Intersections are rife with risks — vehicles both large and small cross paths and share space with vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Common violations include running red lights, speeding and driving into bike lanes or crosswalks, putting non-motorized traffic participants at tremendous risk of injury. And this is no mere theory: In Austria, about 350 accidents are recorded at controlled intersections each year.
For this reason, the client sought an enforcement solution that would make intersections safer by raising awareness of the dangers posed by running traffic lights and changing the behavior of drivers accordingly to prevent red light violations.
In addition to these safety-related aspects, the solution also had to be affordable and meet the legal requirements of the Austrian authorities.
Austria counts more than 125,000 km of federal, regional and local roads – and countless intersections. For these hot spots, a solution was sought to better monitor red light infringement.
SWARCO Traffic Austria and Vitronic decided to develop a budget-friendly and effective video-based surveillance system solely for red light monitoring, that would also pay off in Austria’s many rural areas, where the number of fines is nowhere near as high as in busy urban settings. To enable fast implementation, this red light safety solution was designed to require no additional government approval.
Good and fast implementation works when synergies are used. Each partner has its core competencies that, used together, mean the optimum for the customer. Through the cooperation with VITRONIC, we have achieved exactly that.”
Traditionally, red light enforcement relies on cost-intensive laser-based systems. The newly developed video-based POLISCAN Redlight solution also provides effective monitoring, but with optimized budget usage. In addition, the system no longer requires detectors in the roadway and can therefore be deployed very flexibly. Among other things, it allows a rapid change of location and can be used at the new site with low adjustment costs.
After an internal feasibility study, VITRONIC—together with Swarco Austria—kicked off a pilot project to marry scanning LiDAR and video technology, ultimately settling on video tracking as the sole violation detector. A first pilot test was installed at a site in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria, within a matter of weeks.
The overall new system for red light enforcement in Austria was implemented in record time:
Approved in October of 2018, just a few weeks after first contact, the first demo system was installed in April 2019 — up and running in a record time of less than one year.
Lower Austria has been using red light enforcement systems since 2015 and there have been no serious accidents at their deployment locations since then. As of 2021, this approach has been expanded by VITRONIC and SWARCO Austria. Jointly, they speedily delivered 100% reliable and budget-friendly red light enforcement solutions to meet custom local requirements. Despite budgetary constraints, local traffic enforcement needn't compromise on safety.
The police estimates that these systems will bring further improvements and that the impact of the red light cameras will show by reducing the number of violations at the operation sites by up to 30 percent.
Seven locations throughout Austria have been outfitted with POLISCAN Redlight since 2021.