INFORMATION REGARDING CHEVERLY’S SPEED CAMERA PROGRAM
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
The Town of Cheverly is confident that all citations issued through its Speed Enforcement Program are accurate. At the inception of the program Cheverly Staff implemented standards, based on state law, that were above and beyond the normal citation issuance process. Every citation was reviewed for valid machine calibration, correct location information as well as correct vehicle information, and correct photo evidence.
No citation was ever issued that did not meet these standards! Additionally, Cheverly implemented a secondary verification where officers using hand held radar equipment and police calibrated vehicles independently tested the speed cameras for accuracy.
Town staff rejected any citation with data problems such as: Incorrect camera locations, incorrect addresses, or incorrect vehicle direction. These issues were communicated to Optotraffic and town staff attempted to work with Optotraffic’s personnel to improve their internal processes.
The volume of Optotraffic citations received by the Town dropped dramatically in July and August of 2011. Town Staff investigated the issue by analyzing Optotraffic’s raw data. Raw data is the information that exists prior to Optotraffic delivering a citation to Cheverly. The raw data showed a large number of events where the camera failed to record the required two photographs. Without two complete photographs it is not possible to generate a citation. The data also showed the much publicized speeding bicycle and invisible car. Optotraffic never sent these citations to Cheverly for its review, and Cheverly never sent a citation to the individual.
Cheverly’s focus has always been on ensuring the highest quality of data being delivered to the town. Of primary concern to Cheverly Staff was Optotraffic’s camera failing to collect two correct photographs during this time period. However, Cheverly staff pressed the vendor about other issues to better understand the data and ensure its accuracy.
Cheverly has yet to receive an answer to these questions, and instead Optotraffic cancelled its contract with Cheverly.
Cheverly’s speed camera operation has been characterized by some as an opportunity to raise revenue by generating a large number of citations. In 2010 Cheverly’s expenses exceeded revenues. The Town Council decided to continue the program because the program has been a deterrent to speeding, which results in pedestrian safety.
In the first months of operations Cheverly issued a total of 421 citations which is an average of less than 23 citations a day. This means that less than .08% of the estimated 2,300 cars that travel Cheverly Avenue each day received a ticket for exceeding the speed limit by more than 12mph.