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Evaluation of automated speed enforcement on Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona

Retting, Richard A.; Kyrychenko, Sergey Y.; McCartt, Anne T.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
July 2008

Speed cameras can reduce speeding and injury crashes, but in many communities they are confined to low-speed settings such as residential streets and school zones. In 2006 the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, implemented a 9-month pilot program to evaluate the feasibility and effects of highly visible speed camera enforcement on a busy urban freeway. This was the first use of fixed speed cameras on a major US highway. Deployment of six cameras along an 8-mile corridor was associated with large declines in mean speeds and an 88% decrease in the odds of vehicles traveling 11mph or more above the 65mph limit. Traffic speeds increased soon after the pilot program was suspended. In addition to reducing speeding along the enforcement corridor, speed cameras were associated with large reductions in speeding on the same highway but 25 miles away from the camera installations. However, traffic speeds were fairly stable on urban freeways in Scottsdale that were not part of the study road. Public opinion surveys found widespread concerns about speeding on the Loop 101 freeway and high levels of support for speed camera enforcement on this road.