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Success Story: Handheld Speed Cameras Offer Optimal Flexibility, Portability for Officer-Based Enforcement in Toledo

May 1, 2016 – When safety is concerned, every minute matters. And with the Governors Highway Safety Association citing that a third of all traffic fatalities can be attributed to speed, Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. is constantly innovating to enhance the wide array of traffic safety tools available to governments and police departments.

In Ohio, a law requiring the physical presence of an officer when monitoring traffic incidents spurred a new evolution in REDFLEXspeed – an evolution that enhances officer safety and increases applications of the technology in complex or difficult roadway environments.

Evolving needs spur innovation with REDFLEXspeed

In Ohio, an officer is required to be present when photo radar is active. Yet in some circumstances – including busy intersections, high pedestrian areas, challenging terrain, construction zones and school zones – an officer’s safety may be compromised, as well as the safety of drivers, pedestrians and other road users.

With real-time safety issues needing to be addressed, Redflex immediately began developing a new technology that would meet legislative requirements while further increasing public safety.

Turn-key, ready-to-use option a game changer for tricky traffic environments

Redflex took existing technology used in fixed, semi-permanent and mobile vehicle-based enforcement, and adapted it into an easily portable handheld system to help detect and deter speeding incidents.

  • The new tool under the REDFLEXspeed product line met the officer presence requirement and also enhanced flexibility, such as giving officers the ability to quickly monitor traffic in multiple directions and lanes, along with increased usability in especially complex traffic situations.
  • Handheld speed cameras incorporate LIDAR, or light detection and ranging, one of the most recent and accurate tools available with leading-edge image recording and data capture technology. Like their predecessors, the handheld speed cameras are used to measure vehicle speeds and distances between vehicles.
  • The flexibility of the device gives officers a chance to collect evidence for citations, which could then in-turn be mailed to the registered owners of violating vehicles. In more serious cases when a vehicle is moving excessively fast or driving recklessly, police officers would have the chance to mobilize and pull offenders over.
  • The handheld devices do not require as much upfront investment. They negate the need for construction and roadway/intersection installation.

Toledo issues more than 2,300 tickets in first month of operation

With four handheld cameras in use, initial reports in Toledo are exceedingly favorable. Officers issued 2,325 tickets during March of 2016, primarily near schools, construction zones, along highways and other high-risk areas. The department has zeroed in its focus on areas that generate the greatest number of speeding complaints from the public.

Applications of handheld speed cameras

While fixed, semi-permanent and vehicle-based speed enforcement work well in many environments, the handheld technology carries additional benefits in select conditions. For example:

  • Construction Zones: Construction and road workers need to work dangerously close to passing traffic. And, the construction zone itself may make semi-permanent units impractical if the sidewalk or roadway has been torn up. If safety is a concern, an officer can stand near the site to monitor passing traffic without the need to physically pull over a vehicle when a shoulder may not exist.
  • High Pedestrian Traffic: Think tourist attractions, shopping areas and special events where hundreds or even thousands of people frequent. Speeding incidents can be downright deadly and difficult to monitor. An officer with a handheld camera can easily shift with the crowds and detect dangerous driving behaviors without disrupting traffic.
  • School Zones: Children don’t always have the life experience and knowledge to regulate their own safety on roadways around schools. Officials have an extra responsibility to ensure their safety. Handheld cameras provide officers with the ultimate in flexibility – they can shift from one school zone to another very easily, even within the same day.
  • Challenging Terrain: It’s impractical to post a speed enforcement unit or vehicle along a steep mountain roadway, along a bridge or in an area without shoulders or pullouts. Officers can post up in more areas on foot than they can with larger fixed or semi-permanent units. Further, it can be even more dangerous to physically pull over vehicles in these areas.

For more information about REDFLEXspeed, speak to your account representative, or call (866) 703-8097.