Diversity, equity and inclusion
Photo enforcement is first and foremost a safety program meant to reduce serious injury collisions, and Everett is taking the need to address equity considerations very seriously. Lower-income households and people of color are overrepresented in traffic fatalities and have the highest rates for total traffic deaths, pedestrian traffic deaths and bicycle deaths. In lower income communities, walking, cycling and transit ridership are often a necessity rather than a choice between alternatives. Lower-income neighborhoods experience far more pedestrian fatalities than those with the highest incomes. The selected locations for photo enforcement were strategic, deliberate and data driven to increase safety for all.
Locations based on traffic history
The six intersections that will receive red light photo enforcement cameras were in the top seven for total crashes and injury crashes. They were also the highest in collisions attributed to red light running. The school speed zone at Horizon Elementary on Casino Road has the highest measured speeds of any elementary school zone in the city.
As the photo enforcement locations were selected, geographic diversity was considered, though crash history and safety analysis were the primary factors in selection. All of the proposed red light photo enforcement locations are a mile or more apart, and they are on busy arterials with high traffic volumes and higher operating speeds.
Photo enforcement reduces bias in traffic stops as drivers of all backgrounds who exceed the speed limit will be equally likely to get a ticket. Nearly all drivers break minor traffic laws, and police have some choice in who they pull over. With photo enforcement, drivers who drive much faster than the speed limit in a school zone or who run a red light will get a ticket by mail.
There is much the City can learn can about balancing safety and equity considerations when implementing its automated enforcement program. The ongoing evaluation process will seek to address possible disproportionate impacts of fines while focusing on highest-risk behavior. Through ongoing evaluation, Everett will strive to create an equitable citywide distribution and develop a robust policy to prioritize physical street safety improvements that will ultimately replace the need for automated ticketing.
We want to hear from you
If you have thoughts on how to make the photo enforcement program more equitable, please to reach out to us via the Photo Enforcement comment form.