• Groundbreaking study: traffic-cam monitoring can improve road safety

    City, Transoft Solutions and Together for Safer Roads collaborate on project

    The City of Bellevue, Transoft Solutions Inc., developers of transportation engineering software and road safety analytic technology, and the Together for Safer Roads coalition have partnered on a first-of-its kind, citywide analysis of traffic camera video with the goal of improving safety for all road users. The results of this project have been published in three technical reports, plus an executive summary. All are available on the city’s Vision Zero Partnerships web page

    Data collected from more than 5,000 hours of video footage were used to produce the three reports: 1) Video-based Network-wide Conflict Analysis 2) Video-based Network-wide Speed and Speeding Analysis and 3) Video-based Conflict, Speeding, and Crash Correlation. 

    Using the results from these reports, the project showed that intersection conflicts, or near-crash events, were an accurate predictor of where future crashes could occur. Other pertinent findings that came from the reports include:

    • People riding bicycles are at greater risk than vehicle occupants: bike riders represented 0.1% of observed road users, pedestrians were 2.6% and drivers accounted for 97.3%. However, bicyclists were 10 times more likely to be involved in a conflict than drivers.
    • Motorcyclists travelled at higher speeds and generated more critical conflicts than any other road user.
    • More than 10% of drivers were speeding; half of them were traveling at more than 11 mph over the posted speed limit. Speeding incidence rates were relatively uniform on weekdays with a noticeable decrease around peak (commute) hours.
    • 20,000 critical conflict interactions were observed among the 8.25 million road users recorded during one week.

    The project, formally titled “Video-based Network-wide Conflict and Speed Analysis to Support Vision Zero in Bellevue (WA) United States,” began in August 2019 and used data supplied from the city’s network of 360-degree, high-definition traffic cameras at 40 intersections chosen for the study. Transoft Solutions’ products, BriskLUMINA and BriskVANTAGE, collected traffic volumes, road user speeds and near-crash traffic conflict indicators from the video feed. It then used advanced artificial intelligence algorithms and video analytics to process, analyze and identify safety issues at the intersections.

    With well over 40,000 fatalities per year in the U.S. alone, road injuries rank among the leading causes of death in industrialized countries, according to the World Health Organization. Bellevue’s Vision Zero initiative strives to eliminate fatal and serious-injury crashes from city streets by 2030. This project aligns with Transoft Solutions’ road safety analysis technology and with Together for Safer Roads’ work with a coalition of groups seeking to improve road safety.
     
    “Our City Council has long been committed to road safety and to Vision Zero,” said Bellevue Transportation Director Andrew Singelakis. “To achieve this goal, we need a data-driven approach and our video analytics partnership gives us that. Transoft has the software development expertise and we have a cutting-edge network of traffic cameras. Together, we hope to predict where and how collisions happen and work to prevent them.”

    “Being part of this project is a great opportunity for Transoft Solutions to contribute to the City of Bellevue’s important Vision Zero mission,” said Charles Chung, Vice President of Transportation Safety for Transoft Solutions. “They were all for the use of modern, real-time video analytics to conduct the studies for faster and accurate results rather than the more conventional and tedious means of gathering data. This allows cities to help identify high-crash intersections and make road improvements to reduce collisions.”

    “Surrogate safety measures like road user behavior are critical to getting ahead of crashes and achieving Vision Zero,” said David Braunstein, President of Together for Safer Roads. “You can’t eliminate fatalities and serious injuries if you rely solely on fatality and serious injury data. We’re proud to convene public-private partnerships like this to demonstrate the lifesaving power and scalability of predictive analytics.”

    About Bellevue Transportation 
    Bellevue’s professionally accredited Transportation Department provides a safe, efficient and balanced transportation network that supports livable neighborhoods and a vital economy. Through innovation and collaboration, we carry out Council policies to plan, build and maintain the transportation system – Keeping Bellevue Moving Forward. To learn more, visit BellevueWA.gov/transportation

    About Transoft Solutions
    Transoft Solutions develops innovative and highly specialized software for aviation, civil infrastructure, and transportation professionals. Since 1991, Transoft has remained focused on safety-oriented solutions that enable transportation professionals to work effectively and confidently. For more information on Transoft’s range of aviation, civil design, and traffic safety solutions, visit transoftsolutions.com.   

    About Together for Safer Roads 
    Together for Safer Roads is a corporate social accelerator, leveraging private-sector technology, data and expertise to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities around the world. To learn more, visit togetherforsaferroads.org.

    Published on 07/13/2020