What is it about human nature that makes many drivers take advantage of others even at the risk of personal injury or death? Whatever it is, it's the primary reason we need police to enforce the laws. A very interesting example of this phenomenon took place in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago in early August. As we all know the mantra of NHTSA and most State Highway Safety offices is Education, Engineering, and Enforcement, the three E's of traffic safety.
Adande Piggott a Traffic Engineer in the Ministry of Transport was directed by the government to reconfigure a dangerous and congested section of a road to facilitate better traffic flow. Instead of a four lane two direction road, it was turned into a four lane one way road and was successful in alleviating many of the issues. However, in the category of unintended consequences, the change opened the lanes up causing average speeds to increase dramatically putting local pedestrians and drivers at risk. The complaints poured in but the government was reluctant to act based on complaints without supporting data.
Taking matters in their own hands and without help from the police, a feasibility study was conducted by "Arrive Alive" a local activist group promoting traffic safety to document and justify the many complaints of excessive speed and aggressive driving. This traffic pattern change opened it up so many drivers took advantage bringing out the worst in them. For the study, Laser Technology's TruCam and TruSpeed-S LIDAR units were used. TruCam's ability to provide speed and range, recorded video and/or still images, deployment stats i.e., location, time of day, and operator ID was used effectively to generate accurate data for the study. In addition to documenting increased speeding violations, TruCam was able to determine and quantify an excessive number of tailgating violations; adding more teeth to the study.
In the article, Arrive Alive tests high tech speed guns on the Avenue published in the Guardian Media, it was noted that "the tests caught many drivers exceeding the speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour." It was also noted that "President of Arrive Alive Brent Batson agreed with Piggott that the equipment provided by Lasertech was more accurate and modern than the technology currently used by the police to determine the speed of cars on the road." The Trinidad Express article, High-tech guns detect 20 speeding motorists, Keith Renaud, Director Office of Law Enforcement Policy of the Ministry of National Security, stated "he thinks that the use of the device is "long overdue"."
These tools typically used by police, effectively produced a detailed account that supported and backed up claims of driver abuse. In fact the final report greatly exceeded ‘Arrive Alive’s’ perceived notion of the problem. Simple to use, we encourage HOA’s, security professionals, and other civil groups concerned with excessive speed, aggressive driving, and/or distracted driving in their neighborhoods to get involved. It may save somebody's life.
Take a moment and watch Speed guns tested on Ariapita Avenue video of news coverage from CNBC3 News.