Enforcement on the Finnish street network is facilitated by the police force’s latest surveillance equipment, which is better suited to urban environments. Speed control and combined speed and red light enforcement seem to improve road safety on the street network. Red-light enforcement alone is questionable from a traffic safety perspective.
The following points should be considered when selecting automatic enforcement sites:
- There is an external cause for enforcement at the site such as a pedestrian crossing or a lot of pedestrians
- It is not appropriate to improve traffic safety at the site with other measures such as structural interventions
- The site is heavily trafficked, but enforcement is still technically feasible
- The camera equipment’s installation and maintenance work can be done safely
- The flash of the camera equipment does not disturb nearby housing
Speed enforcement on the street network improves road safety
With speed enforcement, the average speed drops between 2.3 to 8.5 km/h and personal injury accidents are reduced by about 17–24%. Combined speed and red light enforcement seems to reduce the number of personal injury accidents. There are contradictory research findings on the impact of red light enforcement on the number of personal injury accidents.
Important to involve the police in the planning process
The primary solution to speeding problems is to make the street environment support the set speed limit. However, the built-up environment cannot be changed everywhere, so enforcement is also needed to ensure that the speed limits are complied with. For a successful and smooth implementation it is important to involve the police in the planning process as early as possible. Public communication is also important since it is thought to play a major role in influencing people’s driving behavior.
A literature study was carried out to create an overview of the traffic safety impacts of automatic enforcement. The experiences from automatic enforcement on the Finnish street network were collected by interviewing city representatives, authorities, and one traffic planner.
The study on automatic enforcement on the street network was carried out by VTT as part of the Traffic Safety 2025 consortium.
The full report (in Finnish).
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland