Low-income and minority Americans face a dilemma: They are disproportionately victimized by our transportation system. And while law enforcement could help, those same Americans are subject to profiling and fines that can lead to economic ruin. SSTI’s mid-November Community of Practice meeting, attended by CEOs and top staff from a dozen state DOTs, took on this problem. Jill Locantore, executive director of Walk Denver, gave us permission to share her presentation, and we can also summarize the thrust of the conversation.
License-plate readers pose threats to equity and privacy
Automated license-plate readers and associated software have become inexpensive go-tos for law enforcement and toll collection. They also raise questions about equity and ethics. Axon Enterprises, a vendor of law-enforcement cameras and other devices, has set up an ethics board to consider such questions.
Speeding up buses with automated enforcement
Transit-exclusive lanes can speed buses or other transit vehicles and make the services more appealing and predictable. But those nearly-empty lanes can seem appealing to the drivers of private vehicles stuck in traffic or looking for short-term parking or loading, so keeping the lanes clear for transit can be a challenge. Cameras currently being used to enforce speed or red-light running, as well as cameras mounted on the buses themselves, might improve enforcement, as suggested by a recent Mobility Lab post.