Perception versus reality with traffic safety

Posted at 6:53 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 16:47:01-05

Many call law enforcement with concerns about drivers going too fast on roads they commonly travel. "Often we'll get a phone call, I've got a speed problem on my road," said Sergeant Cliff Porter with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigation commonly shows the speed issues are true, but sometimes perception is different than reality. "They don't have a speed problem. It's just that everybody on their road is driving commute traffic and they have a congestion problem." Said Porter.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit recently stepped up efforts. Part of the strategy is looking for causes and solutions to traffic problems. Automated traffic monitoring systems gather data. "They simply monitor traffic flow, congestion, speed etc.” said Porter, “So we can wrap our minds around exactly what the problem is." The information is the starting point for finding solutions to traffic safety issues.

Traffic enforcement now works with street engineers looking for solutions. Roads may get speed limit reassessments, lights, possibly turn lanes. The also look at projects in development. "To make sure we have an overall safety picture, so that enforcement wasn't needed later to correct a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place." It is a multi-faceted approach to traffic safety.

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