Videalert help reduce traffic and increase safety at Redbridge

Videalert help reduce traffic and increase safety at Redbridge

The Challenge

Redbridge wanted a cost effective solution to reduce the high level of motorists that were ignoring moving traffic restrictions, causing serious road safety issues and congestion at a number of locations. The council also wanted to reduce inconsiderate and dangerous parking by drivers around schools.

A key issue was how to change driver behavior over the longer term as regular enforcement practices, such as using CEOs or mobile enforcement vehicles, only had a limited effect as they could only be in one place at a time.

The Installation

As a longstanding supplier to the London Borough of Redbridge, OpenView Security Solutions recommended Videalert’s intelligent Digital Video Platform. This flexible solution allows unattended enforcement without requiring operator resources and minimizes infrastructure costs. It delivers effective and reliable enforcement by combining ANPR with video analytics in realtime to track moving objects and capture only the vehicles that commit an offence.

According to Michael Jackson, Parking Manager at the London Borough of Redbridge: “We were unconvinced about the ability of traditional ANPR technology to capture moving traffic offences and provide high quality video evidence. Videalert was the only supplier able to demonstrate it could successfully track moving objects, particularly multiple vehicles in normal busy traffic environments, whilst supporting the widest range of communications networks including 3G/4G, Wi-Fi and fiber-based LANs.”

The Benefits

After a successful pilot, when it became clear that the Videalert system could improve safety and compliance, unattended enforcement was extended to a range of moving traffic offences including restricted access, banned turns and box junctions. The enforcement rules are configured to Redbridge’s own definition of what constitutes an offence and can be fine-tuned to meet any specific local or political requirements. For instance, the council has stipulated that a vehicle must have stopped for five seconds or more in a yellow box for an offence to have been committed.

The Digital Video Platform approach has automated the enforcement process to deliver higher levels of productivity at a lower cost than can be achieved with manually operated systems that require an operator to monitor each camera ocation to identify contraventions and construct evidence packs. The cameras are re-deployable to other problem locations across the borough when compliance is achieved.

Redbridge subsequently extended the Videalert platform to enforce parking restrictions and traffic management outside schools. They include Isaac Newton Academy in High Road, Seven Kings which is situated on a busy main road where major safety and congestion issues were being caused by the high number of vehicles parking in a narrow access way to the school as well as on the main road where large volumes of traffic pass during the morning rush hour. A single digital HD PTZ camera at each location continuously monitors the restricted areas and only captures the drivers that actually commit a contravention by being stationary in a defined “watch area” and exceed the “watch time”.

Reducing Infrastructure Costs

The Videalert system enables Redbridge to reduce both infrastructure and communications costs as it allows one RDS unit (processor up a pole) with just a single SIM to support up to four camera locations simultaneously. For example, at Seven Kings, a single RDS is being used to enforce four separate offences:
  • 1 x School Keep Clear
  • 1 x Banned U-Turn
  • 1 x Banned Right Hand Turn
  • 1 x One Way
Uniquely, the system is being financed using a cap-ex neutral model whereby all costs are recovered through the issuance of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to vehicles contravening the regulations. This is enabling the council to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety without any major up-front capital expenditure. This combined capability is minimising capital investment and driving down the operating costs of CCTV traffic systems.

According to Councillor John Howard, Cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability at Redbridge: “The Videalert platform complements the variety of work we do to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible. We will not stand for motorists who flout the rules of the road and increase the risk of harm to other motorists and pedestrians. This system has allowed us to efficiently enforce parking and moving traffic violations and has had an impact on reducing traffic congestion and improving road safety across the borough.”

Conclusion

The system has provided a sustainable increase in compliance for school keep clears and moving traffic contraventions of up to 73% since the Redbridge contract commenced in 2015. Within the first month of introducing CCTV at Isaac Newton Academy, Redbridge experienced an increase in compliance of 63% and expects to see further increases over the coming months. This level of success is unprecedented in civil parking and traffic enforcement and Redbridge is now planning to extend enforcement to other areas of noncompliance.


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