Governor’s Highway Safety Administration Report Shows Benefits of Traffic Safety Cameras

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) examines the benefits of traffic safety cameras on preventing fatal accidents and makes reccomendations to states on implemeneting the technology.

The report, “Automated Enforcement in a New Era”, discusses the benefits of traffic safety cameras that detect speeding, red-light running and school bus stop-arm violations.

According to the report, U.S. roadway deaths have increased 30% over the past decade, rising from 32,893 in 2013 to 42,795 in 2022. A plethora of studies confirm that speeding, red-light and school bus stop-arm camera programs are a proven way to change driver behavior, resulting in increased safety for everyone on the road. 

“We’re losing far too many of our friends and loved ones to preventable traffic crashes. Safety cameras can help change that,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins, in a statement. “The data and research clearly show that automated enforcement reduces the dangerous driving behaviors that needlessly kill people every day. GHSA and State Farm have teamed up to help communities realize the vast safety benefits that automated enforcement offers, while also emphasizing the need for these programs to be community-based and transparent.”

The report makes several recommendations for states and traffic safety partners to identify and overcome key barriers for more effectively implementing an automated enforcement program, including:

  • Focus on safety: Revenue generated by safety cameras should be used to support program start-up and maintenance costs, with any excess revenue dedicated to traffic safety initiatives such as infrastructure enhancements or increased education.
  • Proper site selection: Cameras should be installed in locations that have crash, injury or fatality data justifying their use, particularly if these incidences involve vulnerable road users. 
  • Community participation and engagement: Members of the community where the safety cameras will be deployed must be part of the planning and implementation process. Meaningful public engagement that begins early can help bolster public acceptance and trust.
  • Equity: Research has repeatedly confirmed that people of color are disproportionately impacted by traffic crashes and deaths. All decisions about safety camera programs – including public engagement during the planning process, where cameras are placed and how fines are structured – should be viewed through an equity lens.
  • Transparency and accessibility: Jurisdictions should share the data used to inform the decision-making process when considering whether to create an automated enforcement program. Where and when the cameras will be deployed should be highly publicized, so drivers are not caught by surprise.
  • Reciprocity agreements: Jurisdictions should create reciprocity agreements with neighboring states that address out-of-state violators who fail to pay traffic safety camera fines.

Source: Governor’s Highway Safety Administration 

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