3 years ago

Traffic safety happens when traffic flows smoothly. When the smooth flow is disrupted, it creates situations where drivers may be required to take quick actions. Under pressure to act quickly, drivers sometimes make the wrong move. That’s when the disruption compounds, starting a chain of events that’s likely to lead to an accident. This chain of events can begin when:

  1. Someone has a flat tire
  2. One car is slower or faster than the general flow
  3. Someone brakes abruptly for any reason
  4. A driver engages in erratic behavior, such as unsafe passing or lane jumping
  5. An inattentive driver drifts into another lane.

When an accident occurs, it’s a huge disruption and can cause more accidents. Authorities responsible for traffic safety make rules designed to keep traffic flowing safely. When someone violates these rules, it causes a disruption that can start the chain of events leading to an accident. So reducing violations is the most important way to promote traffic safety. Here are some ways to reduce violations and other disruptions:

  1. Surveillance by mobile patrol units
  2. Controlling speeds and automatically detecting and reporting violations
  3. Collecting tolls at highway speeds.

This article will take a more detailed look at these methods and how ANPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) cameras can help implement them. Adaptive Recognition (AR) offers many competent ANPR-based tools authorities can employ in performing these functions. We’ll discuss those as well.

Surveillance by Mobile Patrol Units

When police units are mixing with traffic flow, they have unique opportunities to see drivers’ behavior. Their proximity to numerous other vehicles places them perfectly to identify stolen or otherwise wanted vehicles. The capability to identify these vehicles can be enabled by an ANPR camera linked to a database of wanted vehicles.

When they can discover a vehicle’s identity in a few seconds with ANPR, they can take appropriate action immediately, either stopping the offender or reporting their presence to authorities. If they decide to stop a vehicle, and the driver is known to be dangerous to the officer, they’ll know that and be able to take precautions or request backup units.

Adaptive Recognition’s MicroCAM mobile ANPR camera automatically reads all the license plates near it. When the identified vehicles are compared with an on-board database, the officers have their answers in seconds.

What an improvement over the pre-ANPR times when an officer had to read a plate visually on a suspected vehicle, call the number to a central operator to get it looked up in a database and have it reported back! By the time that process took place, the opportunity for appropriate action could have been lost.

Someone driving a stolen car, or being wanted for other crimes, is often a more reckless driver. Besides the other obvious benefits of apprehending them, identifying and removing these drivers from the roads helps make traffic safer.

Speed Control Enhanced by Automatic Detection of Other Violations

Faster cars and improved highway design result in speedier traffic flow. Great for efficiency in transportation—until someone or some event disrupts it. Faster traffic often flows well normally. When a disruption occurs, though, the impact on smooth, safe flow increases.  If an accident occurs, it will surely be more serious and is more likely to be fatal.

When a driver is moving slower or faster than the general flow, that qualifies as a disruption. If they’re driving erratically, e.g., passing unsafely or jumping lanes, they’re very likely to cause an accident.

Monitoring speeds is an important part of traffic enforcement. Adaptive Recognition’s S1 portable speed and traffic enforcement ANPR camera measures speed up to 300 km/h (186 MPH) from up to 600 m (0.37 mi) away. Untrained personnel can set it up in just a few minutes on a tripod or other temporary structure. ANPR foils drivers who memorize the regular positions of speed measurement activities and deliberately slow down at those points to avoid being caught speeding. Another useful function for finding those drivers is measuring average speed over a longer highway segment.

A bonus function of the S1 is its ability to identify stolen vehicles, insurance frauds, and red-light violations—with the latter being right up there with other erratic behaviors as serious causes for accidents.

Collecting Tolls Without Disrupting Traffic

Remember when highway, bridge, and tunnel tolls were collected at toll plazas? You had to slow down to a crawl or, in some locations, stop completely to pay your toll. Imagine the interruption to traffic flow introduced by this, especially on a high-speed highway. These plazas were serious traffic safety hazards.

Other negative aspects of these facilities:

  • Tremendous congestion – sometimes cars backed up for several miles/kilometers
  • Besides being prone to serious accidents, many fender-benders occurred as frustrated drivers jockeyed for position
  • Frayed tempers often lead to other unsafe behavior
  • Toll plazas tended to collect trash and become very untidy and, thus, unsightly.

With ANPR – especially when implemented into industrial cameras – most of these problems have been eliminated for good. Adaptive Recognition’s Vidar ANPR camera for high-speed traffic is the ideal instrument for toll collection. It’s usually mounted high on a pole or, more often, on an overhead gantry where it can see all the traffic passing under it. One Vidar camera can cover two lanes and read license plates at speeds of 300 km/h (186 MPH). Vehicle owners can be billed for their tolls, or regular users can link credit cards or bank accounts to the ANPR system and be charged automatically.

In addition to the on-board ANPR functions, the Vidar camera can detect speeds and recognize the brand, model, and color of vehicles it sees.


We’ve discussed some of the most important safety-enhancing functions available in high-quality ANPR cameras, such as Adaptive Recognition’s impressive array of ANPR products.

To explore how Adaptive Recognition can help you with your traffic monitoring needs, visit their website. Each page includes a contact button. Click it to learn more from their experts and arrange for them to provide your solution.

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