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Automated enforcement technologies are an increasingly common sight in cities across the globe. They’re proven to reduce crashes, cut down on congestion and make roadways safer for everyone: pedestrians, drivers and law enforcement alike. As municipalities and agencies witness the steady decline in traffic-related incidents and fatalities, it makes sense they may want to expand their existing automated enforcement program to monitor more areas with fewer resources.
Deciding where to place additional automated enforcement systems is the first step to any expansion. This involves collecting relevant data (such as reviewing historical enforcement records, conducting a traffic survey and considering relevant analytics) to decide where the enforcement system will have the greatest benefit for the community.
While this first step is certainly important, an expansion goes beyond deciding what technology to place where. It’s a collaborative effort, requiring ample communication among law enforcement, policy makers, the courts, media and the surrounding community. Clear and timely communication, ensuring all parties are informed of changes made to the program, ensures a successful expansion.
Start with the Justice System
If you increase the reach of your automated enforcement program, you are also going to increase the workload on courts and law enforcement. While automated enforcement does cut down on resources in many ways, law enforcement officials and the courts are ultimately responsible for reviewing incident data and determining if a violation occurred. This takes additional time and energy – so municipalities need to make sure the correct personnel are available and prepared to review additional data.
Getting the word out to the greater community requires collaboration with local media. Journalists are responsible for spreading information regarding policy changes that affect the community, so they’ll want to be informed of where additional automated enforcement systems will be placed, how they will operate and additional data to show the system’s efficacy. In order to ensure the quick and accurate dissemination of appropriate information, ensure you have an open line of communication with the media.
You may hire a spokesperson who is specifically focused on the system expansion. He or she should be prepped with answers to common questions and provided key data to support the program. Further, you may work with the public affairs department on press releases.
Community members need to be informed of where an automated enforcement system is placed. Successful, long-term enforcement installations rely on an open dialogue between citizens and municipality decision-makers. Expanded programs should be accompanied with a strong community outreach strategy – with the help of the media – to inform the public about the purpose of the program, when it will begin and where the system will be installed. In addition to media coverage, you can also share information on city websites, with pamphlets or fliers distributed to surrounding neighborhoods or even discuss the program goals during city or neighborhood council meetings. As time goes on, you can annually highlight safety improvements.
As more cities embrace the goals outlined by Vision Zero – eliminating all traffic-related injuries and deaths by 2050 – it makes perfect sense that more municipalities embrace the benefits of automated enforcement technologies and expand already-established programs. Expanding a program that is already in place ultimately emphasizes a city’s commitment to safety and improves roadway conditions for a greater segment of the population.