Videalert improves road safety at London Borough of Barnet

Videalert improves road safety at London Borough of Barnet

The Challenge

In order to make roads safer, improve traffic flows and reduce air pollution, the London Borough of Barnet wanted to enforce a range of moving traffic contraventions at more than 20 locations. The council also wanted to increase road safety at 32 schools in response to regular complaints from local residents, parents and the schools themselves about the parking problems during drop-off and pick-up times.

The Solution

A comprehensive tender procurement process was undertaken including the assessment of a fully functioning Videalert system which was already delivering the required results for the London Borough of Redbridge. The contract was awarded to OpenView Security Systems, a nationwide solution integrator and provider of CCTV systems.

Chairman of Barnet Council’s Environment Committee, Dean Cohen, said: “The introduction of the Videalert CCTV enforcement system will have a big impact on helping to make roads safer, improve traffic flows and reduce air pollution.”

The Videalert platform delivers effective and reliable unattended enforcement in high traffic volume environments by combining ANPR with video analytics. This provides an additional layer of intelligence to track moving objects and accurately capture only those vehicles actually committing an offence, something that cannot be achieved using traditional ANPR-only systems.

The Installation

The Videalert system was initially deployed at 26 locations to enforce a variety of moving traffic contraventions including box junctions, banned turns and restricted access. The installation started during the first quarter of 2016 after ensuring that all road markings and signs were fully compliant at each site. These locations were identified by the council during traffic surveys as having high levels of contraventions or causing congestion issues that were impacting on journey times.

The system was also installed outside the first 20 schools to automatically capture video evidence and the number plates of vehicles stopping on the ‘keep clears’ without any manual intervention. Using just a single camera at each location to continuously monitor the restricted areas, it only captures the drivers that actually commit an offence by being stationary in a defined ‘watch area’ and exceed the ’watch time’.

During the first four weeks of enforcement, warning notices were issued instead of PCNs to allow drivers to make adjustments to their normal behaviour.

The Benefits

Automating the enforcement process is enabling the London Borough of Barnet to achieve higher levels of productivity at a lower cost. Also, by using the same platform to enforce moving traffic contraventions and stopping on the ‘keep clears’, the council can self-fund their school safety programme.

The Videalert system eliminates the need for manually operated systems that require an operator to monitor each camera location to identify contraventions and construct evidence packs, delivering a substantial reduction in staffing costs. In addition, CEOs do not have to be stationed outside schools where cameras have been installed and can be redeployed for other, more productive duties.

Further cost savings are being achieved by combining the same infrastructure wherever possible. For example, Videalert’s re-deployable WAN units uniquely support multiple cameras and enforcement activities negating the need to have a “processor on a pole” for every activity.

Video evidence packs are automatically generated and transmitted to the council for review before any PCNs are processed or generated.

According to Kevin Hall of OpenView Security Solutions: “As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of CCTV infrastructure solutions to local authorities, we partner with innovative companies such as Videalert which has developed reliable and efficient compliance solutions that increase safety for the local community. As well as being cost effective to install and maintain, the Videalert platform is ‘Open Standards-based’ enabling us to provide HD IP CCTV cameras as required.”

System Development

Further deployments are currently planned to increase the number of enforcement cameras deployed for both schools and moving traffic contraventions to more than 100 locations. This will be the UK’s largest deployment of unattended civil traffic enforcement cameras.

Conclusion

The digital video platform approach delivers higher levels of future-proofing as it supports multiple civil traffic enforcement, traffic management, Police ANPR and improved community safety applications simultaneously using the same infrastructure without the need for investment in standalone point product solutions. This flexibility is simply not available with other enforcement systems.

When deployed correctly, CCTV can provide cost effective, permanent enforcement that will change the behaviour of drivers to significantly improve compliance and increase road safety outside schools over the longer term.


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