Welcome to the October Edition of The Road Safety Ink! From Halloween delights to the latest developments in Verra Mobility, celebrating our remarkable five years as a public company, and shining a spotlight on safety programs that are revolutionizing road safety with cutting-edge technologies like school zone speed safety cameras, school bus stop-arm safety cameras, and more, this issue is a treat you won’t want to miss! Read on for a ghoulishly good time and stay in the know with the latest in transportation and safety innovations.
This week marks a significant milestone in Verra Mobility’s history. Five years ago, Verra Mobility was listed on Nasdaq and became a publicly traded company.
Since that momentous event in October 2018, the company has grown into new markets, strengthened its portfolio and expanded geographically.
“This is a significant milestone in our incredible journey to become a leader in smart mobility solutions,” said David Roberts, president and CEO, Verra Mobility. “Our core values, shared purpose and the Verra Mobility operating system have all been instrumental in driving continued growth and profitability.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced, starting October 12, school bus stop-arm safety cameras will capture images of vehicles that disregard the school bus stop-arm for the next 30 days as part of the Yonkers Safe Stop program. In the first 30 days, warnings will be issued, and no fines will be assessed. Beginning November 13, registered vehicle owners, whose vehicles are observed passing the school bus while the school bus stop-arm is extended and lights are flashing, will receive a Notice of Liability in the mail.
Yonkers is the only and largest district in Westchester County and the only district among New York’s Big 5 cities to fully implement a school bus stop-arm safety camera program.
“Our obligation is to protect our children at all times, including their transportation to and from school. These stop-arm safety cameras help us enforce the laws of passing a school bus and the warning period will give motorists plenty of time to practice stopping,” said Mayor Spano. “We strongly advise drivers to be alert and to always stop when the school bus stop-arm is extended. It is never okay to put our children in danger and pass a school bus.”
In a joint effort by the Greene County School System and Greensboro Police Department to improve campus safety by enforcing school zone speed limits, Greensboro will begin issuing warnings for the new school zone speed cameras on October 30. Warning notices will be issued for 30 days to the registered owner of any vehicle that is photographed passing through the school zone in excess of the posted speed limit while school is in session and one hour before classes are scheduled to begin and one hour after classes have concluded.
“The warning period gives drivers the opportunity to check their speed and comply with our school zone safety program before actual citations begin,” said Greensboro Police Department Chief Rodricus Monford. “The intent of this program is to alert drivers to the school zones, reduce speeds, and increase safety for our children.”
The city of Bothell is planning to install several cameras to prevent speeding in school zones starting Wednesday.
According to a Tuesday press release, after reviewing complaints from the public, the city has noticed speeding in school zones has become a top growing concern in the local community. To ensure the city maintains its highest priority of keeping children and residents safe, school zone cameras will be placed in school zone areas beginning Sept. 6.
Learn more about Bothell’s School Zone Speed Safety Program here.
For more frequent updates, visit the Bothell Police Department page on Facebook.
School districts across the country prioritize children and their safety.
Broome County, NY, is one example of our stop-arm safety camera program that has seen successful results in reducing the number of drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus that is (un)loading children.
Thank you to Patrick Dewing, director of emergency services, for talking about their district’s decision to utilize school bus safety cameras on this month’s School Transportation Nation podcast.
In a proactive move aimed at enhancing the safety of schoolchildren, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has taken significant steps to preserve the use of cameras installed on school bus stop-arms.
The House of Representatives made its decision, voting 178-25 in favor of Senate Bill 851, following unanimous support from the Senate earlier in the month. Initially, these cameras were introduced as part of a five-year pilot program to improve safety, an initiative endorsed by PennDOT officials.
Whittier Blvd. at Orme Ave. on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Damian Kevitt is executive director of Streets Are For Everyone. He led the support for speed cameras contained in the recently signed AB 645. A new temporary pedestrian stop hangs above the crosswalk in Boyle Heights. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Drivers who speed on streets in three Southern California cities soon may find a ticket waiting for them in their mailbox generated by a roadside speed camera.
Over the weekend Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 645 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), making speed cameras legal for the first time in the state. Under a six-city pilot program, the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale can install cameras that generate fines starting at $50 for speeding 11 miles above the posted speed limit, $100 for 16 to 25 mph above, and $500 for going 100 mph or greater. San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland also are included in the pilot program.
In 2022, 843 people died and another 4,222 people were severely injured by “traffic violence” in Los Angeles County, according to TIMS. Since 2011, traffic fatalities in L.A. County rose 64%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Besides acting as a deterrent to slow down drivers, studies in other states found they (speed safety cameras) have reduced crashes and fatalities. The Federal Highway Administration found speed cameras reduced traffic collisions on urban streets by 54%.
Cars travel south on Parkside Drive passing by one of the city’s 75 automated speed cameras. City staff are asking for changes to rules which would allow for more of the cameras to be stationed across Toronto. Last March, city council asked staff to acquire 75 more of the cameras. (Doug Husby)
The city wants to make it easier to expand use of traffic calming measures like speed bumps and install more automated speed enforcement cameras to help reduce road deaths on Toronto streets.
“The speed in which some of these collisions and impacts take place, it kills people,” he said. “So making sure that we have the tools and relying on the technology to deliver that enforcement. It’s a good use of resources, and it gets us the effective result of slowing down the traffic through our neighbourhoods.”
A set of flashing lights and a speed limit sign warns drivers that the area of North Nevada Street is a 20 mph school zone during certain hours of the day. A speed camera system hangs on a post a long block north of the school on North Nevada Street. Photographed Thursday, May 13, 2021. The camera enforcement system was placed there to slow cars when students are coming and going from Longfellow.
Spokane’s eight photo-enforced speeding cameras, all of which are located near public schools, will turn back on Tuesday for the first day of the school year.
Local drivers are reminded not to speed in school zones and to yield to people crossing streets. Most vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur in crosswalks, marked or unmarked, according to a news release from the Spokane Police Department. All intersections are considered legal crosswalks, regardless of whether they are marked.
The September issue of the Road Safety Ink encapsulates the latest strides in road safety, reflecting a shared commitment to creating secure and efficient transportation systems. Key highlights include the City of Yonkers’ Yonkers Safe Stop School Bus Safety Program Announcement, Atlanta Public Schools School Zone Speed Safety Program protects school zones as program issues citations to speeders, and Pennsylvania’s speed safety camera program touts significant reduction in injuries and fatalities due to traffic enforcement. Additionally, we share an insightful article by Jon Baldwin in ITS International on the adoption of automated enforcement for safer roads in the U.S.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced its collaboration with Verra Mobility to launch the “Yonkers Safe Stop” School Bus Safety Program. To create a safer environment, the “Yonkers Safe Stop” program will implement Verra Mobility’s CrossingGuard™ school bus stop-arm enforcement solution to effectively capture stop-arm events and reduce the number of violations and injuries caused by people who disregard the school bus stop-arm.
“Ensuring the safety of our children is our top priority. The partnership with Verra Mobility and the Yonkers School District is a testament to our commitment to their well-being, reminding us that every journey to knowledge should be a safe one,” said Mayor Spano.
Melba Rivera-Irizarry, Global Director of Product Management at Verra Mobility, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “At Verra Mobility, we are dedicated to creating safer streets for everyone. The ‘Yonkers Safe Stop’ Program exemplifies our commitment to protecting our most precious passengers. We are honored to work alongside the City of Yonkers on this vital initiative.”
“Our priority is to keep our students safe. The school zone speed cameras will help slow drivers down, thereby protecting children as they walk to and from school,” Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin said.
APD has a contract with Verra Mobility, the makers of the cameras, and have installed the cameras at no cost to the school. Officials said that a percentage of the paid fines will fund future safety projects for the district.
“Part of making Atlanta the best place to raise a child in the nation is ensuring their safety both in and out of the classroom,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said. “The new school zone speed safety camera program is a great compliment to our Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Atlanta.”
For more information about APS’s school zone speed safety camera program, please visit here.
News From The States, Pennsylvania, September 18, 2023
Pennsylvania transportation officials told lawmakers that pilot programs for the automatic enforcement of traffic laws have led to improvements in traffic safety over the last three years.
Philadelphia recorded 21% fewer fatalities and 64% fewer pedestrian crashes on Roosevelt Boulevard between August 2020 and November 2022, a Philadelphia deputy managing director for transportation, infrastructure and sustainability, also named Mike Carroll, said.
Speeding violations have also decreased by 95%, the Philadelphia official said.
The Philadelphia speed camera program sunsets in December.
The concept of Vision Zero has hit a pothole in the US – but there is hope for a safer future, says Jon Baldwin, executive vice president, government solutions, at Verra Mobility
Given what we know now, I have to ask why we think it’s OK for so many people to die each year, when we have the technology, the laws and the best practices from other regions we can use to make our roads safer? Automated enforcement programmes have shown remarkable effectiveness in reducing crashes and changing driver behavior. As NY puts it, “Your Choices Matter.” Helping to educate drivers about local laws and improve awareness of how fast they’re travelling will help drivers make better choices and improve road safety for everyone.
Miami−Dade Commissioner Anthony Rodriguez said his proposal to set up cameras to enforce speed limits in school zones — and impose fines on violators — will bolster the safety of tens of thousands of local schoolchildren.
“This is something that will ultimately save lives. And in doing so, I’m a big advocate for that,” Rodriguez told WLRN’s South Florida Roundup on Friday in an interview. Rodriguez represents District 10 on the commission.
Newsom has until Oct. 14 to either sign or veto the bill. If signed into law, California’s pilot program under the AB 645 will last five years. For the six participating areas, the bill requires transportation agencies to issue warnings rather than notices of violation to drivers for the first 60 days of the program, coinciding with a month-long public information campaign to help educate residents about the new cameras.
“Research has shown speed cameras can reduce crashes by 54% in urban cores, especially high-injury and fatality crashes,” Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) added. “That’s why seven other states with Democratic and Republican governors have authorized or expanded the use of speed cameras this year.”
According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, areas that implemented automated speed enforcement saw a decrease in the number of crashes that occurred — anywhere from 8 to 49% for all collisions and 11 to 44% for those that resulted in serious or fatal injuries.
In cities like Los Angeles, speed is the No. 1 factor in crash severity.
” … every year for the past five years, more than 1,000 Californians have died in speed-related traffic collisions,” Los Angeles officials wrote in support of AB 645. “These deaths and injuries are preventable. Jurisdictions suffering from high levels of avoidable fatal and severe collisions are desperate for additional tools to bring the number of traffic deaths down to zero.”
Advocates urges California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign into law Assembly Bill (AB) 645. This bill would authorize six cities to establish a pilot program for automated enforcement (AE), a proven and lifesaving technology, to deter speeding, a leading killer on California roadways.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania, September 16, 2023
The House Transportation Committee has approved legislation that would keep a program authorizing speed cameras in work zones.
Work zone crashes are 50% less likely to happen in work zones with speed cameras in place, PennDOT data shows. And of the 444,000 violators given tickets by the work zone speed cameras in 2022, 81% were first time offenders, who receive warning notices and aren’t required to pay fines. That suggests that motorists who receive the first-time offender warning notices are slowing down so they don’t get second offenses that would bring a ticket and a fine, he said.
As a society, we have become numb to the news of another person hit and killed on our roads. Traffic violence kills on average five people every week in San Diego County and kills an average of 3,744 people every year in California. Each of these people is someone’s loved one, someone who never thought it could happen to their family. Many of these deaths can be traced back to a single source: speeding.
As the co-founder of Families for Safe Streets San Diego, we stand firmly behind AB 645. This bill will save lives. Please tell the governor to support it and demand that San Diego be added as a pilot city as soon as possible. Don’t wait until traffic violence impacts you or kills your family member to do something about it.
By Shelby Larriva|2023-09-27T11:30:12-07:00September 26th, 2023|Categories: News|Comments Off on Your September Edition of The Road Safety Ink
In the August Edition of the Road Safety Ink, we dive into the rapid progress of a speed safety camera program, highlighting the impressive results achieved in just the first year. Our CEO’s recent feature on Forbes.com sheds light on our company’s visionary leadership. The expansion of safety continues with the addition of red-light and speed safety cameras in various cities, complemented by an impactful school bus safety campaign. We also share the recent opposition facing a beneficial speed safety camera bill in California, emphasizing the importance of overcoming challenges for the greater good.
Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Weekend!
We want to send a big thank you to our employees for their dedication and hard work. As we celebrate Labor Day, let’s make safety a priority. During the Labor Day holiday weekend last year, more than 170,000 motorists were issued speeding violations. Help us Zero In On Safety to reach a world where everyone can travel safely.
A speed camera along Houston Street in Manhattan’s East Village, which has seen speeding decline by 96 percent since speed cameras went 24/7
NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) announced that speeding, injuries, and traffic fatalities declined in areas with speed cameras during the first year of 24/7 enforcement. Speed camera violations dropped an average of 30%, with the most dramatic drop occurring on Houston Street in the East Village, where speeding declined by 96%. In addition to the reduction in speeding, injuries also declined along corridors across the city.
David Roberts, President and CEO of Verra Mobility discusses how electrification is one of the most significant smart mobility trends of the past few decades, and it will have a major impact on transportation and infrastructure for the foreseeable future.
Congratulations to Charles Callari, our VP of Business Development and Account Management, for making NY’s City & State’s Transportation Power 100. The Power 100 features the many movers and shakers who are behind projects that are keeping New Yorkers on the move. We are proud to deliver transportation technology that improves mobility for all.
Lakeland’s red-light safety camera program began in 2009 with nine cameras at five intersections. In 2013, more cameras and intersections were added. The city currently has 18 red-light safety cameras at 11 intersections.
Lakeland Police Sgt. Chad Mumbauer told city commissioners on Friday that the city’s 14-year-old red light camera program is working because 85% of the people who receive a $158 ticket do not get cited again.
“If 100 people run that red light, 85 people do not do it again because that wallet hurts,” Mumbauer said. “It’s all about altering behavior. It hits pretty hard.”
“Which is really powerful,” Mayor Bill Mutz replied. “And that saves lives. … That’s the whole purpose of the program.”
License plate readers help solve crimes : Mumbauer and Lehman also told commissioners that the license plate readers their 165 squad cars are equipped with are helping to solve crimes and they want to add license plate readers to the 11 intersections where they have cameras.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies announced that they are partnering with the Broome County Stop-Arm Safety Campaign to highlight the program.
The program, which began in Summer 2021, allows school, law enforcement and municipalities to track vehicles driving through school bus stop arms through the use of camera attached to the side of the bus. Since its implementation, hundreds of violations have been recorded.
“With the 2023 to 2024 school year approaching, the safety of the children and community going to and from school is on the forefront of our minds,” said Public Safety Program Coordinator Kirby Sainclair. “Our goal with this event is to put the safety of the children at the forefront of everyone’s mind as well.”
A new program coming to Cumberland will see cameras installed on the outside of school buses to catch the license plates of drivers illegally passing the bus.
School Supt. Phil Thornton presented the plan to the School Committee last week, saying that drivers passing school buses happens “more than we’d like to hear about.”
Chief of Police Matthew Benson agreed that a new camera program and ticketing system will act as a deterrent, said Thornton, and the town and schools will partner with the company Verra Mobility, at no cost to local taxpayers.
As traffic deaths continue to rise across the U.S., many cities have turned to automated enforcement technologies, such as red-light cameras and speed cameras that issue tickets to violators without the need for on-site police presence.
With fewer officers on the street, cities turned to technology. “Cities are increasing the number of sensors that they have in the city to detect what’s going on,” said Jon Baldwin, executive vice president of government solutions at Verra Mobility, a smart mobility technology company. People understand that these programs are very effective, and they’re trying to find ways to get them to protect the people they care about, the most vulnerable people on the roads.”
California Streets Blog, California, August 28, 2023
For years, proponents of speed cameras, which have proven to reduce vehicle speeding, have been trying to get a bill through the state legislature to allow their use in California. While these bills have met with strong support, there has also been opposition based on a range of objections including equity and privacy.
What is alarming is how much misinformation the Arizona resident keeps on peddling in California.
The pilot programs defined under A.B. 645 deserve a chance to be tested.
A.B. 645 is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it will be decided on this week. If it passes there, it will go to the Senate Floor.
By Shelby Larriva|2023-08-31T12:30:54-07:00August 30th, 2023|Categories: News|Comments Off on Your August Edition of The Road Safety Ink
Check out our July edition of the Road Safety Ink. Join us for National Stop on Red Week taking place August 6-12, get details on how automated enforcement program funds are being used to implement other road safety initiatives, and see where speed safety cameras could be slowing down speeders in a community near you!
We are excited to announce our partnership with the National Coalition for Safer Roads for this year’s National Stop on Red Week taking place August 6-12. Using our theme “Zero in on Red”, the week-long event highlights the importance of road safety education, traffic safety legislation, and enforcement technology. We invite you to join us in spreading awareness about the importance of traffic safety and stopping at red lights on social using #ZeroInOnRed and #StopOnRed2023.
Every action you take during this week can save lives and prevent collisions. Together, we can make a difference during National Stop on Red Week. For resources and tools, visit our website and our LinkedIn and Facebook pages next week!
Correspondent Jim Axelrod with Beth Osborne at a crosswalk in Langley Park, Md., with no stoplight or call buttons for pedestrians to cross safely. CBS NEWS
“The traffic speeds are high,” she said. “The crossing distances for someone walking is long. They have these features like what we’re standing next to, called a slip lane, that allows the cars to take a right turn very, very fast. The communication to the driver is, ‘Don’t slow down, but stop at an instant if there’s a person there.’ We can totally do better. These are not hard things to change.”
In Philadelphia, they’re hoping new approaches will work as well. In 2020 speed cameras were introduced on Roosevelt Boulevard, and crashes have dropped 36%. The city has also pledged $78 million from the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan to make the boulevard safer.
The San Francisco Standard, California, July 24, 2023
San Francisco will install eight new enforcement cameras that could catch motorists jumping stop lights and allow the city to automatically send them a ticket.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board this week renewed a five-year contract that would have expired in August so the city could continue automated enforcement of red-light cameras.
The program already runs cameras at 13 intersections along major thoroughfares such as Market Street and Octavia Boulevard in the Lower Haight or at Fell Street and Masonic Avenue along the Panhandle. With the recent contract renewal, it could now see eight new cameras up and running by late next year.
At Fell and Masonic streets, passersby praised the plan to add another red-light camera.
Manassas police are starting to make use of their red light camera enforcement funds.
On Monday night, the City Council approved a resolution budgeting $1.5 million of what the city has collected from photo red light enforcement. The money will be used for new dispatch and records software. Also on Monday night, the council approved a $193,000 equipment grant for the police department. The grant, issued from the Attorney General’s office to the commonwealth, will pay for a new transport van, ballistic vests, shields and helmets, as well as a drone with software.
“From the very beginning, when we put this photo red-light program in … people ask ‘what are the funds going to be used for?’” Police Chief Doug Keen said at a committee meeting last week. “It was always the plan that this is the type of thing, so it doesn’t come out of our taxpayer general fund basis.”
The Seattle City Council approved legislation Tuesday that paves the way for increased use of automated speed cameras in an attempt to crack down on street racing.
“This technology is another tool in our tool belt to reduce collisions and save lives on some of our city’s most dangerous roadways,” Seattle councilmember Alex Pedersen, who co-sponsored the bill, said during Tuesday’s meeting.
With organizations like Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, Jenny is taking part in the fight for legislation that would legalize speed safety cameras in California.
“The streets are supposed to be shared by everyone… they’re supposed to be usable areas. Don’t wait until you become part of the victim’s side,” Yu said.
“I want you to listen to what the bill is about and why there’s a group of people trying to make this legal…it’s about the streets that you’re gonna travel on, your loved ones are gonna travel on, your kids, your grandparents,” Jenny Yu said.
By Shelby Larriva|2023-07-28T14:52:42-07:00July 28th, 2023|Categories: News|Comments Off on Your July Edition of The Road Safety Ink