What is the Photo Traffic Enforcement Program?
Photo Traffic Enforcement is a safety program focused on changing driver behavior at red light intersections through a comprehensive effort involving engineering, education and enforcement. Initially, only enforcement of red light violations will be activated. The system however, is capable of expanding to also enforce speed limits. As the operational flow and processes determined with red light violations, speed enforcement is expected to be added.
How does Photo Red Light Work?
Cameras monitor intersection approaches through advanced detection and imaging technology. A camera takes two images of the vehicle progressing through the red light. A technician and a Tigard Police officer review each violation before a citation is mailed to ensure that the driver failed to stop for a red light.
Who receives and pays for the Citation?
Citations are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle in accordance with state or local guidelines.
How do we ensure the cameras are functioning properly?
The system is tested daily to ensure correct operation of the vehicle sensors, cameras and computers. The results of the test are analyzed by technicians for accuracy and errors. If any major errors occur, the system will automatically cease enforcement.
Why is photo traffic enforcement coming to Tigard?
Tigard has been exploring photo traffic enforcement technology since 2010. The decision to implement photo traffic enforcement in Tigard is based upon numerous factors. Some of those included statistical findings that indicated concerning numbers of injury traffic crashes at certain intersections in Tigard. Statistics also indicated inordinately high-traffic volumes that flow through Tigard on a daily basis. The research also suggested that drivers are not stopping for red lights and are speeding through signaled intersections. Those factors and others have a direct correlation to traffic crashes. Additionally, when polled, Tigard residents overwhelmingly supported the use of photo traffic enforcement in their city.
Why can’t Tigard Police enforce traffic laws at signaled intersections?
Based upon traffic volumes, police are not able to change driver behavior as effectively and widespread as photo traffic enforcement. Add to that limited police resources, which is often dictated by fewer officers patrolling but rather rendering assistance based upon calls for service, which are steadily increasing. Logistically, the intersections do not support traffic enforcement due to officer safety factors. Technology is the viable solution in the effort to create safer intersections in Tigard.
What results are expected with the use of photo traffic enforcement?
Based upon statistical information shared by neighboring cities that have begun the use of photo traffic enforcement, they all reported a reduction in red light violations that also extend to injury crashes. For example, Beaverton reported a 36% reduction in red light violations during the first 10 years of their photo traffic enforcement program. Additionally, they also experienced a 41% reduction in injury crashes during the same period. The City of Tigard expects to see similar results.
Where will photo traffic enforcement be conducted in Tigard?
In November 2015 and again in January 2018, a traffic study was conducted at several intersections along Pacific Highway (99W) in Tigard. The studies considered traffic volume, violation counts and crash data. As a result, three intersections are identified as priorities for photo traffic enforcement: 72nd Avenue, Hall Boulevard and Durham Road
How soon will photo traffic enforcement begin in Tigard?
Engineering studies coupled with significant other design and permitting processes are required. A pivotal factor to implementation is the necessary approval from ODOT to install the equipment at the identified intersections along Pacific Highway (99W) in Tigard. Once approval is granted by ODOT, installation of the equipment will begin. Drivers can likely expect to see installation begin in spring 2019. There will be an initial 30-day period when warnings will be issued. After the 30-day warning period, citations will be issued to violators.
Isn’t the equipment needed to operate photo traffic enforcement expensive? How is the City of Tigard prepared to manage the cost to purchase the equipment needed?
The project vendor Conduent purchases, installs and owns the equipment. The City pays a monthly service fee in return.
I recall learning that the City of Tigard is experiencing budgetary issues resulting in program cuts as well as staffing reductions. How does photo traffic enforcement impact the current budgetary state?
Information on costs and revenue related to this program can be found here. The budget issues were addressed prior to implementing this photo traffic enforcement program and will not impact staffing. The intersections where photo red light will be installed are challenging for traffic and patrol officers to perform enforcement due to traffic volumes and location. Crash data and statistics related to violations show that more enforcement is needed at those locations. Monitoring 24/7 at these intersections is impractical for police to enforce. Leveraging this technology will help free-up police officers to respond to calls for service.
How will speed enforcement work?
Essentially, the speed enforcement component incorporates similar capturing of driver actions utilizing the existing hardware used for red light enforcement. The speed of vehicles is measured as they enter the intersection. Violations occur when the speed exceeds the identified thresholds in place. Cameras capture license plate images of violations and computers record all of the relevant data associated with the violation.
Interested in learning more?
Please see the City Council presentation dated September 18, 2018.