How Tech & Local Residents are Creating a Safer, More Efficient Traffic Enforcement

Due to the exponential growth of vehicular traffic, one of the greatest challenges for police agencies is to enforce legal and safe driving practices. Especially when data from the World Health Organization reveals that more than 1.25 million people die each year due to car crashes

According to The Stanford Open Policing Project, officers make more than 50,000 traffic stops each day and so count on an arsenal of high-tech systems and innovative strategies coupled with the common-place methods of dashboard cameras and speed guns.

Car Crash Prediction Software 

Car Crash

In Las Vegas, an AI-led road-safety pilot program between analytics firm Waycare and Nevada transportation agencies has helped to reduce crashes along the busy I-15.

The system uses data from connected cars, road cameras and apps such as Waze to build an overview of the city’s roads and then shares that data with local authorities to improve road safety.

The data, as well as its predictive analytics, has given the city’s safety and traffic management agencies the ability to take preventative measures in high-risk areas: “Traditionally, law enforcement has relied on anecdotal evidence to determine where to deploy resources to respond to traffic-related issues,” said Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Solow of Nevada Highway Patrol.

“Now, with the technology, the Highway Patrol can proactively deploy units into an area when the system identifies a high likelihood of something happening and prevent crashes before they even happen.

Local Residents Reward Program

(Source Image:

Using residents to help with enforcement is an innovative solution to the growing traffic problems that many cities are facing.

The concept has already been tried in New York and Los Angeles, where officials say it helps beef up enforcement while allowing police to focus on more serious crimes.

New York created a reward program for residents to report idling vehicles, providing a platform where they can file complaints along with photos and video evidence of offenders. Tipsters can receive up to 25 percent of the fines generated by their report, with the program aiming to enforce a law that prohibits idling while parked as part of a clean-air effort.

In the Los Angeles area, a program known as Volunteers on Patrol in Malibu trains residents to enforce parking regulations, issue parking citations, and help with traffic control and emergency response. Malibu officials say the program is invaluable; its 18 volunteers contributed 7,516 patrol hours and wrote 9,140 tickets just last year.

A Traffic Enforcement Robocop

(Source Image:

When we think of the safety of law enforcement officers, we usually think of the dangers they face from armed criminals. But traffic stops are real dangers to officers as well.

5,108 officers were assaulted during traffic stops and pursuits in 2017; an average of about 14 officers each day according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting. A new kind of police robot aims to reduce these numbers.

The robot isn’t designed to replace humans as officers will still make the call of which vehicles to pull over but, when they do, the robot will help create a safe distance between suspects and the police officer while they both remain in their vehicles during the first phase.

How does it work? The telepresence robot extends on a long arm from a police cruiser to the suspect’s vehicle, facilitating two-way video and audio communications. It ́s equipped with a barcode reader allowing a driver’s license to be quickly scanned, while a thermal printer can handle tickets and citations that drivers can tear off like a receipt.

As the robot moves alongside a vehicle it also subtly deploys a spike strip under the car, so should a suspect decide to flee, they’ll shred at least one tire in the process.

Related Articles