Speed of delivery

The more effective use of data can help to make the case for faster, more widespread deployments of automated enforcement systems. Here Truvelo UK’s Calvin Hutt explains.

One of the obstacles which stands in the way of greater use of automated enforcement systems to counter speeding and other motoring offences is perceived public antipathy. ‘Perceived’, because people in general, as evidenced by surveys which ask about individuals’ views versus their perceptions of the public’s view, are rather less sharply opposed to enforcement systems’ deployment and use. The need to address speeding and other poor driving habits is generally well-appreciated at a personal level — and yet the private perception is that the public is largely hostile.

Over the last decade or so we have seen greater use of the term ‘compliance’. The intention is to reduce the potentially socially marginalising effects of what are, in all but the most serious instances, civil and not criminal offences.

Compliance need not necessarily be regarded as a softening of attitudes to what remain actions which can be highly detrimental to road-users’ well-being. Instead, compliance can be a very useful tool in terms of building and maintaining the public’s commitment to automated enforcement, and the technology itself can play a role in addressing the surrounding issues.

Scaleable solutions

Effectively, we are talking about a ratcheting back up from compliance to full-on enforcement where necessary; providing an intelligent, irrefutable case for enforcement systems’ deployment goes a long way to countering critics’ often ill-founded objections.

Over the last few years, Truvelo UK has been working on such a strategy with its customers and partners — and the same strategies which hold true for application on publicly owned roads are also readily applicable on roads on larger, privately held estates.

Proving the need

Underpinning all this is a stepped approach which involves the effective gathering and use of data.

Speed Indication Displays (SIDs) have a proven and positive effect on driving habits. Providing drivers with reminders of their performance encourages compliance in a majority of cases. However, there typically remains a hardcore 1-2 percent of drivers whose behaviour needs to be curtailed.

SIDs’ utility can be significantly enhanced by adding a data-collection capability. The SIDs supplied by Truvelo can be fitted with non-intrusive radar technology which adds the ability to gather information such as speed, direction of travel, timestamp and vehicle classification.

The combination of speed and direction of travel includes allows assessment of vehicles’ speeds around a SID, and its effect on driving habits. From there, a series of escalations can be employed.

Scaling up

A first stop might be the occasional deployment of handheld or mobile cameras. On public roads, the use of handheld/portable systems as part of an orchestrated anti-speeding campaign is a well-established practice which can go on with or without the presence of SIDs, and their efficacy is well-documented. On public and private roads, data-gathering allows the magnitude of the issue to be assessed. Installation of a fixed speed camera is an obvious next step where persistent offending is an issue.

On public roads, this takes us back to another form of ‘business as usual’ and the ratcheting back up referred to earlier. Offenders are processed as normal but the cameras’ deployments are backed by a solid business case based on driving profiles which can be used to refute allegations of revenue generation.

On private roads and estates, the dynamic is rather different. In the case of a serious incident, such as a fatality or major damage to property, the response might involve criminal proceedings. In the case of something equivalent to what would be a civil offence on a public road, there is no legal authority to impose a points-based or direct financial penalty. There are other options, however, such as application of a a ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ policy. Bans can be applied to individual drivers and companies, with terminations of contracts for persistent offenders.

This extends a company’s or facility’s influence on driving habits beyond its own workforce. The distribution centre of a large high-street retailer, for instance, will have a large number of third-party hauliers’ vehicles coming on-site to deliver, with the outbound goods leaving in liveried lorries and vans. Both will be affected in the same way.

Universal application

In an increasingly litigious world, facilities managers have to be highly aware of Health & Safety-related issues and their potential effects on business. All of this is not just an exercise in zealotry, therefore. Rather, it represents the ability to extend the rules of the road into workplaces and other areas where they have previously not applied, resulting in a uniform standard of safety wherever vehicular traffic is present.

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