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Mid-America Transportation Center

Smart City Lincoln: Safe Intersections and Intelligent Enforcement

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Anuj Sharma (asharma3@unl.edu 402-472-6391)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    Red light running and resulting crashes levies a significant cost on the general public. In 2006 in the United States, 171,000 crashes, 144,000 injuries and 887 fatalities were attributed to red light running (Source: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The total social cost of these crashes exceeds 14 billion dollars per year. "Research suggests that intentional red-light runners, who account for a significant percentage of red-light runners, are most affected by enforcement countermeasures" (Source: FHWA Intersection Safety Issue Briefs, 2004). Currently crash data and public complaints are used to select the enforcement locations. These approaches are very simplistic and lack enough resolution to identify the target location along with the time of deployment. This research proposes to develop a systematic approach using the available data resources like crash history and complaint logs can be augmented with the data obtained from existing video based stop bar sensors at several city intersections. Based on our discussions with Lincoln Public Works Department (Scott Opfer, Virendra Singh) and Lincoln Police Department (Capt. Joy Cita), such an approach will be very useful in maximizing the societal benefits achieved under constrained enforcement resources. This research will also study the impact of one other counter measure like confirmation light on few selected intersections
    Research Objective
    Today, several cities in the United States have an excellent connectivity to most of their signalized intersections for remote traffic management. They also receive a wealth of information from the existing traffic sensors in the field. This data can also be used for scheduling of enforcement and improving the safety at an intersection. Such a technique can be an effective and low cost method for improving the safety of operations at signalized intersection and also substantially reduce the enforcement operating costs. This research proposes to implement intelligent enforcement alternatives, in the city of Lincoln, using the existing sensors and city network as the backbone. A before and after RLR violation study will be used as a surrogate to analyze the improvement in safety of operations. A detailed economic analysis will be conducted to evaluate the cost and benefits of targeted intelligent enforcement.
    Potential Benefits
    It is expected that this project will be highly publicized and visible within the communities selected for intersection evaluation. It is expected that a reduction in RLR violation will occur as a result of this project. It is also expected that an excellent collaboration effort by the research team and communities selected will also be a result of the project. Finally, it is expected that this project will be of interest to many large communities in the State of Nebraska who are trying to implement low-cost strategies to reduce red light running violations. It is also expected that this project will help the enforcement agencies use the existing data to efficiently use their resources under these economically difficult times.
    Abstract
    Red light running and resulting crashes levies a significant cost on the general public. In 2006 in the United States, 171,000 crashes, 144,000 injuries and 887 fatalities were attributed to red light running (Source: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The total social cost of these crashes exceeds $ 14 billion per year.
    "Research suggests that intentional red-light runners, who account for a significant percentage of red-light runners, are most affected by enforcement countermeasures" (Source: FHWA Intersection Safety Issue Briefs, 2004). Currently crash data and public complaints are used to select the enforcement locations. These approaches are very simplistic and lack enough resolution to identify the target location along with the time of deployment. This research proposes to develop a systematic approach using the available data resources like crash history and complaint logs can be augmented with the data obtained from existing video based stop bar sensors at several city intersections. Based on our discussions with Lincoln Public Works Department (Scott Opfer, Virendra Singh) and Lincoln Police Department (Capt. Joy Cita), such an approach will be very useful in maximizing the societal benefits achieved under constrained enforcement resources. This research will also study the impact of one other counter measure like confirmation light on few selected intersections.
    Project Amount
    $ 64,909.41