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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - fall 2012 Download Newsletter pdf
[2 MB, 12 pgs.]

Fall 2012

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Report Examines Point-to-Point Speed Enforcement


Austroads, the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities, recently published a report on the international use of point-to-point speed enforcement to provide principles for better practice for its use in Australia and New Zealand.

Point-to-point enforcement is a relatively new technological approach to traffic law enforcement that has been implemented or piloted in a number of countries. It is primarily used to monitor compliance with posted speed limits.

Point-to-point speed enforcement measures the average speed of vehicles passing a series of cameras by using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), optical character recognition (OCR) and other technologies. Through a series of cameras installed at multiple locations along a road section, the system captures an image and registration data of each vehicle as it enters the system and at subsequent camera sites. It calculates the average vehicle speed, and if this speed exceeds the legal posted speed limit (beyond a pre-determined threshold) for that road section, data are transmitted to a central processing unit.

While the system can be fully automated, most involve some degree of human verification to evaluate the validity of detected violations. Validated offenders are issued an infringement notice, and data on non-offending vehicles are typically erased.

This report details the various technologies and equipment used in point-to-point speed enforcement operations. The report also summarizes the evaluations of point-to-point speed enforcement systems in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy and France. It highlights a number of positive findings associated with pointto- point speed enforcement, including: substantial reductions in mean and 85th percentile speeds; exceptional rates of compliance with posted speed limits; reductions in all types of crashes; more homogenized traffic flow; and increased traffic capacity resulting from reduced vehicle speed variability and subsequent increased headway. Although the system can be expensive, a number of cost-benefit analyses have demonstrated long term net economic benefits.

The full report is available at after registering with the website.