The safety groups say automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to improve road safety for all road users. - Phot via Pexels/Tim Gouw.

The safety groups say automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to improve road safety for all road users.

Phot via Pexels/Tim Gouw.

AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) have joined forces to create a new checklist that can serve as a guide for establishing or expanding automated enforcement programs.

The guide is designed to help communities better use automated enforcement tools such as red light and speed cameras — both proven to curb dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and red light running and ultimately, reduce crashes. 

While research shows camera enforcement clearly works, the devices are not as widely used as safety groups believe they should be. In fact, the use of red light cameras has dropped significantly, with 340 U.S. communities operating them as compared to more than 500 during 2011-14. 

Conversely, speed cameras are less widespread, but their use has been rising slowly. Presently, 159 U.S. communities have automated speed enforcement programs in place.

The safety groups say automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to improve road safety for all road users. The new checklist serves as best practices guidelines that can help jurisdictions ensure their automated enforcement program is well designed, data-driven, transparent and equitably implemented. 

Speeding and red light running remain two of the most hazardous driving behaviors. 

In 2019, 9,478 deaths — more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities — occurred in speed-related crashes. Higher speeds make collisions more likely and make the crashes that happen more severe.

Red light running kills hundreds of people and injures tens of thousands every year. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in red light running crashes. 

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