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Case Study: ITS Red Light Safety Research

Use Real-Time Data to Reduce Traffic Accidents in Intersections

The Challenge - Capturing and delivering detailed violation and traffic statistics to thoroughly understand the issues associated with intersection safety.

The Solution - PTS Automated Safety Research continuous data collection, organization, and real-time web based information delivery.

The Benefit - Cost-effective safety research infrastructure that enables addressing today’s local data capture and tomorrow’s potential use of automated enforcement tools.

A Commitment to Safety

Richardson, Texas has been focusing on intersection safety to address the dangers of red light running, speeding, and other dangerous traffic situations. From 1998 to 2000 the cost to the Richardson community for red light crashes was approximately $16M. At some intersections, violations averaged as high as 80 per day for a single approach.

Although Richardson used traditional methods of increasing enforcement (more police officers at intersections), the police were overwhelmed and unable to slow the increase in red light violations and collisions. Without specific violation information for the intersection, it was difficult to allocate police resources efficiently enough to affect the problem.

“We’ve been using traditional methods of research; people on the street with a counter,” says Walter Ragsdale, Director of traffic for Richardson. “Our goal was to collect enough data to determine the best means of improving safety, either through additional enforcement, signal timing, or intersection engineering.”

“By collecting data on both red light violations and normal traffic, and making it available immediately on the Internet, PTS provided us a means of reviewing vastly more information to better understand red light running,” said Ragsdale.

As a result of the information provided to traffic engineering, the Police department was able to reschedule officers at intersections during high violation periods, providing a more effective and efficient means of improving safety. “Research may be conducted generally, but safety improvements are made locally”, said Walter. “Detailed information about specific intersections is what we and the police needed to make the best decisions about how to improve safety.”

It was also important for Richardson to be able to quickly implement the PTS system without disrupting its normal traffic operations. PTS installed and made the system productive in 24 hours, something that no other approach has been able to do in substantially more time.

Detailed Online Data

Precision Traffic Systems’ information oriented approach delivers comprehensive traffic statistics twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The result is a clearer understanding of intersection safety issues, better-informed decision maker, and more effective solutions. Data, graphs and reports are continuously updated and delivered in real time over the Internet and can be viewed from any PC with a secure browser. The data collected assists communities in identifying, implementing, and testing countermeasures that are most effective in improving intersection safety.

Effective Enforcement and Improved Safety

“By exploiting the PTS solution, we’ve been able to really understand the nature of red light running at our intersections, and help the police department implement measures to improve safety,” says Ragsdale. “Instead of using two year old data, or just guessing about the right times to increase enforcement, we now can choose the optimum situation to add officers and immediately examine the effectiveness of the change.”

For more information

To learn more about this solution, visit Precision Traffic Systems at www.precision-traffic.com".

Copyright PTS Corporation 2003. Produced in the USA. All Rights Reserved.

This customer story is based on information provided by Richardson, Texas and illustrates how one organization uses PTS products. Many factors may have contributed to the results and benefits described; PTS does not guarantee comparable results elsewhere.

For all communications, networking and intelligent traffic systems (ITS) products in Virginia contact Washington by email at Zach L. Hoiting,ZHoiting@WesternSystems-Inc.com or by calling 425-438-1133.

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