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Use of CCTV to determine road accident factors in urban areas

By F. Conche and M.R. Tight

Abstract

This paper sets out to assess whether there is a potential use for images collected through the increasingly ubiquitous use of CCTV cameras in urban areas as a means of increasing understanding of the causes of road traffic accidents. Information on causation and contributory factors is essential as a means of understanding why accidents occurred and how the occurrence of similar events may be prevented in the future. CCTV records of accidents could provide an independent perspective on an accident and have the potential to increase both the quality and quantity of information available to the safety researcher.\ud This study focuses on an area of central Leeds in the UK and shows that an existing CCTV camera system used for urban traffic management reasons has the potential to\ud 1 record around a quarter of the accidents which occur in the area, based on patterns of past occurrence. Most city centres in the UK will have similar camera systems set up. By the introduction of additional strategically placed cameras and replacement of existing cameras with ones dedicated to accident recording, this figure could be increased substantially.\ud The paper also considers how effective cameras and video records will be as a means of identifying contributory factor information once an accident is recorded. The contributory factor classification used by a recently introduced system in Britain is assessed in terms of how visible each of the factors is likely to be on video and their relative frequency of occurrence. It is concluded that CCTV has a high potential to provide corroborative evidence about many of the most commonly occurring factors, and to throw further light on accident causation

Publisher: Elsevier Science
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:2578

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