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Back to Archives | Back to July 2007 Contents 

Advances and Applications

Royal Cayman Islands Police Traffic-Calming Efforts Aided by Decatur Electronics

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is taking new steps to combat speeding. The Police Service recently bought an OnSite 350 radar speed trailer from Decatur Electronics of Illinois, intending to curtail speeding on the islands. “This is excellent progress in our war against excessive speed,” said Chief Superintendent John Jones, RCIPS Head of Operations. “Far too many people are dying, and we need to do something about it.”

The OnSite 350 purchased by the RCIPS features a solar panel, extending battery life considerably, and an 18-inch LED display, visible for up to 1,000 feet, as well as an EZ Stat data package allowing the unit to track traffic patterns and speeds. The trailer is part of Decatur’s new OnSite line of speed trailers, which range in size from dolly-sized 100s and 200s to the large OnSite 400, which features two banks of solar panels and batteries as well as a full-matrix message sign.

“We’re really pleased about this partnership,” said Greg Roberts, national sales manager for Decatur Electronics. “I think the 350 fits perfectly with the Cayman Police’s goals to slow drivers down. We’re glad we can be a part of that.”
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Redflex Promotes Highway Safety in Scottsdale

Because of a first-of-its-kind highway speed-monitoring network from Redflex Traffic Systems, Arizona Route 101 (known as Loop 101) in Scottsdale is now significantly safer for drivers. The program follows closely on the heels of a nine-month pilot project on Loop 101 that utilized speed-trip sensors to monitor and photograph speeders without the need for an on-site police officer.

Drivers exceeding the posted speed limit are photographed by cameras, and the photos are then reviewed by city officials to ensure the legitimacy of each ticket before a citation is issued. During the course of the pilot project, Redflex technology documented dangerous speeders traveling on Loop 101, including one ticket issued for speed in excess of 140 miles per hour.

The initial pilot project resulted in a reduction in speeding and sideswipe crashes, as well as injuries resulting from this type of collision. Economic benefits tied to the program included $10.5 million in annual savings thanks to a decrease in medical expenses, lost wages, and decreased productivity. Study results originated from the collaborative research and implementation efforts of the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. In light of the results of the study, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano urged Scottsdale to resume the freeway speed enforcement program until Arizona can complete a statewide strategic review. In written communications, Governor Napolitano said, “After reading the results, I believe we cannot afford to keep the Scottsdale cameras off in light of their benefits to law enforcement and public safety.”
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Safety Vision Announces $1.4 Million Contract Award from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Safety Vision, a global provider of mobile digital video solutions, announced that its Houston office has been awarded a $1.4 million contract to install onboard surveillance camera systems on 155 new buses for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The MBTA is the fifth-largest transit system in the United States, transporting 1.3 million passengers daily. The contract, funded partially by a Department of Homeland Security grant, was approved by the MBTA Board of Directors on April 5, 2007.

The project entails outfitting each new bus with eight mobile-rated digital cameras and a mobile digital video recorder (MDVR): Safety Vision’s RoadRecorder 6000 PRO MDVR, the latest model in the company’s series of onboard digital surveillance recorders. The new system, which records video, audio, and system health data in a secure, encrypted MPEG4 format, features more camera frames per second, tripled storage capacity on internal and external drives, wireless connectivity, and streamlined data management.

The RoadRecorder 6000 PRO MDVR operates within a mobile wireless network. The network enables transmission of live video feed from cameras installed on networked buses to laptops in MBTA police officers’ networked vehicles. This “look-in” capability allows first responders to view an onboard incident as it unfolds, live and in real time. Consequently, they can plan and execute their response tactics faster and smarter—enhancing the safety and security of passengers, officers, and transit personnel alike.

According to Safety Vision national account executive Mike Schwerman, “Our solution provides scalability with additional camera inputs and additional storage capability, plus a wireless component that will easily adapt to future technologies and to MBTA’s evolving requirements. As with all our safety and security camera systems, we’ve designed this solution with simplicity and efficiency in mind, using the most sophisticated data recording, data compression, and data management technologies available. Our primary goal is making it easy for MBTA and other transit properties to record, manage, and archive high-quality video, audio, and sensor data from their networked vehicles.”■
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From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 7, July 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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