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The Long-Term Keys to Red-light Enforcement Success

For decades, jurisdictions worldwide have used automated red-light enforcement technology to mitigate crashes and dangerous driving behaviors. That success is the result of extensive groundwork and public education prior to launch, as well as consistent public awareness campaigns throughout the life of the program.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) created a checklist for implementing red-light enforcement programs. Here, we’re highlighting long-term tactics jurisdictions should consider when planning for their programs’ continued success.

Collect Benchmark Data
Gather data about crashes and violations at the enforced intersections at regular intervals to illustrate photo enforcement’s impact on public safety. At a minimum, keep track of the number of citations issued, noting that as violations decrease, the number of crashes will likely decrease as well. Compare annual program data to traffic data directly prior to the program launch.

Regularly Communicate with the Public
Just as you worked with local media to promote the start of your red-light program, you can use the media to help spread the word about program updates. Share benchmark data and other notable program news, such as plans for expansion, and offer local officials as sources to discuss the impact photo enforcement has had on the community. Continual media coverage adds credibility to the program, allowing the jurisdiction to reinforce its safety message and keep it top-of-mind for residents.

In addition to media coverage, publish updates on the city, county, or state websites and social media pages. Create easy-to-read infographics to quickly communicate information, or post short articles with a summary of the latest benchmark data.

Keep Stakeholders Involved
At the beginning of the process, it’s recommended to form an advisory committee of stakeholders in the photo enforcement process. Continue to meet with this committee throughout the life of your red-light program, providing new data and allowing members to share insight on changes that could potentially affect the program. As the community grows accustomed to red-light enforcement, you may find that systems are needed at new intersections. The committee can oversee such program updates or expansion.

Creating a process to cover these bases will help ensure long-term success and build a positive reputation for photo enforcement in the community.