Ross believes there are obvious short-term benefits to installing photo traffic enforcement. "I think that these kinds of systems can be a temporary deterrent to speeders who live in the jurisdiction [provided they] are tapped into the news media."
Ross says the consequences will only be apparent if drivers know they exist. Signs and well-placed, widespread publicity will increase the effectiveness of similar programs.
In the long run, if a jurisdiction chooses to go with any of the photo traffic enforcement systems, experts agree they should:
- Make sure that systems meet the requirements of the state's statutes.
- Research companies that offer these services, including talking to jurisdictions that work with them.
- Give drivers plenty of notice through stories in the news media, with appropriate signage and by speaking with community groups.
- Thoroughly investigate any complaints that the system has malfunctioned or is not operating as it should.
Remember — the goal of photo traffic enforcement should not be to make money, but to save lives, prevent injuries and property damage, and reduce the amount of time officers spend on traffic enforcement so that they can be deployed elsewhere.
A 12-year veteran of police work, Carole Moore has served in patrol, forensics, crime prevention and criminal investigations, and has extensive training in many law enforcement disciplines.