In Brazilian cities, automated speed and red light enforcement lowered crash frequency by 14 percent, decreased crash injuries by 19 to 98 percent, and fatalities 7 to 83 percent.
In rural areas automated speed enforcement was deployed using loop detectors, radars, and cameras camouflaged within roadside vegetation. Speed cameras in these areas were known as "sparrows" since they were often placed inside bird nests. In more urban areas, radar sensors were installed at pedestrian crossings to supplement red light camera enforcement at intersections. In more critical areas such as in front of schools, at pedestrian crossings, or on dangerous curves, intelligent speed humps were installed. This technology combined loop detection, digital cameras, and traffic calming strategies to reduce aggressive driving in densely populated areas.
An evaluation study conducted by the InterAmerican Development Bank described a number of systems from multiple deployment areas throughout Brazil, however, the study did not give detailed information on data collection methodologies or sampling procedures. The following data were collected from cities with relatively long observation periods:
City of Brasilia
Brasilia is the Federal Capital of Brazil. In November 1994 automated enforcement was deployed at 153 critical locations using 53 radar/camera systems. The increased use of automated speed control contributed to a dramatic reduction in pedestrian fatalities and severity of collisions.
The following statistics were reported.
City of São Luis
In 1995, the city of São Luis introduced red light running controls. In 1998 they added 18 electronic speed-humps and 20 additional radar/camera systems at a number of critical sites. During the first 60 days of operations violators were notified, but fines were not issued.
The following data were collected by the State Traffic Department between 1995 and 1999.
Average 1995 to 1997
Number of Accidents
Number of Injuries
Number of Fatalities
City of Londrina
In 1995, intelligent speed humps were installed at 10 sites in Londrina (pop. 1 million). During the 18-month period before deployment 41 serious injuries and 12 deaths were recorded. During the 47 months after deployment 2 deaths and one serious injury were recorded. At the completion of the contract period, the automated enforcement equipment was removed as a result of limited funding. Over the following 12 months, 6 fatalities and 12 serious injuries were recorded.
Not all towns had positive experiences with electronic enforcement especially in areas where traveler risk was unclear. In these areas, or in areas where public awareness campaigns were limited, automated enforcement was not well received.
Accident Reduction: The Role of Traffic Control and Driver Training
Author: Cannell, Alan E. R. and Phillip A. Gold
Published By: InterAmerican Development Bank
Source Date: 2001
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photo enforcement, red light cameras, red light running, automated enforcement, traffic signals, run red lights, RLR, red light runners, photo-red, speed cameras, automated speed enforcement, photo radar