Study: Traffic Cameras Reduce Speeding, Crashes

Analysis of the automated enforcement program in Ottawa, Canada shows a significant drop in speeding near traffic cameras.

2 minute read

April 5, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A recent study from Canada highlights the success of Ottawa’s automated traffic enforcement cameras, which, at one location near a school, quadrupled compliance with speed limits. Alistair Steele reports on the story for CBC News.

“Last month, the city announced plans to more than double the number of automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras monitoring its roads in 2023 from 17 to 40, and to add up to 25 more annually until 2026, creating a web of ASE zones so vast that it could soon become difficult to drive from point A to point B in Ottawa without passing through at least one.” Rather than focusing on schools and parks, the new cameras will be located in “community safety zones” where speeding is a major problem.

In the United States, where traffic cameras are a contentious issue, more policymakers are recognizing their benefits. While proponents say the cameras can help limit interaction with police and improve road safety, critics caution that the programs can disproportionately impact people of color, in large part because low-income neighborhoods often lack safe infrastructure. 

As Steele points out, Ottawa isn’t alone in its success with traffic cameras. “A systematic review published by the Cochrane Library in 2010 analyzed 35 separate studies from around the world and found average speeds in the vicinity of ASE cameras dropped by up to 15 per cent.” The same analysis also found a significant reduction in crashes, correlating with fewer injuries and deaths, near cameras.

Monday, March 27, 2023 in CBC News

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

New York MTA subway station

Off-Peak is the New On-Peak

Public transit systems in major U.S. cities are starting to focus on non-rush hour travelers as pre-pandemic commuting patterns shift and transportation needs change.

May 19, 2023 - Curbed

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Congestion Pricing Could Be Coming to L.A.

The infamously car-centric city is weighing a proposed congestion pricing pilot program to reduce traffic and encourage public transit use.

7 hours ago - Los Angeles Times

Red, grey, and blue Tesla cars on the back of a truck trailer in Burlingame, California

Key Points From the Tesla Data Leak

Thousands of leaked safety complaints about the electric carmaker reveal a pervasive effort to hide problems from the public and prevent customers from filing lawsuits.

May 30 - Los Angeles Times

Nighttime view of U.S. Capitol and blurred traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue

D.C. Residents Fight Light Pollution

New LED lighting has raised concerns about the health and environmental impacts of excessive or harsh lighting.

May 30 - Route Fifty

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.