Why traffic cameras are really necessary?

The number of traffic cameras on the roads of the Moscow region is going from strength to strength.
466 photo and video recording complexes of violations used to work in the region at the end of 2017 - and at the end of 2018 there were already 1227 cameras.

At the same time, there are numerous myths about whose who put the cameras, how these cameras are maintained and all in all, who is responsible for charging penalties - the government or private companies. It seems that the cameras are being set up only to collect more fines on the “disputable” traffic sections.

Meanwhile, the goal of the cameras installation is to reduce the number of traffic accidents, to reduce the number of deaths and injuries. This problem is very pressing: only in 2018 there were 5 737 accidents and 923 people died on the territory of the Moscow region.

Traffic camera systems perfectly cope with their role. This was an open fact even before the first cameras appeared in Russia. In world practice, areas with such cameras helped to reduce the accident rate to 49%, the number of accidents with injuries to 50%, fatal accidents - up to 44% .

According to the statistics, in 2018, the number of accidents in the areas of fixed cameras installation and use of mobile camera systems was decreased by 24% in the Moscow Region. At the same time, injuries (as a result of accidents) were decreased by 28% and deaths were decreased by 35%.

Let us tell you why and where the cameras are installed and what happens after the camera records the violation.


Where and why the cameras are installed

Numerous accident analyses should be done before making a decision to install the camera on a specific traffic section. The STSI identifies the accidents concentration location that led to injuries and death, and compiles a list of them. According to this list, contractors install traffic camera systems.

The number of accidents on the site can be reduced by influencing on the behavior of drivers - to make them violate the traffic regulations less. Accepted penalties for traffic violations are not enough for this - it is important for the punishment inevitability principle to be respected. The camera system helps to implement this principle.

What are the traffic camera systems

Traffic camera systems differ in the degree of mobility.

  • Fixed systems

    They are installed on supports, legs and other structures over the roadway. These cameras record traffic violations in the traffic stream. They record speed violations, the movement of cars on the side of the road, driving on the wrong side of a barrier, violations of markings and many other. Traffic camera systems at intersections are the variety of fixed systems.

    Fixed systems work until the accident cluster liquidation, after which they are transferred to a more trouble place.

    Traffic video systems “Safe Region”

    They are installed at the entrance and exit of the localities for vehicle control. These systems help law enforcement officials to prevent and solve crimes, including terrorist acts. About 800 speed control stations “Safe City” are installed on the roads of the Moscow region with the ability to search or track license plates.

  • Mobile systems

    They perform the same role as fixed ones, but they are much more mobile - there is no need for the installation work. They are designed to control traffic for a limited period of time. They are assembled in places where it is not possible to place fixed systems, or while they are being installed at the same moment.

    There are two mobile system types: mobile systems are placed on vehicles’ boards and transferrable systems do not require special placement structures. In Moscow region, it is possible to find the Oscon mobile systems installed on a minibus roof and transferrable Skat systems on tripods.

How the systems record overspeeding

There are two methods: radar and radarless.

  • 1Radar method

    Based on the Doppler effect - the system captures the change in the frequency of the signal reflected from a moving car.

  • 2Radarless

    Based on simple calculations. The camera takes two photographs at the beginning and at the end of a short bit of road. The length of the bit is laid in the system during installation. Then, the system measures the section’s travel time and calculates the car’s speed.

How data is processed

All traffic violations are recorded automatically. A multi-level control is organized in order to eliminate possible errors, each picture is checked by several specialists.

Analysis of the data from systems undergoes several stages. Primary images processing takes place in the data processing center of the Ministry of Transport of the subject of the Russian Federation. In the Moscow region, this function is performed by the state public institution “Traffic Safety Center of the Moscow Region”. They reject the bad photographs there – the ones where it is impossible to identify the traffic violator. Further, these data are rechecked in the video recording center of STSI.

After all the checks are done, the STSI will issue a violation order. The decision is certified by an electronic digital signature, printed out and sent in an envelope to the violator.

Thus, the operator of traffic camera systems does not make a decision on whether the driver violated traffic rules and should he pay fines.

The system work results

Studies show that drivers violate traffic rules on the roads with cameras (especially speed limits) less. As a result, the total accidents number is reduced.

The cameras continuously and impartially record all violations, regardless of the brands of passing cars and their owners’s status. As a result, drivers hide their intentions to accelerate, overtake in the oncoming lane or drive into a red light on difficult traffic sections of the road. This means that the threat to life and health of themselves and other road users is reduced.