New Data Collection Technology for AT’s Safe Speeds Program

To continue the success of the Safe Speeds program, AT is testing new technology solutions that will streamline the data collection process.

Project summary

Auckland Transport’s Safe Speeds program is designed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Many factors have made the Safe Speeds program successful in keeping people safe. One of them is the collection of high quality and timely data for monitoring, evaluation and informed decision-making. Although data collection is essential to the success of the program, it is time-consuming and resource-intensive.

AT and its field service contractor (CSLi New Zealand) offered a few potential technology solutions to streamline the data collection process. The next step is to test these new technologies, which includes the installation of speed cameras, speed cameras and digital variable message signs.

The timeline for the 3 trials is from April to July 2022.

Our intention is to keep you informed before installation and to answer all your questions.

Context of the project

AT wants to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on its road network. Too many people are killed or seriously injured for simply traveling on our roads. Establishing safe and appropriate speed limits has proven to be the fastest and most cost-effective way to see an immediate reduction in fatalities and serious injuries.

On June 30, 2020, as part of the first phase of the Safe Speeds program, speed limits were lowered on certain roads. AT found that within 18 months of these changes there was:

  • a 47% reduction in deaths*
  • a reduction of more than 25% in all collisions with injuries and a reduction of more than 15% in serious injuries on these roads
  • a reduction of more than 20% in the total number of fatalities and serious injuries
  • a 71% reduction in fatalities and more than 25% in serious injuries on rural roads.

These results from the first phase of the Safe Speeds program are encouraging and are backed up by research and evidence in an article written by road safety experts Soames Job and Colin Brodie, Understanding the role of speeding and speeding in serious crash injuries: a case study from New Zealandpublished as a peer-reviewed article in the Road Safety Journal.

*Annual figures for the period from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021, compared to the previous five-year comparison period.

Proposed technological solutions

Temporary radar technology

Data gathering
  • Spot operating speeds
  • Tracking distance
  • Average approach speed
  • Minimum and maximum speeds
  • Count volumes
  • A more cost effective method of collecting speed data.
  • Provides more comprehensive one-time running speed data or average speed data. This information can be used as a primary indicator to capture road related fatalities and serious injuries in Auckland.
  • Provides better baseline information on known problem locations and trends.
  • Provides better baseline information for post-implementation evaluation (of new safe speed limits).
  • Continuously monitors operating speeds
  • Identifies priority locations to respond to speed limit management (if applicable).

Near 70 and 89 Atkinson Avenue, Ōtāhuhu
This is a high-risk corridor, where high rates of road-related fatalities and serious injuries have been recorded. Safety improvement works have been scheduled for delivery between 2022 and 2023, which includes the installation of raised signalized intersections at the intersection of The Avenue and Princes Street. The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.

Fanshawe Street, off Daldy Street, Auckland City Center
In June 2020, as part of the first phase of AT’s Safe Speeds program, the speed limit on Fanshawe Street was reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h. This site was chosen to monitor compliance or non-compliance with speed limits of 40 km/h. This will help us better understand how radar technology works on a multi-lane road and verify the limitations of radar technology. The trial is expected to last one to two weeks.

Average speed and variable message digital sign

Data gathering
  • A digital variable message sign can measure and display a driver’s average speed between 2 points. This will allow us to test whether behavior-informed messages reduce driving speeds in identified high-risk areas of Auckland.
  • Changing average speed behavior can greatly help drivers choose a safe speed (usually by reducing their travel speed) along corridors, where existing technologies are not as efficient.

Albany Highway, southbound between Rosedale Road and Bass Road
AT does not currently have technology to capture average speeds along high-priority routes such as the Albany Freeway, which has been identified as a high-speed zone. This trial will use variable message signs to monitor behavioral changes, which lead to reduced travel speed, thus ensuring the safety of road users. The trial is expected to last 12 weeks.

Motion mode data

Data gathering
  • Calculates the volumes and use of different modes of transport, e.g. people walking, cycling, scootering, skating, rollerblading or wheelchairs, in a pre-identified area of ​​Auckland, such than downtown Auckland.
  • A cost-effective way to collect data in active mode.

Near 19 and 26 Aviemore Drive, Highland Park
Aviemore has been identified as a high risk corridor and as part of the second phase of the Safe Speeds program safe and appropriate speed limits will be set from June to July 2022. Selected areas do not currently have crossing facilities secure for surrounding businesses. The trial will help determine the best possible locations for the installation of the proposed crossing facilities. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

Campbell Road, Royal Oak Roundabout
Some vehicles do not come to a complete stop at the Royal Oak roundabout, posing a safety risk to people crossing. This is especially dangerous for people who are blind or visually impaired, as they can hear approaching vehicles when they start walking on the crosswalk. The technology will be used to verify where vehicles stop when approaching the crosswalk. Once we have reviewed the data, additional security changes can be made if necessary. This trial should last one to two weeks.

Privacy issues

No identifiable data will be captured, used or stored during the trial period.

As part of its engagement process, AT will notify the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of technology trials.

How will AT ensure people’s privacy and that data is not misused?
Since this is a trial of a new technology for data collection, the results of the trial will not result in the issuance of notices of violation, such as speeding tickets, and this trial phase will not result in any regulatory changes. In addition, no identifiable data will be collected.

Where and how will the data be collected and stored?
All data is collected by sensors at the site of each trial. AT’s field services contractor (CSLi New Zealand) will securely process this data and share it with AT.

What will AT do with the data after the tests?
The purpose of these trials is to test this new technology in different traffic and road conditions to test its reliability and accuracy. If the trials are successful, the data collected will become baseline data and can be used for informed decisions in the future. If any of the attempts fail, AT will delete all relevant data. CSLi will not store any data with them.

What will AT do with the data results after each test?
AT will write a test evaluation report for each test. The report will include details of each trial, such as success criteria and next steps.

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