The agency may require specific public outreach activities to be completed by the vendor. The procurement should describe that warnings will be issued for a 30-day period at each new enforcement location. The agency should determine in advance whether these warnings would need to include images of the violating vehicle. A flat fee structure is suggested for vendor services. This can be either a flat fee for the entire program or for each camera. This payment method is the most acceptable arrangement from the public’s perspective because the fee paid to the vendor is not dependent on citations. Since this fee arrangement provides little incentive for the vendor to perform well, liquidated damages should be specified in case the vendor fails to provide quality work. There could be a consid- eration for the structure to be based partly on citations issued as they affect workload. This is discussed previously in the enabling legislation section. If an agency operates more than one automated enforcement program (e.g., red light cameras and speed cameras), it is recommended that the same vendor and vendor payment method be used for each program. The contract should allow an agency to place a camera in a location for safety reasons even if the violation rate is low. It is not recommended to have provisions in the contract that require a study to demonstrate sufficient violations to reasonably pay for the cost of the installation. This could prohibit the placement of some cameras at rare violation sites that have catastrophic colli- sions when those rare violations occur. Both the needs of the agency and the needs of the vendor can be accommodated if the agency is allowed to pay the installation cost directly. For jurisdictions that are beginning a new program, a short first contract period (e.g., 3 years) can be helpful. The jurisdiction would have time to evaluate the operation of the program and satisfaction with the current vendor. Once the contract period has ended, the jurisdiction would then have the freedom to find a new contractor that better fits specific needs, or to readjust arrangements with the current vendor. Fines Payable Amount The fines for red light and speed camera violations will depend on whether the state’s enabling legislation specifies the fine amount and on the type of penalty. Fines should be higher for a driver responsible penalty compared to a penalty that is the responsibility of the vehicle owner. Driver responsible penalties tend to be higher to increase the impact of the program in light of a lower percentage of violators receiving citations. For automated speed enforcement, fines should vary depending on the number of miles per hour over the speed limit and whether or not the violation occurred in a school or work zone. Surplus Revenue The intended allocation of the proceeds of the automated enforcement program, including surplus funds, should be clearly identified at the start of the program and communicated because this can be a subject of contention and a focus for the media. Generation of revenue should not be the motivation for a program. The legislation should specify where any surplus revenue should be sent. If the legislation does not specify, any revenue remaining after paying for the cost of the program should be allocated for highway safety functions.

18 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running Camera Installation Number of Cameras Cameras are not needed at every intersection or along every corridor because studies have found them to have a “halo” or spillover effect on surrounding locations, and a general deter- rence effect jurisdictionwide, if the program is intensive enough. There is no optimal number of cameras that has been identified, although there is recent research confirming that more inten- sive programs have larger benefits. Agencies should consider how many camera systems would be required within their jurisdiction so that the members of the community see and understand that the enforcement is real. The ideal program includes a high degree of public awareness with enough actual enforcement to encourage voluntary compliance with the law throughout the jurisdiction, not just at enforcement locations. Site Selection Methodology Site selection is one of the most important tasks for developing a successful program. The most defensible and successful programs are based on a clearly identified safety need and an engineering analysis. A formal, documented process helps identify the most effective deployment locations. This also helps defend a program against media or public criticism. It is recommended that a two-stage process be used for selecting deployment sites. The first stage is an initial screen- ing based on data and statistics. Sites flagged by the initial screening may then be subjected to an engineering and feasibility analysis. Initial Screening Based on Data Jurisdictions should have support for potential intersections and locations based on data. Selecting sites by the potential to reduce crashes, both for speed and red light enforcement, should be the standard for all agencies. This can be accomplished by reviewing crash frequency, crash rate, or even violation data as a surrogate for crashes in the absence of crash data. Agencies should utilize available crash data to assist in site selection for red light camera loca- tions. Available crash data might include the agencies’ crash database, individual police crash reports, traffic conflicts (near misses), as well as locations known by engineering and enforcement staff to have a high incidence of red light running that contributes to crashes. There are many screening methods, ranging from simple to complex, that an agency can use to assess potential intersections for red light cameras. The more complex methods, which are documented in the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) (5), are more efficient but require extensive data and technical resources. Simpler, less efficient methods include the following: • Crash frequency — Using crash frequency, or crash counts, is the most straightforward method of quantifying crashes at an intersection. The use of frequency can also be tailored based on the targeted crash types. • Crash proportions — A proportion quantifies the crashes of interest in relation to another value; for example, the number of crashes related to red light signal violations versus the total crashes at the intersection, the number of crashes at a signalized intersection versus the total crashes in the jurisdiction, or the number of angle crashes at an intersection versus the total crashes at the intersection. • Crash rates — A rate is a form of a proportion. Rates represent the frequency of crashes in the context of an exposure measure, typically traffic volume. A common method for expressing the crash rate of an intersection is by the number of crashes per million vehicles entering the intersection.

Guidelines for automated enforcement 19 • Crash types — The analysis could be targeted to include only the crash types of interest. It is generally accepted that red light cameras have the potential to reduce angle and left-turn opposing crashes at signalized intersections. • Crash severity — Crashes could be described by the severity of the crash. For instance, the crash quantity could be expressed as the frequency of equivalent property damage only (EPDO) crashes. Or, the agency can target the more severe crashes, using injury and fatal crashes to quantify the crash experience at each intersection, either by frequency or rate. • Violation charged — Most agencies include information in the crash database on any viola- tions charged during a crash. Crashes that involve traffic signal violations could be quanti- fied for each intersection and expressed as the frequency of signal violation crashes, the rate of signal violation crashes, or the proportion of signal violation crashes to total crashes at the intersection. However, this quantifying could underestimate the number of crashes that involved a signal violation because the reporting officer does not always issue a citation when a violation occurs in a crash. Automated speed enforcement site selection should focus on locations where speed is a large contributing factor in crashes and severity. The methods listed above for red light cameras can also be used in both fixed and mobile speed camera site selection. Another important factor is the environmental context. It is important to assess locations where speeding is particularly hazard- ous to road users. Examples of these locations include school zones, work zones, and residential neighborhoods. Engineering and Feasibility Study It is recommended that an informal road safety audit (RSA) be conducted at the potential enforcement locations identified in the initial screening. The multidisciplinary RSA team should consist of enforcement, engineering, design, and other specialists as needed, depending on the unique characteristics of the locations. RSAs are typically conducted by an independent team; however, in this case it is acceptable to use personnel from the agencies involved in the program. The RSA team considers the safety performance of the candidate location from the perspective of all road users, including unfamiliar drivers, elderly drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. RSAs provide a low-cost assessment of the prospective intersections and also help to increase the col- laboration of all of the involved parties and public relations. For red light camera locations, an engineering study should ensure that red light violations are not the result of deficiencies at the intersection. The study should address the following factors: signal visibility, signal conspicuity, insufficient signal timing, and any other factors that would impact red light violations. The whole intersection should be given a rigorous evalua- tion, not just the approaches with proposed cameras. Agencies can refer to the Field Guide for Inspecting Signalized Intersections to Reduce Red-Light Running to assist in the field assessment of potential enforcement intersections (6). Of particular concern is the length of the change interval (i.e., yellow and all-red intervals). It must be appropriate for the intersection charac- teristics (e.g., grade, crossing distance, approach speed, and presence of heavy vehicles) and should be developed based on the documented practices of the agency or the state. If allowed by the laws of the state, an all-red interval should be used. If no practice exists, it should be based on the kinetic equation often referred to as the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) procedure (7). If the engineering study finds that the change interval is insufficient or is shorter than surrounding intersections, it should be lengthened. Under no circumstances should it be shortened prior to implementing automated enforcement. A change interval that is shortened or is considered insufficient for conditions will bring intense public and media scrutiny to an automated enforcement program.

20 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running For speed camera locations, the program director should ensure the speed limit is clearly communicated to approaching drivers, is set based on an engineering study, and is appropriate for the location. USLIMITS2 is a Web-based tool that can be used to assist in determining the appropriate speed limit for a specific section of roadway (8). The evaluation of camera locations should address sight distance, conspicuity, visibility, placement of speed limit signs, and any other factors that would impact speed. Any deficiencies identified should be corrected before automated enforcement is put into operation. An agency should monitor the location to see if the problem is corrected. Only after this is done should the automated enforcement be implemented. Sites that are deemed to warrant automated enforcement should also be investigated to assess if the physical characteristics of the site are amenable to automated enforcement. In addition, site selection should also be based on the ability to conduct traditional enforcement efforts. This includes considering the difficulty of patrolling the site and apprehending violators, as well as the ability to apprehend violators safely and in a reasonable distance. Grace Periods and Speed Tolerances For red light cameras, the grace period is the time that is set into the onset of the red indication before the automated enforcement “captures” the vehicle. If a jurisdiction chooses to use a grace period, only those vehicles entering the intersection after the designated grace period are issued a citation. A grace period of at least 0.1 seconds is recommended. If it is less than 0.1 seconds, it will not seem like a grace period to the general public. Jurisdictions may choose a longer grace period, or start with a longer period and then gradually reduce it to 0.1 seconds. The use of a grace period will reduce the number of citations issued. It may also have the benefit of decreasing the number of citations that are contested in court. For automated speed enforcement, the difference between the speed limit and the operat- ing speed at which tickets are issued is referred to as the speed tolerance. The speed tolerance should be based on the posted speed limit and the location of the enforcement. Typical speed tolerances range from 4 to 11 mph over the posted speed limit, with jurisdictions using the lower tolerances in school zones. Reduced tolerance levels lead to increased compliance with the speed limit. Agencies should use the same tolerance for automated enforcement that they would with traditional enforcement at each location. This consistency between automated enforcement and traditional enforcement will help to maintain public acceptance. The purpose of an automated enforcement program must be clearly and persuasively com- municated to the public, and the public must understand the “rules of the game.” This includes informing the public of the use of grace periods and speed tolerances. Otherwise, the public may perceive the program as being run for creating revenue instead of improving safety. Violation Data Collection and Adjudication The location of the state’s license plates will determine what kind of images of the vehicle are needed—front images, rear images, or both. States with rear license plates only will require rear images to identify the vehicle. The penalty type, driver or owner responsibility, will also determine the type of images needed. States with driver responsibility penalties will require front images that capture the driver’s face. If the jurisdiction is using digital equipment, a short (10-second) video of the violation is recommended. This video provides useful evidence when individuals seek to contest a citation.

Guidelines for automated enforcement 21 The program policy should establish clear issuance criteria that delineate when a violation has occurred and should be ticketed. For example, the criteria for red light camera enforcement should be that the vehicle bumper must be positioned prior to the stop bar in the first red light camera image, and the second image must show the entire vehicle passed the stop bar. Along with the images, relevant data should be included with the citation. This is often in the form of a “data bar” above the image taken during the violation. Relevant data includes the date, time, and location of the violation. For red light cameras, this should include the amount of yel- low time displayed prior to the red signal, the time duration of the red signal at the time of the image, the date and time of the violation, and the location of the violation. For speed cameras, the data bar should include the speed of the vehicle, the posted speed limit, the date and time of the violation, and the location of the violation. Once a violator has received a citation in the mail, in most cases, the individual has the option to contest the citation in court. A jurisdiction should be open to holding pre-court meetings between a police officer and the individual who wishes to contest a citation. During the meet- ing, an officer would show the individual the pictures and video of the violation and provide evidence of the legal support of the program. This meeting often resolves the issue, resulting in a paid ticket and saves both time and extra court costs. Program Monitoring Program monitoring should be conducted on two levels. The operation of the program should be monitored daily to ensure that the program is operating as expected. This can be described as program operation monitoring. The program should also be monitored on a regular basis, such as annually, to identify the impact that the program is having on crashes. This can be described as program performance monitoring. Monitoring a Program’s Operation Regular reviews of program operation can help to identify any concerns before they are raised by the public, media, or others. This gives the agency an opportunity to resolve concerns before they become issues that reduce the public’s confidence that the program is being man- aged correctly. Agencies should monitor the operation of the program daily. Daily monitoring of citations recorded by the automated system is a good diagnostic tool. Unusual fluctuations in citations can be an indicator that something about the roadway environment has changed or some- thing about the system operation has changed. Examples of roadway environment changes that may cause a fluctuation in citations include an increase in traffic volumes from the open- ing of a new development or the obstruction of a speed limit sign from overgrown vegetation. Examples of changes in system operation include equipment failures or unintended modifica- tions to signal phasing. In addition to monitoring the system output, regular field reviews should also be conducted to ensure that all traffic control devices are visible, conspicuous, and functioning correctly. On a weekly basis, these field reviews can be a simple cursory review by driving through the inter- section or through the enforced corridor. On an annual basis, the field review should be a formal, documented review of the conditions and the system to ensure that the location conditions have not changed since the initiation of automated enforcement at the location. This review should be documented annually and kept on file.

22 automated enforcement for Speeding and red Light running If any reviews identify a change in condition or system operation, the system should be taken off line until the issue can be addressed, the program manager can be confident that the system is operating as intended, and all related traffic control is appropriate, visible, and conspicuous. Monitoring a Program’s Performance The objective of automated enforcement is to improve safety by reducing crashes caused by the violations enforced. The program manager should monitor the program’s progress toward this objective. Therefore, the best measure of effectiveness of a program is the impact on crashes. The program manager should review the frequency of crashes at the enforced sites on a regular interval. A monthly review is optimal but may not be possible based on the availability of data. The program manager should work with the agency that maintains crash data for the jurisdic- tion to provide summaries of all crashes at the enforced intersections and corridors. The sum- maries should include the number of crashes by type, severity, and, if available, contributing factors such as speed. Similarly, monthly citations issued should also be tracked. A formal evaluation of the impact on crashes should be conducted. It is suggested that this evaluation be conducted annually, if possible. If resources preclude an annual evaluation, it should at least be conducted 1 year after program initiation and then on some semi-regular basis (such as every 3 years) from that point forward. A proper safety evaluation of automated enforcement employs a robust study design, uses multiple years of good-quality crash and roadway data, accounts for other factors that may cause changes in crash frequency, and employs defensible statistical procedures. The evaluation should consider not only the effects on overall crash frequency, but also the effects on crashes by type and severity, desirably considering crash costs and circumstances. In most cases, some form of a comparison group of sites without automated enforcement will be needed to account for other factors that may impact the frequency of crashes at the automated enforcement locations. Several resources are available that provide detailed instructions on how to conduct an evaluation of a program (5, 9), so those details are not repeated here. This evaluation should be conducted by the program manager, an independent organization, or consultant. If the evaluation is conducted by the program manager, an independent review of the findings, perhaps by a peer agency, will bolster confidence in the findings. Problem Intervention When technical issues are identified, including those identified through the reviews of system operation, the system should be taken off line immediately. In the case of automated speed enforcement from mobile units, the systems are removed from the field. Similar to the site selec- tion field reviews, a multidisciplinary review team should meet in the field to assess the problem and discuss possible solutions. This should include the program manager, enforcement staff, traffic engineering, and public works or similar. Depending on the problem, the automated enforcement vendor may also be needed. Meeting in the field collectively encourages a collabora- tive approach to solving the problem and speeds the resolution. If the technical issue impacts the legitimacy of citations issued for some time leading to the identification of the problem, the agency should dismiss those citations. Proactive communication may also be warranted, again depending on the issue. Issuing a press release or posting a notice on the agency Website to communicate the identification of the

Guidelines for automated enforcement 23 problem and the resolution demonstrates the agency’s commitment to an open, honest program that is deserving of the public’s trust. Resource Requirements The resource requirements of a program are dependent on the program structure but in most cases will involve additional personnel. Agency personnel will be needed to manage and oversee the program; management and oversight should not be the responsibility of the vendor. Addition- ally, agency personnel will be needed to respond to public and media requests for information. Automated enforcement programs allow jurisdictions to employ continuous enforcement at selected intersections while freeing police officers for other tasks. However, automated enforce- ment should not replace traditional enforcement. Traditional enforcement should continue, including at the treatment sites, because both tools support comprehensive traffic safety efforts. Traditional enforcement is always the overwhelming preference because the officer’s direct inter- action with the motorist provides the opportunity not only to cite the violation, but also to stop the violation or behavior, educate the motorist, detect a driver’s impairment, or intercede in illegal activities. Although a valuable tool, automated enforcement systems are only intended to be there to enforce when the officer cannot be there.

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 729: Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running includes guidelines designed to help transportation agencies start-up and operate automated enforcement programs to improve highway safety by reducing speeding and red light running.

Appendices A through G to NCHRP Report 729 are available in electronic versions only. The appendices are not available in the PDF or print version of the report.

TR News 292: May-June 2014 includes an article about the report.

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